Open competition by Sony World Photography Awards

Open competition by Sony World Photography Awards

Deadline: January 14, 2021
Entry Fee: Free
Prizes: $5,000, valuable prizes, publication in the book

Rewarding exceptional standalone images

  • Free to enter and open to anyone submitting single images taken in 2020
  • Ten categories to enter, including two new categories: Lifestyle & Object.
  • Awards for 1st place plus up to 15 shortlisted photographers per category
  • One overall winner selected as Open Photographer of the Year and recipient of the $5,000 (USD) prize
  • Once you enter the Open competition you cannot submit work to the Professional or Youth competitions
  • Please see ‘Rules’ below for full image eligibility criteria
  • Deadline for submissions: January 7, 2021 13:00 GMT

The Open competition celebrates outstanding standalone images from across the world.

Judges are looking for photographs that are striking, well-crafted and of exceptional quality. Successful images will communicate a visual narrative through excellent technical and creative skills. The Open competition aims to uncover images that show the world around us and to give the opportunity to photographers whose work might otherwise never be seen.


  • Architecture
    The photographing of buildings or structures, this can be real or an interpretation of a building but the work must have an intended aesthetic.
  • Creative
    A photograph which uses the medium of photography creatively. Technically manipulated images – such as abstract, panoramic, stitched and composite, amongst others – are welcomed.
  • Motion
    Capturing movement within a single, still image.
  • Landscape
    Your view of the physical world. Open wide to interpretation, this category covers landscapes, mountains, glaciers, plants and more.
  • Lifestyle
    Photographs of people in situations or events. The image should tell the story of the person while documenting the scene in an artistic manner. Images are meant to appear natural but can be directed or shot candidly. Editorial, fashion, family and event photography can all overlap with lifestyle.
  • Natural World & Wildlife
    Images of the natural environment and all within it.
  • Object
    Typically depicting inanimate subject matter, often a group or an arrangement of objects devoid of human presence. This can include photography for commercial and advertising purposes but must show the photographer’s artistic approach.
  • Portraiture
    The photographer should clearly show the expression and emotion of the person / group of people being photographed. Normally the subject is aware that the photograph is being taken and there is a relationship between the sitter and the portrait.
  • Street Photography
    An image that records everyday life in a public space.
  • Travel
    Inspiring images from your travels; the journeys may be close to home or further afield.


  • Open Photographer of the Year receives $5,000 (USD), a range of Sony digital imaging equipment
  • 10 category winners receive a range of Sony digital imaging equipment, publication in Sony World Photography Awards book


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