The Joop Swart Masterclass

The Joop Swart Masterclass has been organized by World Press Photo every year since 1994 and has established itself as one of the most prestigious events of its kind.

Its goal is to bring together some of the most experienced individuals in photojournalism with 12 young, promising photographers to share and pass on their knowledge and experience.

Top of photography

Since its beginning, the masterclass has shown that its participants are destined to be the best of the best. Our objective is to help them progress on the road toward professional maturity in terms of both theory and practice. The Joop Swart Masterclass is named after World Press Photo's late chairman, who was a passionate supporter of young photographic talent.


Each year a group of nominators select candidates for the masterclass from all over the world. These candidates are then invited to submit a portfolio of their work and, in the spring, an independent committee selects 12 participants based on the submitted portfolios. Find out more about the nomination process and applying for the Joop Swart Masterclass.

As part of their preparations for the masterclass in September, the photographers are required to produce a photo essay on a given theme. The masterclass curriculum includes lectures by five masters on subjects relating to their professional background. Individual portfolio reviews serve to evaluate the participants’ work and to discuss their working methods. The material prepared on the chosen theme, the ideas behind it and its presentation are discussed.