Shortlist revealed for 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s biggest photography competition


Shortlist revealed for 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s biggest photography competition

  • Record number of entries – 230,103 images, 33% increase on 2015
  • Entries from 186 countries – the most in the awards’ history
  • Over 1 million images entered since launch in 2007
  • Images to be shown at Somerset House, London 22nd April – 8th May
  • Overall winners revealed 21st April

«I was moved by the depth of passion and commitment the photographers show to society through their work» – Dominique Green, Chair, Documentary Jury

The 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s biggest photography competition, organised by the World Photography Organisation, today announces the shortlists for its Professional, Open and Youth competitions.

This year’s shortlist is defined by its sheer internationality, with over 270 photographers from nearly 60 countries being represented, the most in the awards’ nine-year history. Also significant was the substantial growth in the Professional competition, with entries up 45% on 2015.

A record-breaking 230,103 images were entered into the Professional, Open and Youth competitions from 186 countries. The total number of entries received by the Sony World Photography Awards since its launch has now surpassed 1 million images, reinforcing the awards’ position as one of the most respected and influential photography competitions in the world.

Recognising the best contemporary photography from 2015, the Honorary Jury, chaired by Dominque Green (Consultant, UK) and Sue Steward (Writer/ Curator, UK), have identified exceptional work by both emerging talent and seasoned photographers from all corners of the world.

Originality and a strong sense of empathy stood out for the judges across the shortlist. From the thousands of submissions, subtle themes also appeared for the judges – the delicate handling of intimate, private moments by photographers; the capturing of the major public stories dominating the news, from the conflict in the Ukraine to the endless lines of refuges in search of a better life in Europe; and the use of new technology to create work, including drone and underwater photography.

Included on the 2016 shortlist are those familiar to the awards: Christian Aslund (Sweden, winner 2013); Ed Kashi (United States, shortlist, 2013); David Chancellor (United Kingdom, shortlist 2011 and 2nd place 2012); Espen Rasmussen (Norway, shortlist 2010 and 2011); Jonathan Carvajal (Colombia, shortlist, 2015); Julia Fullerton-Batten (United Kingdom, shortlisted 2015); Ruben Salgado Escudero (Spain, winner 2015) and Fan Li (China, winner 2015).

All shortlisted photographers across the three competitions are listed below.

Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards comments: “We are extremely pleased with our jurors’ choices this year. Despite the increase in the number of photographers, and the amount of imagery that required judging, this year above all others we have witnessed a wealth of powerful imagery in the traditionally strong social documentary categories as well as the art and conceptual work. It is wonderful for the medium that it can offer such rich diversity.»

Those in the awards’ Professional categories will now compete for a $25,000 prize and the L’Iris d’Or/ Photographer of the Year title. The recipient, along with the winners of the Professional categories, overall Youth and Student winners plus the Open Photographer of the Year, who receives a $5,000 prize, will all be announced at the Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony in London Thursday 21st April. All winners will receive the latest digital imaging equipment from Sony.

The winning and shortlisted images will go on show at Somerset House, London from 22nd April – 8th May and published in the 2016 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book. To book your exhibition ticket, please visit:

The exhibition will also include the first major European exhibition of the artistic duo and fine art photographers RongRong & inri, recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award. RongRong (China) & inri (Japan) have shaped contemporary photography in Asia and are being recognised for both their careers as artists and their significant impact on Asian photography. The exhibition will include new works from their critically acclaimed series Tsumari Story.

• If using on social media please #SWPA and tag @WorldPhotoOrg

For further information please contact:
Jill Cotton, Senior Press Manager / Kristine Bjørge, PR Manager
press / +44 (0) 20 7886 3043

Shortlist revealed for 2016 Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s biggest photography competition

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