Brit Vanessa Winship has been named Photographer of the Year at the Sony World Photography Awards.

Vanessa was announced as the winner of the award at a glittering VIP Gala Awards ceremony in Cannes.

Her entry in the portraiture category beat thousands of submissions to win the esteemed title, which was accompanied by a rather nice sum of $25,000 in prize money.

Firstly shortlisted by the World Photographic Academy and then chosen as winner by some of the industry's highest regarded members, Vanessa received her award at the Palais des Festivals in front of an audience of 700 VIPs and industry leaders.

Upon receiving the award, Vanessa said: "Many, many thanks, and these are actually for the little girls of Eastern Turkey".

The Awards ceremony is the finale in a series of events in Cannes over the last few days. Based on the theme of "legacy", the events have focused on the past, present and future of photography.

Founder of World Photography Awards Scott Gray added, "This event is the culmination of what has been a fantastic first year for the Sony World Photography Awards. We thank everyone who entered and look forward to the second year already".