World Photography Organisation

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The World Photography Organisation (WPO) is an international organisation which manages various initiatives for amateur and professional photographers. Incorporated as World Photography Awards Limited, the organisation hosts the annual Sony World Photography Awards and the subsequent World Photography Festival, exhibiting the work of winning photographers in each category. Sponsored by Sony, the awards took place in Cannes since 2008 and moved to London in 2011.

Other programmes include; the World Photography Student Focus Competition; Photo Shanghai; the World Photography Festival, the World Photography Collection and the World Photography Focus Programme.

World Photography Awards[edit]

The World Photography Awards are organised annually by WPO. They were launched in 2008[1] and are currently sponsored by Sony. The competition has three entry levels; Student, Open and Professional, each with a number of subcategories.

The overall winner of the Professional category is awarded with the Iris d'Or, a cash prize and the title "Sony World Photographer of the Year" at the Awards ceremony which takes place in London. The award ceremony is part of the larger World Photography Festival and features exhibitions, workshops, portfolio review, student programmes and talks from World Photographic Academy members, culminating in the award ceremony.

An exhibition of winners is held at Somerset House in London.[2]

Focus programme[edit]

The annual Focus Award, organised by the WPO, is dedicated to using photography in order to raise awareness on a particular global issue. Each year the WPO combines with a different international charity. Previous Focus Award charities have included UNICEF and the Prince's Rainforests Project.

World Photographic Academy[edit]

Formed in 2007, the World Photographic Academy members are respected industry leaders from across the world.

Members of the academy endorse the World Photography Organisation, its values and objectives. The first member was photojournalist Tom Stoddart. Membership is by invitation from WPO and/or referral from existing Academy members. Academy members form the judging committees for the World Photography Awards and advise upon the future of the organisation.[3]

Notable members of the World Photographic Academy[edit]

Members include some of the world’s leading photographers, gallery owners, picture editors, photographic foundations, agents, managers, publishers and other respected industry members. The members form part of the judging committees each year for the World Photography Awards. Membership is granted by invitation from the organisation and/or by referral from an existing academy member.

Living members
Deceased or former members


World Photography Organisation Academy Members


  1. ^ "About the Awards", World Photography Organisation. Accessed 27 July 2014.
  2. ^ Sony World Photography Awards Winners Showcased at Somerset House
  3. ^ The World Photographic Academy
  4. ^ "Sony World Photography Awards 2012 L'Iris d'Or and Winners Announced". Latest News & Features. World Photography Organisation. April 26, 2012. [self-published source?]

External links[edit]