SWPA Photographer of the Year 2015

25 April 2015

Competitions, Exhibitions

The Honorary Jury of the world’s largest photography competition has named American photographer John Moore as the 2015 Sony World Photography Awards’ L’Iris d’Or/ Professional Photographer of the Year, amongst other awardees.

Chosen from the winners of the awards’ thirteen professional categories, the winning work “Ebola Crisis Overwhelms Liberian Capital” is a hard-hitting series of images that cut to the heart of this human tragedy.  Moore is a Senior Staff Photographer and Special Correspondent for Getty Images, and his winning photographs have been universally credited for the early exposure of the scale of the Ebola epidemic in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. 

Talking at the awards Moore said: “I collect this award tonight in recognition of all the photographers working in difficult and dangerous places right now, and tomorrow.  I am very grateful to the Liberians who allowed me to photograph them on their most difficult days.  I will always be grateful.”

Moore is based in New York and has photographed in more than 70 countries.  He is a past recipient of the Robert Capa Gold Medal, been named Photographer of the Year by both Pictures of the Year International and the National Press Photographers Association and has been recognised four times by World Press Photo.

The photographer was presented his award along with a $25,000 (USD) cash prize and the latest Sony digital imaging equipment at a gala ceremony held in London attended by photography’s industry leaders. 

In a collective statement, judges Xingxin Guo, Xinhua News Agency Image Centre, China; Jocelyn Bain Hogg, photographer, UK; and Oliver Schmitt, Spiegel Online, Germany, said of the work: John Moore’s photographs of this crisis show in full the brutality of people’s daily lives torn apart by this invisible enemy. However, it is his spirit in the face of such horror that garners praise. His images are intimate and respectful, moving us with their bravery and journalistic integrity. It is a fine and difficult line between images that exploit such a situation, and those that convey the same with heart, compassion and understanding, which this photographer has achieved with unerring skill.  Combine this with an eye for powerful composition and cogent visual narrative, and good documentary photography becomes great.”

The awards’ international judging juries are comprised of esteemed industry experts and the competition offers incredible exposure, credibility and recognition not only to its winners, but also those on its shortlist.  The 2015 awards attracted record-breaking entries, with 173,444 images submitted from 171 countries, confirming its position as the world’s biggest photography competition.

Image: A burial team sprays disinfectant over the body of a woman suspected of dying of Ebola in her home. © John Moore / Getty Images, US, L’Iris d’Or,, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards