Think you've got what it takes to win the Sony World Photography Awards? It's calling for entries

The largest photo competition in the world, which pulled in over 227,000 entries from 183 countries last year, has announced the 2018 edition is now open for entries.

The World Photography Awards celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, as well as a decade-long partnership with headline sponsor, Sony. The aim of the awards is to recognize and reward the very best contemporary photography captured over the last 12 months.

Commenting on the Awards’ impact, 2017 Sony World Photography Awards winner Frederik Buyckx said: “Being named Photographer of the Year has given me more exposure than I could ever have imagined.  It has opened lots of new doors but, just as importantly, the award has also encouraged me to keep on working on my personal projects.”

"Being named Photographer of the Year has given me more exposure than I could ever have imagined."

Frederik Buyckx, Sony World Photography

This 2018 edition of the Awards is marked by the introduction of two new categories in the Professional competition, which has been prompted by the changing use of photography.

The new ‘Creative’ and ‘Discovery’ categories are both designed to embrace photographers working at the cutting-edge of the medium, with judges looking to reward originality, experimentation and imagination in these categories.  

The Sony World Photography Awards comprise four competitions:

  • Professional – 10 categories judged upon a body of work (5-10 images)
  • Open – best single images across 10 categories
  • Youth - photographers aged 12-19 responding to a brief with a single image
  • Student Focus – for those studying photography

New Sony Grant to fund photographic projects

There's also a new grant programme for those participating in the Professional and Student Focus competitions that has been introduced this year.

From the winners of the 2018 Professional categories, Sony will award multiple grants of $7,000 (USD) to selected photographers to pursue photographic projects of their choice.

In addition, shortlisted photographers from the Student Focus competition will each be given $3,500 to work together on a new photographic commission set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation.


So what do you win? First up, all category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions will receive some digital imaging equipment from Sony.

As well as this, there's a cash prize of $25,000 that will be presented to the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 to the overall Open competition winner.

Finally, all category winners plus many of the shortlisted Awards photographers will be exhibited at the annual Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London and then toured internationally. 

You can see the full category list, how to enter and competition deadlines by heading to the Sony World Photography Awards website.

Phil Hall

Phil Hall is an experienced writer and editor having worked on some of the largest photography magazines in the UK, and now edit the photography channel of TechRadar, the UK's biggest tech website and one of the largest in the world. He has also worked on numerous commercial projects, including working with manufacturers like Nikon and Fujifilm on bespoke printed and online camera guides, as well as writing technique blogs and copy for the John Lewis Technology guide.