Photo Contest

Sustainable Development Goals Student Photo Contest 2017

The United Nations Information Centre, Tokyo (UNIC Tokyo) and Sophia University are, once again, co-organizing the student photo contest on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with special cooperation from Getty Images Japan. The first photo contest was launched in Japan last year, amassing a total of 624 entries from 47 countries as far and wide as Afghanistan and Brazil. We welcome presently enrolled college and university students, graduate students, and vocational school students to apply.

We ask that you choose one or more of the 17 SDGs that interests you most, and express what it means to you through a photo snapshot. We particularly encourage entries that depict elements of SDGs in your own community. A theme pertaining to the SDGs must also exist within your own country. This year, we will be having the TOGETHER Award and the Concept Award as new additions to the list of awards.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):The goals that were formally adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. They consist of 17 goals and aim to bring an end to various forms of poverty, fight against inequality, and deal with climate change as each country establishes specific goals and plans for action. However, achieving the SDGs requires not only action at the national level but also at the individual level. These goals can only be attained when every individual plays his or her part.
Please visit the official website at

Photo Contest Details:

This contest aims to encourage students to “reflect on sustainable development from his or her own perspective, express it through a photo, and share it with others.” We welcome photos that tell a story; they may come in a journalistic form, presenting a clear problem, or may be abstract and creative, representing your ideas and thoughts. What can you do to change the world? How will the SDGs influence the way you think or act? How can you inform your friends, family, and community members of social issues and prompt them to take action? The answers to these questions will become key to achieving the SDGs. We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity and apply.


  • Applicants must be presently enrolled in university – college and undergraduate students, graduate students, or vocational school students (We welcome entries from applicants of any nationality, including those living abroad)
  • Submission of a Student ID or relevant IDs to prove one’s being a student is required at a later point.

Photo Contest Requirements

  • The photo must be an original piece. A modified version of a photo originally taken by another person will not be accepted.
  • The photo must comply with the contest regulations.
  • The size of the photo file be larger than 3MB, smaller than 10MB, and should have a pixel count of 960×720 to 3,500×3,500.
  • The photo must be an unpublished work (i.e. photos that have been submitted to other contests and/or have been published, etc. are not eligible for submission).
  • The photo should not violate the publicity right, privacy right, copyright or any other right of, nor be defamatory to, a third party. Moreover, it must not violate any right or protectable interests of a third party in any manner.

Should a prize-winning photo be found to not meet any of the above-mentioned entry requirements, the winner may be deprived of his or her prize.

Photo Contest Awards (subject to change depending on the content and number of applications):

Grand Prize (Foreign Minister’s Award) for 1 Person

  • Prize Money JPY100,000
  • Nikon D7500 18-140 VR Lens Kit
  • SIGMA 30mm F1.4 DC HSM|Art
  • Goods with UN・SDGs logo
  • Leslie Kee’s Photobook
  • Getty Images’ Photobook

Award of Excellence for 3 Persons

  • Prize Money JPY20,000
  • Nikon D5600 18-140 VR Lens Kit
  • Gift certificate provided by SIGMA (JPY10,000)
  • Goods with UN・SDGs logo
  • Leslie Kee’s Photobook
  • Getty Images’ Photobook

Special Awards:

  • TOGETHER Award for 1 Person
  • 5 printed t-shirts with submitted photograph and TOGETHER logo
  • UNIQLO gift card (JPY5,000)
  • Goods with UN・SDGs logo
  • Leslie Kee’s Photobook

Getty Images’ PhotobookConcept Award for 1 Person

  • Concept Award for 1 Person
  • Membership to iStock, a community of creative photographers worldwide
  • Portfolio review by the Art Directors of Getty Images
  • Goods with UN・SDGs logo
  • Leslie Kee’s Photobook
  • Getty Images’ Photobook

Award of Recognition

  • Goods with UN・SDGs logo
  • Leslie Kee’s Photobook
  • Getty Images’ Photobook

How to Apply

Register just once to enter all the community assignments featured on the Photo Contest website. To register, Click Here

Deadline: Submit your photo(s) by Wednesday 30 August 2017. The announcement of the Photo Contest results and the awards ceremony is scheduled to be held in conjunction with United Nations Day, on 24 October.


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