2014 Sony World Photography Awards L’Iris d’Or and competition winners revealed

  • American photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz wins L’Iris d’Or and $25,000 prize
  • Professional category winners announced
  • Chen Li, China, named Open Photographer of the Year
  • Mary Ellen Mark receives Outstanding Contribution to Photography award
  • British student wins Student Focus and German photographer collects Youth Award
  • Winners of KKF Book Awards for Best Photography and Moving Image Books revealed

Thirty-one year-old American photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz is the winner of the 2014 L’Iris d’Or, Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year award. Beating over 139,554 entries from 166 countries, this represents the highest number of entries in the awards’ seven year history. The photographer collected her award – Sony digital imaging equipment and $25,000 (USD) prize money – at the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony held in London last night.

2014 Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA) LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 30: Winner of the L'Iris d'Or award Sara Naomi Lewkowicz and award presenter Masaru Tamagawa, President Sony Europe during the 2014 Sony World Photography awards (SWPA) at the London Hilton on April 30, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for World Photography Organisation)

2014 Sony World Photography Awards (SWPA)
LONDON, ENGLAND – APRIL 30: Winner of the L’Iris d’Or award Sara Naomi Lewkowicz and award presenter Masaru Tamagawa, President Sony Europe during the 2014 Sony World Photography awards (SWPA) at the London Hilton on April 30, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images for World Photography Organisation)

The judges voted unanimously for Lewkowicz’s hard-hitting series, ‘Shane and Maggie’, – an intimate examination of domestic violence as a process – as this year’s winner. Through her project, Lewkowicz seeks to take a deeper, unflinching look at domestic abuse as a process as opposed to a single incident.  She examines how a pattern of abuse develops and eventually crests, as well as its short and long-term after-effects on victims, their families, and their abusers. The story is inescapable; horrific and tender, fierce and unfathomable, luridly colored.

One month into their courtship, Shane had Maggie's name tattooed on his neck in large black letters.

‘Shane and Maggie’, – an intimate examination of domestic violence as a process: One month into their courtship, Shane had Maggie’s name tattooed on his neck in large black letters.


Talking about her win, Lewkowicz comments: ”I’m completely stunned; there was such extraordinarily strong work, I figured there was no way I would win – I was just excited to receive one award! I am completely overwhelmed

Chen_Li_China_Winner_Open_Travel_2014

‘Rain in an ancient town’ by Chinese amateur photographer Chen Li was announced as the Open Photographer of the Year at this year’s Awards

Talking about the winning series, jury chair, W.M. Hunt commented: “Vibrating colour, crackling, dramatic and full of impact, intimate and unsettlingly provocative.”

Lewkowicz is a native New Yorker pursuing a master’s degree in visual communication from Ohio University in Athens. She received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Carolina. Her work has been published in publications such as Time Magazine, Stern and Days Japan. She has won several grants and awards, including the 2013 Alexia Student Grant, first place in the Contemporary Issues Category for World Press Photo and the 2013 Ville de Perpignan Remi Ochlik Award. She has been named the 2013 College Photographer of the Year by COPY and other awards and honours include POYi, Days Japan, the World Report Award by Festival for Ethical Photography in Italy and numerous others.

Chosen by our esteemed Honorary Judging Committee, the L’Iris d’Or – the competition’s most distinguished award – is presented to one single photographer whose work represents the pinnacle of the entries received. The photographer is chosen from within the first place winner of all the professional categories. The L’Iris d’Or winning series of work, alongside those of the other winners announced tonight at the awards, will be displayed as part of the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition at Somerset House from 1 – 18 May. The images will also be published in the 2014 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book.

Open Photographer of the Year – Chen Li, China
Chinese amateur photographer Chen Li was announced as the Open Photographer of the Year at this year’s Awards. Chen Li’s winning image, ‘Rain in an ancient town’, was selected from over 65,000 entries from across the world in a competition that sought to find the world’s single best image taken by an amateur photographer or photography enthusiast. Chen Li, who lives in Fenghuang County, Hunan Province, has been a keen amateur photographer for over 30 years. 

Professional category winners and finalists
The winners, plus the 2nd and 3rd placed photographers of the Professional competition, were also revealed at the awards ceremony. The Professional winners were flown to London to collect their award.

The wining series of works showcase the very best in international contemporary photography – from still life and architectural images forcing the viewer to find something surprising within the everyday – to witty images of wet dogs. The winners are:

Echangeur de la Porte de la chapelle, Boulevard Périphérique de Paris. 100x100 cm en 15 exemplaires.

Echangeur de la Porte de la chapelle, Boulevard Périphérique de Paris. 100×100 cm en 15 exemplaires.

•    Architecture  – Ludovic Maillard, France
•    Arts and Culture – Viviana Peretti, Italy
•    Campaign – Spencer Murphy, UK

Channel 4 Racing - The Original Extreme Sport: A series of portraits of jump jockeys post race, showing the extremes the jockeys go to in pursuit of their sport. To illustrate a campaign entitled - The Original Extreme Sport

Channel 4 Racing – The Original Extreme Sport: A series of portraits of jump jockeys post race, showing the extremes the jockeys go to in pursuit of their sport. To illustrate a campaign entitled – The Original Extreme Sport

•    Conceptual – Thomas Brummett, US
•    Contemporary Issues – Sara Naomi Lewkowicz, US
•    Current Affairs – Guy Martin, UK
•    Landscape – Roei Greenberg, Israel
•    Lifestyle – Myriam Meloni, Italy
•    Nature & Wildlife – Michael Nichols, US

The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion: We habituated the Vumbi pride to a remote-controlled toy camera car and were able to make very intimate ground-level images. This gave a dignified insight into lion social behavior. The fragile car would morph into a rugged robot tank as the assignment continued.

The Short Happy Life of a Serengeti Lion: We habituated the Vumbi pride to a remote-controlled toy camera car and were able to make very intimate ground-level images. This gave a dignified insight into lion social behavior. The fragile car would morph into a rugged robot tank as the assignment continued.

•    People – Mario Wezel, Germany
•    Portraiture – Sophie Gamand, France
•    Sport – Salvatore Di Gregorio, Italy
•    Still Life – Amanda Harman, UK
•    Travel – Ricardo Teles, Brazil

The World Photography Organisation (WPO) supports professional, amateur and young photographers, lending a global platform for the photographic industry to communicate, converge and showcase current trends across all genres of photography. Delivering various initiatives to this global community, these programmes involve the photographer in commercial, cultural and educational activities within the many industry sectors, whilst also creating events for the public to participate in. Currently included within the WPO portfolio are: the Sony World Photography Awards; the World Photography Student Focus Competition and Youth on Assignment. In addition the WPO have recently launched Photo Shanghai, Asia-Pacific’s premiere international Art Fair focused on photography and The Magazine, a monthly online publication where photography is explored, debated and discussed.  WPO also has a thriving online presence via its website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and engages its online audience via regular PhotoTALK discussions. For more information please visit worldphoto.org