The World Photography Organisation has announced new categories across the Professional, Youth and Open competitions and a refreshed theme for the Student competition.

The Professional competition introduces a new category for single images 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 (for editorial, fashion or family images of people in situations or events taken in an artistic manner) and Object (for images depicting inanimate subjects). 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 Composition and Design (July), Culture (August), Natural World & Wildlife (September), Street Life (October), People (November) and Show Us Your World (December). The Sony World Photography Awards is open to submissions from 1 July 2020. Full competition and categories descriptions can be found here.

The judging panel has been announced and will consist of the following:
Professional Competition: Mike Trow, Independent Curator and Photo Editor and Chair of the Jury; Natasha Egan, Executive Director, Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College Chicago (MoCP); Sunyoung Kim, Curator, Museum of Photography Seoul, South Korea; Azu Nwagbogu, Founder and Director, African Artists Foundation; Lindsay Taylor, Curator, University of Salford Art Collection; and Hannah Watson, Director, Trolley Books and TJ Boulting.
Open and Youth Competition: Gastón Deleau, Director, FOLA, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Student Competition: Kate Simpson, Assistant Editor, Aesthetica Magazine.

Deadlines for submission across the Awards’ four competitions are:
Professional: 14 January 2021
Open: 7 January 2021
Youth: each monthly theme will run from the first day of the month to the last (1 July – 31 December 2021).
Student: 30 November 2020 (first brief)

All category winners of the Professional, Open, Youth and Student competitions receive digital imaging equipment from Sony. In addition, cash prizes of $25,000 (USD) are presented to the Photographer of the Year and $5,000 (USD) to the Open Photographer of the Year. All winning and shortlisted photographers’ works are exhibited at the annual Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition in London and toured internationally. The winning images are also published in the annual Awards’ book.