As one of the largest photographic events existing today, The Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA), reach far beyond an awards programme for the still image. The SWPA is a convergence of festival events, focused photographic agendas, exhibitions, awards schemes, student programmes and an industry-led gala evening ceremony which marks the pinnacle of the week-long event in April 2009.
The Sony World Photography Awards Gala and central exhibitions that support the awards’ nominees and honourees, occurs once a year in the prestigious Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France. The evening welcomes some of the most influential names in the photography industry, from press and media to gallerists, publishers, agents, critics, aficionados and the renowned artists themselves.
From fine art to applied photography in fashion, advertising and sport to humanistic and documentary photography of people, social, cultural and current affairs to the environmental image of landscape, wildlife and ecology, there are few subjects or genres left undiscovered. The celebration of the still image - its roots, conception, adaptation and continuous evolution - is a constant parallel, unifying all categories of the Sony World Photography Awards.
This impressive union of distinct photographic genres has spurred many of the industry’s elite to actively support the SWPA. A very select group of these heavyweights have been invited to form the World Photographic Academy. To date, close to 100 members from the photographic community belong to this academy, from leading international agencies, guilds, galleries, publishing houses, foundations, press and of course renowned photographers themselves, such as Elliott Erwitt, Tom Stoddart, Susan Meiselas, Stuart Franklin, Mary-Ellen Mark and many more.
Beyond the week-long celebration in Cannes, the Sony World Photography Awards continuously create ways in order to support and further promote its existing industry network, the newly discovered photographers and those studying the craft. These many year-long initiatives include the Student Programme, The Sony World Photography Awards Global Tour and the Online World Photography Awards Magazine, Galleries and Store.