Prize money for students and professional photographers offered through the SWPA

The Sony World Photography Awards gathers students and professional photographers who want to showcase their work and get the chance to receive up to $30,000 prize money in the process.

In addition, winning images will be selected, shortlisted, and curated. Once narrowed down, the chosen works will be featured at the prestigious Somerset House, London each Spring as part of the Sony World Photography Awards exhibition.

Application deadlines:

  • OPEN CATEGORY: January 7, 2022 at 13:00 GMT
  • PROFESSIONAL CATEGORY: January 14, 2022 at 13:00 GMT
  • STUDENT CATEGORY: November 30, 2021 at 13:00 GMT
  • YOUTH COMPETITION: Varying. June 30, 2021 (for the month of June)

See some of last year’s overall winners for the Sony World Photography Awards:

  • Wildlife & Nature Professional Photographer Winner: Sony World Photography Awards
  • Sports Professional Photographer Winner: Sony World Photography Awards
  • Youth Photographer of the Year: Sony World Photography Awards
  • Landscape Professional Photographer Winner: Sony World Photography Awards
  • Environment Professional Photographer Winner: Sony World Photography Awards
  • Open Photographer of the Year: Sony World Photography Awards
  • Documentary Professional Photographer Winner: Sony World Photography Awards

About the Sony World Photography Awards

Currently on its 14th year, the Sony World Photography Awards is deemed the largest photography competition. It was first established in 2007 under the World Photography Organization.

The competition has helped support photographers around the world, celebrated and showcased their work, as well as nurtured the medium of photography on a global scale. 

Furthermore, the awards are open to all photographers regardless of experience. Joining the said competition can help kickstart any aspiring photographer’s career through winning or being short-listed.

Prize Money and More Contest Details

The Sony World Photography Awards has four competitions, namely: professional, open, youth, and student. To learn more, please refer below.

Professional Competition

This section rewards the best photo series worldwide. It is open to anyone submitting a series of five to 10 images per category. There are ten diverse categories under the professional competition. In the end, up to seven shortlisted photographers per category and a top three will be awarded.

One overall winner will receive the title of Photographer of the Year along with a $25,000 prize money. On top of this, Sony will be giving the awardee free digital imaging equipment, a certificate and trophy, global press exposure, inclusion and a personal copy of the Sony Photography Awards book, and become part of the World Photography Organization’s online community.

Open Competition

For the Open Competition, Sony rewards the world’s best single images. The floor is open to anyone willing to submit a single image taken this 2021. In the end, 15 lucky photographers will be shortlisted in every 10 diverse categories.

Other than the Open Photographer of the Year title and other perks, the topper will take home $5,000.

Youth Competition

This category has similar rules and benefits to the Open Competition. However, the only difference is that this particular section shall recognize the best single images shot by photographers aged 12-19. Please do note that there are no cash prizes for this particular competition.

Student Competition

The Student Competition of the Sony World Photography Awards provides a platform for photography students worldwide. Anyone aged 18-30 years old may freely take part in the contest.

For this challenge, the students will answer a set brief with five to 10 images.

Eligibility Criteria for Students and Professional Photographers

This opportunity is open to both student and professional photographers globally. There are no restrictions of race and nationality. The general rule that stands is that all submitted images for the competition must have been taken in 2021.

For the individual eligibility rules and criteria of each competition, visit the official Sony World Photography Awards webpage

How to Apply

In order to join the contest, please register via the competition entry platform. The succeeding steps will then be instructed by the award-giving body soon after.


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