Grand prize winners announced for the world’s largest photography competition – 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Grand prize winners announced for the world’s largest
photography competition –

2016 Sony World Photography Awards
  • Iranian photographer Asghar Khamseh wins L’Iris d’Or Photographer of the Year and $25,000 prize for powerful portraits of acid attack victims
  • Kei Nomiyama, Japan, wins Open Photographer of the Year for best single shot
  • Fourteen Professional category winners announced
  • RongRong & inri honoured with Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize
  • Winners selected from a record-breaking 230,103 entries from 186 countries
  • All winners and shortlist to be exhibited at Somerset House, London 22 April – 8 May
“The Jury were united in their admiration of the Photographer of the Year’s
work and the light it sheds on the tragic practice it exposes.”
Dominique Green, Chair, Documentary Jury

The overall winners of the world’s largest photography competition, the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, are named today by the World Photography Organisation. An exhibition of all the winning and shortlisted work will run at Somerset House, London from 22nd April – 8th May.

Following a record-breaking 230,103 submissions to its ninth edition, the awards’ Honorary Judging Committee has selected Iranian photojournalist Asghar Khamseh as the recipient of its most coveted prize, the L’Iris d’Or Photographer of the Year.

Chosen from the winners of the awards’ fourteen Professional categories, the winning work, ‘Fire of Hatred’, is a powerful portrait series tackling the social issues around the violent act of acid throwing. Khamseh was announced as the winner of the $25,000 (USD) prize at an awards ceremony in London in front of industry leaders. The winners and finalists of all fourteen Professional categories were also announced at the ceremony.

At the ceremony, the World Photography Organisation announced Kei Nomiyama, Japan, as the Open Photographer of the Year and recipient of $5,000 (USD). In addition, the organisation announced the winners of the Youth and Student Focus Photographer of the Year titles. All winners of the night received the latest Sony digital imaging equipment.

Scott Gray, CEO, World Photography Organisation comments: “The awards consistently provide an incredible array of work, from a multitude of countries, and most importantly provide the chance for photographers to be discovered and extend their careers. I hope that the winning work this year can provide an inspiration to other photographers, helping to push their creative boundaries, whilst also serving to build the wider appreciation of photography.”

The Sony World Photography Awards annually recognises the world’s best photography. Free to enter and open to all photographers, the awards are an authoritative voice in the photographic industry that has the power to shape the careers of its winning and shortlisted photographers.

Born in Tehran in 1963, Asghar Khamseh is a photojournalist with Mehr News Agency, Iran, whose work focuses on social issues. The winning series ‘Fire of Hatred’ is a powerful series of portraits of the victims of acid attacks. This beautiful yet thought-provoking work examines the social issues around this violent crime.

The winners of the seven Documentary and seven Art categories hail from 10 countries and, for the first time, two Professional categories have been won by one photographer in the same year. Photographers were judged on a body of work.


  • Architecture winner: Amélie Labourdette, France
    2nd – Hui Zhang, China / 3rd – Stephan Zirwes, Germany
  • Candid winner – Kirstin Schmitt, Germany
    2nd – Nick Ng, Malaysia / 3rd – Andrea Rossato, Italy
  • Conceptual winner – Julien Mauve, France
    2nd – Alejandro Beltran, Venezuela / 3rd – Barbaros Kayan, Turkey
  • Landscape winner: Maroesjka Lavigne, Belgium
    2nd Maoyuan Cui, China / 3rd Stefan Schlumpf, Switzerland
  • Portraiture winner: Marcello Bonfanti, Italy
    2nd Fauzan Ijazah, Indonesia / 3rd Rubén Salgado Escudero, Spain
  • Staged winner: Alberto Alicata, Italy
    2nd Cristina Vatielli, Italy / 3rd Kristoffer Eliassen, Norway
  • Still Life winner: Francesco Amorosino, Italy
    2nd Oliver Schwarzwald, Germany / 3rd Hiroshi Watanabe, Japan


  • Campaign winner: Jetmir Idrizi, Kosovo
    2nd – David Chancellor, UK / 3rd – Antoine Repessé, France
  • Contemporary Issues winner – Asghar Khamseh, Iran
    2nd – Kevin Frayer, Canada / 3rd – Simona Ghizzoni, Italy
  • Current Affairs winner – Angelos Tzortzinis, Greece
    2nd – Andrea and Magda, Italy & France / 3rd – Andrew Burton, USA
  • Daily Life winner: Espen Rasmussen, Norway
    2nd Sandra Hoyn, Germany / 3rd Stephanie Sinclair, USA
  • Environment winner: Kevin Frayer, Canada
    2nd Li Feng, China / 3rd Lucy Nicholson, UK
  • People winner: Kevin Frayer, Canada
    2nd Filippo Venturi, Italy / 3rd Alessandro D’Angelo, Italy
  • Sport winner: Nikolai Linares, Denmark
    2nd Jens Juul, Denmark / 3rd Annick Donkers, Belgium

Kei Nomiyama’s image “Enchanted Bamboo Forest”, which captures Luciola parvula firefly in Japan, was selected as the single best image in the world. The photographer was awarded $5,000 (USD) at the London ceremony.

A beautiful portrait of the photographer’s sister won 18 year old student Sam Delaware from Maine, United States, the Youth Photographer of the Year title. The Youth competition was open to photographers aged 12-19.

Sofia Jern, aged 23 of Novia University of Applied Sciences, Finland, secured the Student Focus Photographer of the Year title. She collected €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for her university at the awards ceremony in London.

RongRong & inri, the influential fine art photographic husband and wife team collected their Outstanding Contribution to Photography prize at the London awards ceremony. They were recognised by the World Photography Organisation for both their careers as artists and their significant impact on Asian photography.

All the winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited at Somerset House, London from 22nd April – 8th May. The exhibition is accompanied by a book of the winning and selected shortlisted works, available to buy from

Grand prize winners announced for the world’s largest photography competition – 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

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