World Press Photo

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World Press Photo
Founded1955; 68 years ago (1955)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Area served
MethodNonviolence, Funding, Contest, Education
Key people
His Royal Highness Prince Constantijn of the Netherlands (Patron), Pieter Broertjes, former editor-in-chief de Volkskrant

World Press Photo Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Founded in 1955, the organization is known for holding an annual press photography contest. Since 2011, World Press Photo has organized a separate annual contest for journalistic multimedia productions, and, in association with Human Rights Watch, the annual Tim Hetherington Grant.


A primary objective of the organization is to support professional photojournalism on a wide international scale through the World Press Photo Academy. It aims to stimulate developments in photojournalism, encourage the transfer of knowledge, help develop high professional standards in visual journalism and promote a free and unrestricted exchange of information. It organizes a number of educational projects throughout the world: seminars, workshops and the annual Joop Swart Masterclass.

Award ceremony[edit]

An annual awards ceremony is held in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam. After the contest, the prizewinning photographs are assembled into a travelling exhibition. A yearbook presenting all prizewinning entries is published annually in six languages.

In addition to selecting the World Press Photo of the Year, the contest determines winners in the following other categories: Spot News, General News, People, Sports, Contemporary Issues, Daily Life, Portraits and Nature.

Recent winners[edit]

World Press Photo Exhibition in Amsterdam, May 2013

New York-based photographer Spencer Platt of Getty Images won in 2006. His picture showed a group of young Lebanese driving through a South Beirut neighborhood devastated by Israeli bombings. The picture was taken on 15 August 2006, the first day of the ceasefire between Israel and Hezbollah when thousands of Lebanese started returning to their homes.

In 2007, a total of 4,460 professional photographers from 124 countries entered 78,083 images in the competition. The winner was the British photographer Tim Hetherington.

In 2008, Anthony Suau, of USA, won the World Press Photo of the Year for the second time (the first was in 1987).

Amit Sha'al of Israel won third prize in 2011 in the category of Arts and Entertainment: Stories.[1] During an exhibit in Lebanon that year, World Press Photo was asked to remove Sha'al's photos because, according to the General Security Directorate, Lebanon and Israel were "in a state of war."[2] WPP refused to censor the Israeli artist and shut down the exhibit ten days ahead of schedule.[3]


In November 2017, the World Press Photo Foundation held its largest US exhibition ever, in Washington, DC's Dupont Circle's Dupont Underground art space.[4]

Joop Swart Masterclass[edit]

Since 1994 World Press Photo has organised the Joop Swart Masterclass, where photojournalists who are considered notable are selected to mentor a group of young photographers.[5]


  1. ^ Laurent, Olivier (22 May 2011). "Protests force World Press Photo shutdown in Beirut". British Journal of Photography. Retrieved 23 May 2011. At the centre of the controversy are Amit Sha'al's project A Journey Through Time and Place, which is a series of archive photos set against their present-day backdrops in Israel (the images can be seen on the World Press Photo website). The series won 3rd prize in the Arts and Entertainment category.
  2. ^ "Show Ends After Lebanon Bars Israeli". The New York Times. Beirut. Associated Press. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011. A Lebanese security official said the General Security Directorate ordered the organizers to remove the work of Amit Shaal because he is Israeli. Speaking on condition of anonymity, he noted by way of explanation that the two nations were 'in a state of war.'
  3. ^ Gregoire, Antonin (23 May 2011). "World Press Photo exhibit in Beirut forced to close over censorship". Retrieved 23 May 2011. 'For a week it was no problem and then someone noticed that he is an Israeli photographer,' said to AP Erik de Kruijf, project manager for the exhibition. He said the Netherland based organisation preferred to shut down the whole exhibit ten days prior to the end rather than removing the work of one of the artists. 'We cannot allow censorship of any kind so that's why we decided to take everything down.'
  4. ^ "Dupont Underground debuts World Press Photo exhibition". 7 November 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  5. ^ "The Joop Swart Masterclass". World Press Photo. Retrieved 26 March 2016.

External links[edit]