U.S. Student Wins Sony World Photo Awards Youth Portraits Title

U.S. Student Wins Sony World Photo Awards Youth Portraits Title

A record-breaking 230,103 entries were submitted to the 2016 awards.


San Diego, CA—A portrait of the photographer’s sister won 18-year-old student Sam Delaware the Youth Portraits category in the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. The 2016 awards received a record-breaking 230,103 images from 186 countries. Delaware’s winning image, Sarah, was entered into the Youth competition of the awards. The category was open to ages 12–19 and judged on a single image.

Sarah, © Sam Delaware, United States, Winner, Youth Competition, Portraiture, 2016 Sony World Photography Awards

Born in Freeport, Maine, Delaware is a self-taught photographer who has been shooting since he was 12. He is currently attending school in Angwin, California.

“After moving to a university across the country, I understood that I’d miss my family; my mother and father, and especially my sister,” Delaware said. “Like so many millions of other young adults around me, I left my family and my home this year for the first time. In an instant, they were no longer a daily part of my life. I wanted to somehow speak to the mixed feelings I was experiencing; excitement, for the life I was about to begin, and nostalgia, for the one I was leaving behind. Traveling back to Maine for a short time allowed me to create this somewhat spontaneous image of my sister. Furthermore, it gave me the opportunity to express this change in the best way I knew how.

“I feel extremely fortunate as well as honored to have been selected by an institution such as the World Photography Organization,” he continued. “As a growing photographer, it’s excellent to have such a platform at my fingertips to share and receive feedback about my work; as well as the opportunity to be recognized in an industry that I love.”

Three Youth Category Winners

Delaware is one of three Youth category winners announced by the awards organizers, the World Photography Organization. All will receive a Sony ɑ7R II camera. They will also have their winning images exhibited at Somerset House in London. The exhibit will run from April 22 to May 8. They will also be published in the 2016 edition of the annual Sony World Photography Awards book.

Delaware will now compete against the two other Youth category winners to win the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards Youth Photographer of the Year title. The overall winner will be announced at a gala in London on April 21, 2016.

“Nurturing young talent is at the heart of the Sony World Photography Awards,” commented Scott Gray, CEO of the World Photography Organization. “We appreciate that a passion for photography often starts at a young age. Additionally, the Youth competition recognizes this next generation of talented young photographers. With the three categories—Culture, Environment and Portraits—the competition provides a global platform on which photographers can grow and flourish into the next stages of their careers.”

The images of all three Youth category winners, plus the winners of the Open competition, can be viewed at worldphoto.org.