Now in its 14th year, the Awards consist of four competitions: Professional (for photographers entering a body of work or portfolio), Open (for photographers entering a single image), Student (for academic institutions) and Youth (for 12-19 year-olds).
Always free to enter, there is a competition and a category for everyone – from Architecture, Documentary, Landscape, Portraiture, Sport, Street Photography, Wildlife, Travel, Culture and more. New categories for the 2021 Awards include Object and Lifestyle in the Open competition and Portfolio in the Professional competition. The Architecture category in the Professional competition has been expanded to Architecture and Design.
All images are judged by industry experts from across the world, who come together each year in London to reward standout works. A total prize fund of $60,000 (USD) plus the latest Sony digital imaging equipment is shared between the winning photographers.
With the power to kickstart and shape careers, the Awards provide those working in photography a global stage to showcase their work. Previous winning and shortlisted photographers have gone on to be represented by renowned galleries and institutions worldwide, as well as their work being featured in major international publications.
In addition, the Awards recognise the world’s most influential artists working in the medium through the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award; previous recipients include Mary Ellen Mark, Elliott Erwitt, Martin Parr, William Eggleston, Candida Höfer, Nadav Kander and, most recently, Gerhard Steidl.