London, United Kingdom – Sony Ericsson today unveiled the global winners of a worldwide camera phone competition involving a panel of internationally renowned judges.
Ioana Proca, aged 20 from Bacau, Romania beat off tough competition from thousands of entrants in 32* participating countries across Europe, India, Africa, Latin America and Asia, to be crowned the winner of Sony Ericsson Smile Hunter 2009.
Ioana wowed the judging panel with her image entitled simply ‘Smile’ after spending the summer searching for the perfect smile to enter into the competition.
Visitors to the Smile Hunter website were also able to vote for their favourite smile photo to crown the People’s Smile Hunter 2009. Meglena Kolaksuzova, aged 41 from Petrich, Bulgaria was a clear winner after racking up a massive 2,115 votes for her smile image – ‘A Happy Smile’.
Being crowned the global winner of Sony Ericsson Smile Hunter 2009 means Ioana has won an adventure of a lifetime, as she will be jetting off to a selection of the world’s coolest destinations, while the lucky People’s Winner has won a bundle of Sony Ericsson goodies.
Following three successful years of World View with Sony Ericsson – a global imaging campaign which aimed to capture the best camera phone shots from around the world – Sony Ericsson Smile Hunter 2009 has taken the camera phone challenge to the next level. To celebrate Sony Ericsson’s Smile Shutter™ technology, the new photographic project tasked people to capture images of genuine, natural smilesusing a camera phone.
Sony Ericsson’s Smile Shutter™ technology automatically detects a person’s smile and immediately takes the photograph – capturing the perfect smiling-shot every time.
The expert judging panel comprising David Viggers, international photographer, Tony Briggs, celebrity portrait photographer, Martin Wezowski, Creative Producer for Sony Ericsson, Liu Heung Shing, Time magazine’s first photojournalist based in Beijing and Angela Boatwright, New York-based celebrity photographer, had the challenge of selecting the Judges Global Winner of the competition.
Commenting on the winning image, judge David Viggers said: “We have been amazed by the phenomenal standard of images submitted. There have been some really creative entries and it has been a challenge to select just one overall winner, but Ioana’s smile photo really stood out. We chose her image because it captured a lovely, warm spontaneous moment with a strong and lively abstract composition. The cropping adds real dynamics and movement to the whole picture. This shot is spontaneous, playful and youthful.”
Commenting on the winning image, judge Angela Boatwright said: “The subjects are piled up showing a lot of fun energy – both are smiling and one person is cropped out of the shot, which is a more creative way to approach the typical camera phone photo.”
To see the global winner’s images, visit the interactive gallery on the global website: www.sonyericsson.com/smilehunter.
Ioana Mikutza said of winning the competition: “I am delighted to be the Judges Winner of Sony Ericsson Smile Hunter 2009. It is quite a challenge to photograph a genuine, natural smile before it becomes forced and fake, so I am very proud to have captured the winning smile moment.”
Commenting on winning the People’s Vote, Meglena Kolaksuzova, said: “I’m really pleased that my image was so popular with people around the world; it’s incredible to think of the thousands of people that have seen it and voted for it as their favourite. I wanted to capture one of those every day smile moments that we shouldn’t take for granted and it’s spurred me on to keep shooting on my mobile phone.”
Merran Wrigley, VP, Head of External Communications at Sony Ericsson, said: “People smile for many different reasons but genuine smiles are elusive and can disappear as quickly as they appear, making it hard to catch them with a traditional camera. The Sony Ericsson Smile Shutter™ technology makes it even easier to capture the beauty and emotion of a true smile with a camera phone.”
Notes to Editors
*Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malaysia, Morocco, North Africa, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, and United Kingdom.
Sony Ericsson is a top, global industry player with sales of around 97 million phones in 2008. Diversity is one of the core strengths of the company, with operations in over 80 countries including manufacturing in China and R&D sites in China, Europe, India, Japan and North America. Sony Ericsson was established as a 50:50 joint venture by Sony and Ericsson in October 2001, with global corporate functions located in London.