The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, one of the world’s leading photography competitions, is now accepting entries for its 11th annual competitions.

Next year’s Awards will see the addition of two new categories in the Professional competition: ‘Creative’ and ‘Discovery’, which are designed to embrace photographers working at the cutting-edge of the medium. Judges will specifically look to reward originality, experimentation and imagination in these categories and hope to discover what would otherwise be unseen by the Awards.

The 2018 Awards will also provide an important new opportunity for award-winners in the Professional and Student Focus competitions to secure a grant to fund future photographic projects. From the winners of the 2018 Professional categories, Sony will award multiple grants of $7,000 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 (USD) to work together on a new photographic commission set by Sony and the World Photography Organisation.

The Sony World Photography Awards comprise of four competitions:

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

Entry is free of charge and all category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student Focus competitions will receive digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, cash prizes of US$25,000 will be presented to the Photographer of the Year and US$5,000 to the overall Open competition winner. 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.   The images will also be published in the annual Awards winners’ book and all shortlisted and winning photographers are given global exposure via dedicated marketing and press campaigns.

2018 Key dates

  • December 4, 2017 ““ Student Focus closes
  • January 4, 2018 ““ Open & Youth competitions close
  • January 9, 2018 ““ Professional competitions close
  • February 27, 2018 ““Shortlist announced
  • March 27, 2018 ““ Open and National Awards winners revealed
  • April 19, 2018 ““ Photographer of the Year & Professional category winners announced

The full list of competition categories and descriptions can be found at