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Sony World Photography Awards Honors Outstanding Contributions To Photography

The annual competition celebrates the work of the finest photographers anywhere—and we can all enter the competition
Sony World Photography Awards

The Sony World Photography Awards has long honored the work of outstanding photographers across the globe, including some of the most prominent and acclaimed artists working today. Its competition is also open to you and me—from students and children to working professionals across the globe.

Entries are being accepted now in a number of different competitions and categories. The open competition, for instance, includes 10 single-image categories including Architecture, Portraiture, Motion, Landscape, Natural World, Street Photography and more. The professional competition is for images in a series and includes its own set of similar categories including Environment, Documentary Projects, Portraiture and more.

Awards include cash prizes up to $25,000 as well as a range of Sony cameras and lenses, and even the possibility of an exhibition of your work in London in 2023. Entries are open through the end of the year. Check the website at for details, rules and regulations.

© Tae Young An, Korea, Republic Of, entry, Open Competition, Architecture, 2023 Sony World Photography Awards

While you’re there, take a look at the organization’s newest honoree in the Outstanding Contribution to Photography category. A lifetime achievement award of sorts, this high honor has recently been announced for 2023. And while the photographer may not be a household name in the West, she is most certainly deserving of recognition. She is Japanese photographer Rinko Kawauchi.

Turning small moments into special photographs, Kawauchi makes evocative images of everything from landscapes to portraits, flowers to wildlife—all made from the seemingly insignificant details of everyday life. She personifies the truism about one of photography’s greatest assets—its ability to make the ordinary appear extraordinary.

Taking inspiration from the Shinto religion, which holds that all things—including inanimate objects—are imbued with a spirit, Kawauchi’s photographic projects examine themes of nature and rebirth, as well as the cycle of life and its fragility. The body of work highlighted in the Awards includes images of shimmering reflections, sunlight through trees and hands braiding threads—all delicate images made in the quietest of moments.

© Rinko Kawauchi from her series “Illuminance.”

“This award is recognition of my work and will encourage me in my future activities,” Kawauchi says. “Through my photography, I seek to create works of art that act as a signpost for me to examine more closely the experiences I am living and what I am looking at.” 


By winning the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award, Kawauchi joins an exclusive list of the finest photographers in the world, including William Eggleston, Nadav Kander, Mary Ellen Mark and Edward Burtynsky.

A selection of Kawauchi’s work will be shown at the 2023 exhibition for the Sony World Photography Awards at Somerset House in London next spring, from April 14 to May 1, 2023. And just think, if you enter and win, your work may be shown alongside this world-class photographer’s. 

To learn more and enter the Sony World Photography Awards, visit To see more of Kawauchi’s beautiful photographs, visit her website at

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