The World Press Photo Foundation


The World Press Photo Foundation is a major force in developing and promoting the work of visual journalists, with a range of activities and initiatives that span the globe.

The annual contest is one of the most prestigious awards in photojournalism and multimedia storytelling. The exhibition it produces is seen by four million people worldwide each year, and our communications, education, research and training programs reach many more. We work to develop and promote quality visual journalism because people deserve to see their world and express themselves freely. Freedom of information, freedom of inquiry and freedom of speech are more important than ever, and quality visual journalism is essential for the reporting that makes these freedoms possible.

As a charitable and non-profit organization, the World Press Photo Foundation inspires, educates, engages and supports visual storytellers. We provide insight into new developments through research, trend watching and publications that encourage debate and increase understanding about the challenges facing visual journalism.

Ton Koene


Ton Koene (48) holds a degree in humanitarian practice from Oxford University. After graduating in 1989, he worked for sixteen years for Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF), primarily as Head of Mission in twelve conflict areas, including Afghanistan, Somalia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Angola and Sudan. He was responsible for all humanitarian operations in these countries.

Koene found himself increasingly drawn to photography and missed creativity in the humanitarian world. In 2006, he resigned from MSF and began working as a freelance photojournalist. He continued traveling to (post-) conflict countries, exchanging the syringe for a camera. His photo documentaries have covered such topics as prostitution in Nigeria, coal mining in Bulgaria, malnutrition in Somalia, genocide in Darfur, and the Inuits of the North Pole. Humanitarianism has always been the main focus of his features.

Koene’s photos have been published in many international magazines and newspapers, and his photo archives are represented by agencies over the world. Since starting as a professional photographer, Koene has produced five photo books and one textbook (about how to survive in dangerous countries).

Koene is an autodidact photographer. In his opinion, a keen eye, a passion for photography and knowing how to deal with people are the most important ingredients for success—technique is overrated.

Since January 2010, Koen has been  based in Afghanistan as a freelance photographer for the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant.

Official Website

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