AUB alumni, Mark Leaver is one of the shortlisted photographers in the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards.

Mark graduated from the BA (Hons) Commercial Photography course in 2014 and is now based in London. He specialises in travel photography and portraiture, which his website keenly displays.

The 2018 Sony World Photography Awards assembles more than 600 talented photographers from all over the world who create ‘inspiring and thought-provoking images’. This year has seen more than 319,561 images highlighted across the competition – a record-breaking amount!


Mark’s photography series, ‘TIGHT’, is the work that garnered him the attention of the awards. This striking project explores what it means to be a young Indian man of today through the eyes of a group of ‘greased-up’ bodybuilders (an increasingly popular sport in the country).

Through these images, Mark reveals the ‘dreams and aspirations’ of India’s new generation of young males who reject tradition. In addition to these images, he is also working on a film about the subject.


We caught up with Mark to find out about more about his project ‘TIGHT”:

“One of my favourite things about photography is working on the go, exploring new places and learning. In 2017 I visited India for leisure with a friend, AUB alumni Elliot Felton who is a Director as well. On the trip in a small town we discovered a group of Indian bodybuilders.

We knew this was something special, it went against all our preconceptions of the country and what it is to be Indian. We began making a relationship with the bodybuilders and started to shoot some portraits and interviews, and took down their details. 

When we arrived back to the UK we showed the footage and photos to a few contacts in the industry, the response was immense and before we knew it we were back on our way to India with the addition of a Producer, Alex King. We then had a month of dedicated shooting for ‘TIGHT’.”


Of his achievement at the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, Mark went on to say:

“The film is in the making, but I managed to get the photos ready in time for the Sony World Photography Awards. I’m thrilled that it has been shortlisted and is on display at Somerset House. To be a part of the Sony World Photography Awards always felt like a pipe dream! It’s amazing to see a body of work that I’ve put so much time and effort into being a part of it.

After graduating and entering the freelance world, it’s easy to stop making personal work. Make the time for your personal work and you’ll remember why you started.”


As part of the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition, Mark’s work and the rest of the competition exhibitors can now be viewed at Somerset House. Find out how to book your ticket.

Location: Somerset House, London
Date: 20th April – 6th May 2018
Tickets: From £6