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The future of photography: Sony and the World Photography Organisation hosts

Press release   •   Sep 12, 2012 10:00 CEST

· Leading photography educators brought to Photokina

· Biggest global platform for the discussion of photography education

· Virginia Morrison, Steve Pyke, Jonathan Worth and Ruth Eichhorn present

· Part of WPO’s and Sony’s commitment to emerging new talent

The World Photography Organisation (WPO) is proud to announce the inaugural Student Focus conference dedicated photography education.

The World Photo Educator' Symposium will be the first of its kind, bringing together leading professors of photography from across Europe and the US to discuss the future of photography education. Never before has a regular platform been created for so many different voices from around the world to be heard. It will take place at Photokina, Cologne, Germany from 22-23 September and will be hosted by Sony and the World Photography Organisation as part of its Student Focus programme.

Award-winning educator Virginia Morrison will lead the symposium. Virginia is the Executive Director of the Society of Photographic Education (SPE), an American-wide organisation that provides a forum for the discussion of photography.

Virginia comments: “SPE is pleased to be able to participate in WPO's symposium for international photographic educators. Our leadership has identified a strategic need to reach out internationally to increase collective awareness of the issues and challenges facing the dynamic world of photography education and image-making today.

"We are looking forward to a rich conversation the will include such topics as: students, teaching and making art; online learning; thinking digital; curriculum; the internet; impact of photographic imagery; and community and collaboration. We are eager to engage with new and diverse audiences and identify intersections of interest. This forum will help SPE, WPO, Sony and its participants to find ways to broaden our collective educational base, resources and contemporary practices and help us in our quest to provide leadership in photographic education.”

One of the delegates taking part, Adrian Mott, Course Director at LCC (London College of Communication, UK) said of the symposium: "It represents a unique opportunity for the international exchange of ideas for those involved in photographic education. It will lead to a better understanding of approaches and cultural differences in photographic education."

The debate will be published as a White Paper on the future of photography education and distributed to the 220 universities worldwide that are part of the wider Student Focus programme.

Ania Wadsworth, Student Focus Manager at WPO, adds: “This symposium is a fantastic opportunity for photography educators around Europe to come together and discuss teaching practice and benchmarking within this sector. With the knowledge that what is being discussed is also being distributed to fellow photographic educators from Canada to Australia, the attendees have a platform to instigate qualitative discussions that can generate better and far-reaching enhancements within the industry."

In addition to the educators symposium the professors will each bring a student from their university to take part in a number of master classes and group portfolio reviews run by renowned British photographers Steve Pyke and Jonathan Worth alongside Director of Photography for GEO magazine, Ruth Eichhorn.

Student Focus is the world’s largest student photography programme and competition. Two hundred and thirty universities from across the world take part involving over 20,000 students. The 2013 Student Focus competition is now open for entries. Further details can be found at

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For press enquiries, interviews and images please contact:
Jill Cotton at World Photography Organisation
+44 (0) 20 7886 3146/ + 44 (0)7557 261 537 /