Sunday 13, December 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: The judges of the ninth edition of the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition organised by the World Photography Organisation (WPO), have been announced today. Comprising respected figures from across the industry, the judges’ role is to uncover and reward the world’s best contemporary photography from 2015.

The 2016 Honorary Jury judging the Professional competition, includes:

  • Art categories: (Chair)  David Campany, writer and curator (UK); Karen Knorr,Photographer and Professor, University for the Creative Arts (US/UK); Jean Jacques Naudet, editorial director, L’Oeil de la Photographie (France); Mariko Takeuchi, photography critic, curator and associate professor of Kyoto University of Art and Design (Japan).
  • Documentary categories: (Chair) Dominique Green, consultant (UK); Emma Lynch, Picture Editor, BBC Global News website (UK); Julien Jourdes, Co-Founder & Coo, (US); Fiona Rogers, Global Business Development Manager, Magnum Photos (UK).

The Open competition will be chaired by Jael Marschner, Group Picture Editor, Time Out (UK) and the Student Focus competition will be judged by Simon Bainbridge, Editor, British Journal of Photography (UK); Mark Murrmann, Photo Editor, Mother Jones (US) and Matthew Tucker, Picture Editor, BuzzFeed UK (UK).

Each year the awarded shortlisted and winning photographers are given global exposure and recognition, and have the opportunity to promote and sell their work via WPO.                           

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 21 April 2016. Prizes include the latest Sony Digital Imaging equipment, inclusion in the 2016 awards’ book plus cash prizes of US$25,000 / AED92,000 for the overall Professional winner and US$5,000/ AED18,000 for the overall Open winner.

All winning and shortlisted images will be exhibited as part of the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition at Somerset House, London from 22 April 2016 – 8 May 2016.

With just three weeks until the close of the awards, photographers of all abilities from around the world are invited to submit their work for free at                 

A selection of entries already received from the Middle East can be found here and include entries from Hamad Alzaabi (UAE) with his image of ‘happiness’1, Fahad Abdualhameid (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) depicting ‘a journey of a boat carrying a group of tourists in Niagra Falls’2 and Mohamed Rady (Egypt) with ‘a portrait of an elderly man’3.

The competition deadlines are:

  • Professional: 12 January 2016 – For serious photographers. 14 categories across two genres judged on a series of work.
  • Open: 5 January 2016 – Open to all. 10 categories judged on a single shot.
  • Youth: 5 January 2016 – For young photographers aged 12-19. Three categories judged on a single image.
  • National Awards: 5 January 2016 – Looking for the best single shot by a local photographer from over 50 countries.  
  • Student Focus: 4 December 2015 – For emerging photographic talent studying any degree level photography course, supported by the British Journal of Photography

The full list of competition categories can be found at

The 2015 Sony World Photography Awards attracted 173,444 entries from 171 countries. The 2015 L’Iris d’Or / Professional Photographer of the Year title was awarded to Getty Images photographer John Moore. The awards’ annual exhibition of the winning and shortlisted works was held at Somerset House, London and saw a record 33,394 visitors.  

Further details about the Sony World Photography Awards and the World Photography Organisation can be found at

An exclusive selection of entries to the 2016 awards is available for publication at

Entry testimonials

“I received tons of press, and worldwide attention. Being able to have that ‘stamp of approval’ from such a prestigious organisation and jury, and from the photography community, was huge for me, from a personal and professional level. By gaining so much added exposure, I met clients, my audience grew exponentially, which led to me signing with a wonderful gallery, and getting many professional gigs.” Sophie Gamand, 2014 Portaiture Photographer of the Year.

German photographer Mario Wezel, who won the Professional People category in 2014, adds: “I met many great people from the industry through the awards and established some good connections. The exposure was also great. What I like about the Sony World Photography Awards is that they are not only for the photography industry itself but also a wider audience that learns to appreciate photography through these awards.”

From the Open competition, 2015 Split Second winner Jaime Massieu from Spain comments: “The Sony World Photography Awards are one of the biggest chances you have to get known. The risk is none and the opportunities are endless. There’s not a single reason not to try.”