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Student shortlist revealed for world’s biggest photography competition - the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Press release   •   Mar 01, 2016 01:01 CET

  • Ten shortlisted students compete for €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment
  • Shortlisted photographers and tutors flown to London to attend the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards
  • Winner to be showcased by partner British Journal of Photography (BJP)
  • Winner revealed on 21st April 2016
  • Images available at

1st March: Ten young photographers are today announced on the shortlist for the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards’ Student Focus competition.

For the 2016 edition, the competition’s organisers, the World Photography Organisation, partnered with the British Journal of Photography (BJP) to uncover emerging photographic talent from across the world. All ten shortlisted photographers will be flown to London to compete to win the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title and €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for their university.

The Sony World Photography Awards are the world’s largest photography competition and each year the Student Focus programme gives young photographers the opportunity to be recognised globally. It has also proved to be a launchpad for many students to break into the photographic industry – with previously shortlisted students having been commissioned and published by leading international media and now working professionally in a variety of roles, from freelance photography to fine art printing.

Students from five continents were asked to submit a single image based on the brief ‘millennials’. A record number of entries from over 400 educational institutions worldwide were received.

An expert panel of judges - Simon Bainbridge, editor of the British Journal of Photography (UK), Mark Murrmann, photo editor of Mother Jones (US), and Matthew Tucker, picture editor of BuzzFeed UK (UK) – selected the following shortlist of ten:

  • Argentina – Felipe Romero Beltrán, Motivarte
  • Australia – Joshua Thomas, Charles Sturt University
  • Finland – Sofia Jern, Novia University of Applied Sciences
  • France – Julie Hrnčířová, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie
  • Japan – Yui Takahashi, Tokyo College of Photography
  • Mexico – Daisy Reza, Tecnológico de Monterrey
  • New Zealand – Matilda Fraser, National Institute of Creative Arts and Industries
  • Poland Adam Zadlo, Jan Matejko Academy of Fine Arts
  • South Africa – Rochelle de Abreu, Stellenbosch Academy of Design & Photography
  • Thailand – Lei Cheong, Chulalongkorn University

Speaking about the shortlisted photographers, Mark Murrmann comments: “With such a large number of entrants, across so many different cultures, I’m excited to discover some genuinely original work. I’m looking forward to helping give the exposure and "break" that all photographers need at some point in their career."

All ten shortlisted photographers have now been asked to shoot a new series of images using the highly acclaimed α7 ILCE-7Kfull frame camera from Sony -- given to each shortlisted student as part of their prize. The student’ shortlisted images will all be shown at Somerset House, London from 22nd April - 8th May as part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition and will be published in the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

From this new work, the judges will select one winner who will receive€30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for their university. In addition, the winning student will also have their work showcased on the BJP website and have the opportunity to take over the magazine’s Instagram feed.

All ten shortlisted photographers and their tutors will be also flown to London to attend the Sony World Photography Awards gala ceremony on 21st April, at which the Student Focus Photographer of the Year winner will be revealed.

Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation comments: “This year, three inspiring Student Focus competition’s judges have highlighted the work of ten gifted young photographers – and we are proud that the World Photography Organisation can offer a platform for these emerging photographers to be seen by a worldwide audience.

Discovering emerging international photographic talent is at heart of the World Photography Organisation and we are delighted that previous winners have gone on to carve successful careers in the industry. In just the last year, the 2015 Student Focus winner, Lucia Morón, was not only exhibited at the House of Commons, London but she also she gained a two-years photography and research residency with the Crick Centre.”

  • The shortlisted images are available to download at
  • On social media please use #SWPA, #SWPAStudentFocus, and @WorldPhotoOrg

For further information and interviews please contact:

Valentina De Vincenti, PR Assistant, World Photography Organisation

+44 (0) 20 7886 3049/


  • Sony World Photography Awards forthcoming announcements

o29th March – Open and Youth category winners announced

o21st April – Professional/Open/Student/Youth Photographers of the Year revealed plus Professional category winners

o22nd April – 8th May – Exhibition at Somerset House, London. Tickets for the exhibition can be booked at

  • About the World Photography Organisation

The World Photography Organisation is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised. Working with professional, enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global platform across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this artform. The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition; the World Photography Organisation Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers, Photo Shanghai, Asia Pacific’s premier art fair dedicated to photography, and Photo San Francisco, America's new international art fair for contemporary photography. For more information please visit

Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, imaging, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and online businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately $68 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2015. Sony Global Web Site: