Head On Photo Awards 2017

Over $50,000 in Prizes

We're open for entries!

  • Competitions

    The Head On Photo Awards represent a global selection of the best work from emerging and established photographers across four categories; Portrait, Landscape, Mobile and Student.

    Head On Photo Festival, one of the world's most prestigious photo festivals is calling for photographers to submit work to the Head On Photo Awards 2017.

    The Head On Portrait, Landscape and Mobile prizes are open INTERNATIONALLY to professional, emerging and enthusiast photographers from classical to contemporary styles and the Head On Student Prize is open to Australia's young photographers (school years K-12).

    DEADLINE: Sunday 26  February 2017, 11pm (Sydney time)

    Our anonymous judging ensures each work is selected solely on its merit rather than the celebrity of the photographer.

  • Prizes

    Over the past 13 years, Head On Photo Festival has awarded over $500,000 in cash and products to the winning photographers.

    The total 2017 prize pool is valued at over $50,000 including $20,000 in cash.

    Finalists will be exhibited at the Museum of Sydney (Portrait, Mobile, Student) or the NSW Parliament (Landscape) at no additional cost, as part of the Head On Photo Festival in May 2017.

    See the full prize pool here.

  • Judges

    View full judge bios here.
    - Alexander Strecker
    Managing Editor, Lensculture
    - Anni Payne
    AIPP Master Photographer, judge and mentor
    - Dr Daniel Mudie Cunningham
    Assistant Director & Head Curator, Artbank
    - Dean Sewell
    Award winning photographer & Oculi Founding Member
    - Isobel Parker Philip
    Photography Curator, Art Gallery of NSW
    - Maggie Steber
    Photographer (Nat Geo, New York Times) & educator
    - Moshe Rosenzveig
    Creative Director, Head On Photo Festival
    - Natan Dvir
    Photographer & Teacher at ICP New York
    - Rach Kirsten
    Creative Arts Advisor, NSW Department of Education
    - Robin Schwartz
    Photographer & Guggenheim Fellow 2016
    - Prof. Ross Harley
    Dean Art & Design, University of New South Wales
    - Shoair Mavlian
    Curator, TATE Modern
    - Simon Harsent
    Photographer & POOL Collective Founder

  • Benefits

    Finalists will be exhibited at the Museum of Sydney (Head On Portrait, Mobile and Student Prizes) or the NSW Parliament (Head On Landscape Prize) at no additional cost to the artists as part of the Head On Photo Festival, one of the world's leading photo festivals. The exhibitions may tour to major festivals internationally including; Photoville (New York), Indian Photo Festival Hyderabad, Auckland Festival of Photography.

    Finalists also recieve:
    - A chance to win one of the prize packages! Combined value of packages in cash and product over $50,000
    - A place in one of the most-widely visited exhibitions as part of Head On Photo Festival, one of the world's leading photo festivals which attracts extensive publicity through a variety of promotional channels
    - Promotion of the exhibitions through Head On Photo Festival mailing list, website, social media and a variety of other channels as well as a contracted PR agency
    - A fully produced exhibition - all costs associated with production and marketing of the Head On Photo Awards are covered by Head On Photo Festival
    - A review of the images by Getty Images creative team who may invite selected photographers to contribute to Getty Images or iStock by Getty Images

  • Past Winners and Finalists

    Some of the past winners and finalists include:
    - Andrew Quilty
    - Daniella Zalcman
    - David Chancellor
    - Fiona Wolf
    - Giles Clarke
    - Jarrad Seng
    - Murray Fredericks
    - Samantha Everton
    - Scarlett Coten
    - Stephen Dupont
    - Tamara Dean

  • Exhibition Venues

    Head On Photo Awards Exhibition venues are as follows:

    Head On Portrait Prize- Museum of Sydney
    Head On Landscape Prize- NSW Parliament House
    Head On Mobile Prize- Museum of Sydney
    Head On Student Prize- Museum of Sydney

  • Entry and Deadline

    Entry deadline is Sunday 26  February 2017, 11pm (Sydney time)

    Entry fee - members
    Portrait/Landscape/Mobile: AUD$25 (approximately US$19)
    Student: AUD$1

    Entry fee - non-members
    Portrait/Landscape/Mobile: AUD$30 (approximately US$23)
    Student: AUD$1

    You can become a member here.

  • Image Specs

    Your entry can be taken using any photographic device (except for the Head On Mobile Prize for which you are required to have used a mobile device).

    Your entry image should be saved as:
    - jpg or jpeg file formats only
    - 2400px (long edge)
    - 72dpi
    - Level 8 jpg compression
    - No watermarks

  • Terms & Conditions

    Key Points:
    - The Awards are open internationally except for the Student category which is only open to Australian K-12 students.
    - Work entered can have been taken at any time.
    - Copyright in the images remains the property of the photographer.
    - 3 winners per category will be awarded prizes.

    Please read over our full Terms and Conditions:
    - Head On Photo Awards (Portrait, Landscape, Mobile) Terms & Conditions
    - Head On Student Prize Terms conditions

  • FAQ's

    Q: I already have an account, how do I log onto the site?
    A: Please use your username to log in not your email address. You can do a password reset by clicking 'Request New Password'.

    Q: I want to upload a photo but I am not sure what is the Jpeg compression level 8. Can you please explain?
    A: We want to make sure that you supply the judges a high quality file that is not too big and we find that jpeg level 8 works the best. If you use photoshop when you go to save your photograph as a jpg it will ask you for a compression level, select level 8. If you use Lightroom just set the quality to 80 when you go to export.

    For more Frequently Asked Questions please click here.


"Emma" by Lisa Maree Williams
2016 Portrait Prize Finalist
"The Fallen" by David Chancellor
2016 Landscape Prize Winner
"Bull Race" by Ramin Talaie
2016 Mobile Prize Finalist
"Stunned" by Ana Burenkova
2016 Student Prize Finalist