Student Focus - in partnership with British Journal of Photography

Junee Pioneer Cemetery copy

© James Farley, Charles Sturt University, Australia, Student Focus Finalist, 2015 Sony World Photography Awards

See the Finalists for the 2016 Student Focus.

The World Photography Organisation and British Journal of Photography are pleased to invite registered universities from across the world to submit entries to the 2016 Student Focus competition, one of the world’s leading programmes for photography students. See below for this year’s brief: Millennials.

New this year, British Journal of Photography (BJP), the world's longest running photography magazine, will partner with the World Photography Organisation to deliver the 2016 Student Focus competition. As part of this collaboration, on top of receiving €30,000 worth of Sony photography equipment for his or her university, the winning Student Focus photographer will receive an online feature showcasing a body of work on the BJP website and will have the opportunity to take over the magazine’s Instagram feed for one weekend.

Tutors, to take part in the 2016 Student Focus Award your institution needs to be registered. Please check our list of registered institutions or you can register your institution now.

This year's Judges

Simon BainbridgeSimon Bainbridge
Editor, British Journal of Photography (UK)

Simon Bainbridge has edited British Journal of Photography for the past 12 years, steering the 160-year-old publication away from its uncertain future as a weekly trade magazine into an award-winning monthly that now goes out in print and digital formats, aimed at the international photo community and professionals in the creative industries.

He has co-curated two exhibitions; Paper, Rock, Scissors: The Constructed Image in New British Photography at Flash Forward Festival, Toronto, and Photography Beyond the Decisive Moment at Hereford Photography Festival, and contributes to numerous awards as a judge and nominator.


Mark MurrmannMark Murrmann
Photo Editor, Mother Jones

Mark Murrmann is the photo editor at San Francisco-based Mother Jones magazine, where he has been since 2007. He has worked to expand on Mother Jones' reputation for exceptional documentary photography by pursuing innovative ways to incorporate visual storytelling into the magazine and website. Mark has a background as a music photographer and photojournalist, working as a contract photographer with ZUMA Press and a regular contributor to Hamburger Eyes. He studied at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism.


Matthew Tucker Matthew Tucker
Picture Editor, BuzzFeed UK

Matthew Tucker is the picture editor at BuzzFeed UK. Working with the growing London-based team since 2013, Matthew covers news, entertainment, lifestyle and photo essays, along with original photography and commissions. Before BuzzFeed, Matthew trained as a journalist and worked on the Huffington Post UK picture desk and created online content for BSkyB entertainment shows.

About Student Focus

Student Focus is the World Photography Organisation’s global education programme, offering an international platform to support and connect the next generation of photography talent.

In addition to its annual competition, Student Focus also engages with academic institutions and organises talks, forums, exhibitions, symposiums and portfolio sessions. It also provides news, interviews, tutorials and university profiles to help our global community of budding photographers connect and further their careers.

Each year those recognised by the Student Focus competition are given an unprecedented international spotlight under which their work can be showcased. Many of our past shortlisted and winning photographers have gone on to successful careers in the industry.

“After the awards, coverage for my work vastly improved with work being sold to magazines and private buyers, it's been a great experience and fantastic to display my work to a huge audience.
I would definitely encourage anyone, of any ability, to enter the competition. You don't often find such large competitions with no entry fees, so it's worthwhile as you never know how you will get on. I was not expecting to get as far as I did, so I'm extremely glad I entered!”
- Tom Parker, Southampton Solent University, Shortlist, Student Focus 2015

Key dates:

  • 18th December 2015: Student Focus competition closes

  • 1st March 2016: shortlist revealed

  • 21st April 2016: winner announced at gala ceremony in London

The 2016 Student Focus Brief: Millennials

"53% of of Millennials would rather lose their sense of smell than their technology"

Source: McCann Worldgroup Study "Truth about youth", May 25th 2011

Definition: The term Millennials is usually considered to apply to individuals who reached adulthood around the turn of the 21st century.

Life is different for millennials; technology & social media have changed the way the youth of today interact. Information is instantaneous, easier than ever to find, create, and share. Social upheaval and political change is now possible across the world, in both established and emerging nations, through the power of a single hashtag or tweet.

But technology isn't the be all and end all. The day-to-day has changed too. The very idea of friendship, family and love - the staples of the human condition - is perhaps more different today than ever before.

The youth of today dream and aspire just as their parents and grandparents before them. So what sets them aside? What traits and common characteristics can we recognise in ourselves, our friends and those around us, that speak to the unique times we live in?

For news and updates follow the World Photography Organisation on Facebook and Twitter


Click here if you wish to register your academic institution.

Click here to see the full list of participating institutions.


Student Focus is also pleased to present the latest news, interviews, tutorials, university profiles and more to our global community. Click below to learn more.

 StuDENT FOCUS Uni pod