Sony World Photography Awards

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Shortlist Revealed For 2016 Sony World Photography Awards,

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   

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

Dubai-UAE: 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 one 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 were four participants from the Middle East: Mohammed Yousef (Kuwait); Nader Saadallah (Egypt); Ahmed Gaber (Egypt); and Armand Tamboly (Egypt).


Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organisation and organiser of the awards commented: “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 (AED 92,000) 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 (AED 18,000) 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.





About World Photography Organisation
The World Photography Organisation is a home where photography is celebrated and the art of the photographer is recognised.  Working with professional, enthusiast and student photographers alike, the World Photography Organisation provides a global platform across the photographic industry to not only to raise the level of conversation around the subject, but to increase awareness and appreciation of this artform.  The World Photography Organisation hosts a year-round portfolio of industry and public events including: the Sony World Photography Awards, the world’s largest photography competition and accompanying global exhibition; the World Photography Organisation Student Focus Programme, inspiring and working with the next generation of photographers, Photo Shanghai, Asia Pacific’s premier art fair dedicated to photography, and Photo San Francisco, America’s new international art fair for contemporary photography. For more information please visit

To book your exhibition ticket, please visit:


About Sony Middle East and Africa:

Sony Middle East and Africa FZE is a 100% subsidiary of Sony Corporation and is the regional headquarters for the Middle East and Africa regions. The company is engaged in the business of Sony Consumer Electronics, Recording Media and Energy, Mobile Electronics (Car Audio) and Computer Entertainment (PlayStation) products in more than 40 countries in the region.


Apart from stock operations in the Jebel Ali Free Zone Establishment in Dubai, Sony Middle East and Africa leads execution of various logistics, sales, marketing, advertising and customer services activities through its business partners and representative offices. A representative office in Kenya and Pakistan, in addition to 262 accredited third party service centers reinforces Sony’s presence in key markets in the region.

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


Sony World Photography Awards forthcoming announcements

  • 1st March – Student Focus shortlist revealed
  • 15th March – National Award winners revealed (best single shot taken by a photographer of that country, 60 countries involved)
  • 29th March – Open and Youth category winners announced
  • 21st April – Professional/Open/Student/Youth Photographers of the Year announced plus Professional category winners
  • 22nd April – 8th May – exhibition at Somerset House, London