Exclusive: "I let the migrants make their own photographs" says winner of Sony World Photo Awards

Sony World Photography Awards
(Image credit: © Adam Ferguson, Australia, Photographer of the Year, Professional, Portraiture, 2022 Sony World Photography Awards)

The overall winner of the Sony World Photo Awards is perhaps one of the most radical yet, since Adam Ferguson didn’t actually take the photos. Instead, the Australian photographer stepped back from the camera, allowing his subjects to be the agents of their own portraits, and in doing so created a series of images that truly speak of the people who appear in them.

'Migrantes' is a series of black-and-white self-portraits of migrants in Mexico as they wait to cross the border into the Unites States. Taken on a medium format film camera set up on a tripod, these powerful images differ from everything else in the exhibition due to the way they’re shot. By removing himself as the image director and giving his subjects a cable release to take the photo when they're ready, Adam has given the power of representation back to the people whose stories he is sharing. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.