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Sony World Photo Awards intros new categories

The World Photography Organisation has announced submissions for the 14th edition of the Sony World Photography Awards are now open, with new categories and application features.

Created by the World Photography Organisation, the Sony World Photography Awards celebrate the best contemporary photography from the past year, and give vast exposure and opportunity to photographers.

Entry to the Awards is completely free and photographers are judged anonymously by a panel of industry-leading judges. For the first time this year, photographers are able to register themselves in the competition using their Facebook, Weibo or Google accounts, and upload images via Instagram.

Photographers worldwide are invited to submit to the Awards’ four competitions: Professional, outstanding bodies of work between 5-10 images across ten categories; Open, rewarding the world’s best single images across ten categories, Youth, a monthly brief for emerging talent aged 12-19, and Student, for photography students across the globe. The National Awards program will also reward local photographic talent.

New Categories

The 2021 Awards introduces new categories across the Professional, Youth and Open competitions and a refreshed theme for the Student competition. In choosing these new categories, the Awards hopes to continue appealing to a diverse range of contemporary photographers. 

In the Professional competition a new category for single images is introduced titled Portfolio in which photographers are requested to submit 5-10 images not related to each other in subject matter or narrative but where the photographer’s quality and technical skills are evident and consistent throughout. The Architecture category has also been expanded to include Design giving photographers the option to showcase exteriors and urban landscapes alongside interiors with an architectural approach.

In the Open competition two new categories have been introduced: Lifestyle and Object. Lifestyle will feature editorial, fashion or family images of people in situations or events taken in an artistic manner while Object will present images depicting inanimate subject matters. This can include photography for commercial and advertising purposes but must show the photographer’s artistic approach.

In the Youth competition monthly themes have all been updated to include the following:

  • Composition and Design (July)
  • Culture (August)
  • Natural World & Wildlife (September)
  • Street Life (October)
  • People  (November)
  • Show Us Your World (December)

For the first brief in the Student competition entrants will be asked to submit images under the theme of Building a Better Future which showcases the stories of people who are working towards creating a better future for all.

Full competition and categories descriptions can be found at

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