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Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz wins the 2014 L’iris d’Or


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Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz has won the 2014 L’iris d’Or at the 2014 Sony World Photography Awards exhibition in London, UK, courtesy of a touching series of photos providing an insight into domestic violence.

Sony and the World Photo Organisation have recently announced that the grand winners of the 2014 World Photography Awards competition will be revealed during a gala taking place in London, UK.

The gala has taken place and the winners are now official. The most important prize of them all, the 2014 L’iris d’Or, has been awarded to photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for a moving photo series called “Shane and Maggie” that delves into the life of a couple plagued by domestic violence.

Additionally, Sony and the WPO have revealed the grand winners of the Open, Youth, and Student categories.

Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz revealed as the winner of the 2014 L’iris d’Or

Usually, the laureate of a photo contest is the photographer who tells a story that touches the hearts of the viewers. Photographer Sara Naomi Lewkowicz has provided a different perspective into domestic violence, which sometimes is treated superficially by the media.

In the digital world, there are many scripted shows that are depicting various social and intimate issues. Unfortunately, when something is real, the one who witnesses the ordeal does not know how to react and will say that “this can’t be real”.

This is the reaction the photographer has had while capturing the “Shane and Maggie” photo series. The situation was real, but it took Sara by surprise as she witnessed it first hand after finding out about it only recently.

The story of “Shane and Maggie” is “both horrific and tender”, the judges said

Sara met Shane and Maggie while working on a Masters projects on how tough it is for people who had been in prison to make “their way back into society”.

Maggie has two children, the first being born when she was 15, while Shane is an ex-convict. One day before the physical assault, Maggie told Sara that she and Shane had been fighting a lot and although he had never hit her, he had pulled her hair and shaken her.

As stated above, one day after the confession, Shane and Maggie have started fighting, shouting heavy words at one another. Eventually, Shane has hit Maggie and the police has been called to put out this domestic conflict.

Everything has happened right in front of the photographer, who has been ignored by the couple. The story of Shane and Maggie is “horrific and tender” as well as an “extraordinarily strong work”. As a result, Sara is the 2014 L’iris d’Or winner, which also includes a prize of about $25,000.

The three other grand winners of the 2014 Sony World Photo competition announced

Three other grand winners have been announced at the 2014 World Photography Awards gala. China-based photographer Chen Li won the 2014 Open Photographer of the Year title, courtesy of a photo showing people passing a bridge made out of stepping stones.

Chen Li has previously won the “People” category of the contest and will add a cash price of about $5,000 to a Sony A6000 mirrorless camera.

Photographer Paulina Metzscher won the 2014 Youth Photographer of the Year title, thanks to a photo of a young girl during a train ride. The photographer has previously won the “Portraits” category of the 2014 SWPA contest.

Last but not least grand winner is photographer Scarlet Evans who is now the 2014 Student Focus Photographer of the Year. She has taken part in this contest on behalf of the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.

The winning image series is called “A Childhood in England” and it has been captured with a Sony A7 full frame mirrorless camera. Scarlet and her college will receive Sony cameras and lenses worth a total of €35,000.

The photos of all winners will be on display at the Somerset House in London, UK until May 18. More details about the exhibition and the winners can be found at the official website of the World Photo Organisation.

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