Vanessa Winships winning entry, Sweet Nothing.
Vanessa Winship from United Kingdom has been named Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year, revealed at the VIP Gala Awards ceremony in Cannes. Her entry in the Portraiture category has beaten thousands of submissions to win the esteemed title, accompanied by a $25,000 cash prize.
The final decision was made just hours before the ceremony by the Honorary Board, some of the industry's highest regarded members, including Nan Goldin, Bruce Davidson, Tom Stoddart, Elliott Erwitt and Martine Franck.
Over the past weeks they have been deliberating upon the professional photographers' shortlist, chosen by the World Photographic Academy, and had a final meeting the day of the Awards to agree their decision.
Vanessa Winship said, "Many, many thanks, and these are actually for the little girls of Eastern Turkey."
Vanessa Winship received her award from Honorary Board Member Elliott Erwitt at the Palais des Festivals in front of an audience of 700 VIPs and industry leaders. The eleven professional category winners spanning eight countries also collected their awards and Arup Ghosh, the overall amateur winner was applauded by the audience though was unfortunately unable to attend the ceremony.
Phil Stern was awarded the Legacy award for his outstanding contribution to the industry. He said on receiving the award, "It is very flattering to have been chosen to receive this award. May I thank everyone who made this decision, and long may the awards continue."
The Awards ceremony is the finale in a series of events in Cannes over the last few days, based on the theme of Legacy.
Focusing on the past, present and future of photography, this has included the Sony Legacy Exhibition, curated by Magnum Photos; a photography summit to discuss the latest industry issues; and University Shoot Out, a student initiative to support the future generation of photographers.
James Kennedy, General Manager Marketing Communications, Sony Digital Imaging Europe said, "The Awards really are a showcase for the photographic industry at its highest level. It has been wonderful to be part of an event that brings together such phenomenal talent." Founder of World Photography Awards Scott Gray added, "This event is the culmination of what has been a fantastic first year for the Sony World Photography Awards. We thank everyone who entered and look forward to the second year already."
Professional Category Winners
- Abstract - Anita Cruz-Eberhard (United States)
- Advertising - Fabrizio Cestari (Italy)
- Architectural - Livia Corona (Mexico)
- Fashion - Valeska Achenbach and Isabela Pacini (Germany)
- Music/Performance - Eduard Meltzer (Switzerland)
- Nature - Giacomo Brunelli (Italy)
- Nude - Natalie Bothur - (Germany)
- Photojournalism/Documentary - Moises Saman (United States)
- Portraiture - Vanessa Winship (United Kingdom)
- Science - Thomas Deerinck (United States)
- Sport - Robin Utrecht (Netherlands)
The 2008 World Photography Competition will be open for entries in 2008. Further details can be found on the website.