Head On Portrait Prize | Head On Photo Festival

Head On Portrait Prize

"...Head On is really the only opportunity to see the best portraiture work the country has to offer"

Good Weekend

Head On Portrait Prize is Australia's most critically acclaimed photographic portrait competition and exhibition reflecting a vibrant diverse cross-section of new and traditional photographic practices. Prizes awarded to 3 photographers for the best Australian contemporary photographic portrait.

Entries are now closed for the 2013 Head On Portrait Prize.

In May 2012, Head On Photo Festival announced the winners of the 2012 Portrait Prize, Chris Budgeon, David Manley, Tracey Nearmy. The Critics Choice was won by Louise  Whelan and the People's Choice was awarded to Jonathan May.

WINNER 2012: Chris Budgeon
Last Summer, Image taken from a project observing young teens social attitudes and development in the current environment of technology and social media.

WINNER 2012: David Manley
Brian, Surry Hills Boarding House, Brian lives in a single room in a Surry Hills boarding House.

WINNER 2012: Tracey Nearmy
First Shiner, First Shiner questions what rituals exist now to mark the way from childhood to adulthood. Are acts of violence and scars still seen as the evidence of a rite of passage into manhood?

CRITICS CHOICE 2012: Louise  Whelan
Millie #2, This portrait of my niece Millie captures her melancholic mood, a mood which can be attributed to her grieving process. Millie the youngest of four children lost her father to a sudden heart attack 2 years ago. Millie can be happy with smiles one minute, then remembering her loss calls out 'I want my dad !' Death is an inescapable part of life.
PEOPLE'S CHOICE 2012: Jonathan May
 "Hot, bothered and watching a tiny television while waiting for a plane at Mombassa airport, I was fascinated to discover blind and visually impaired children playing soccer in Thika, I knew I had to visit their school. While the deputy principal was gathering some children to photograph, I noticed this young girl (Teresa) who was blindly fumbling her way from one side of the school yard to the other. I asked the deputy if Teresa could join us and I was told it wasn't possible. Her family couldn't afford the school fees and her mother was currently being told by the principle to take her home today. The deputy went on and said that without continued education at her age, Teresa would get left behind and struggle to integrate and engage with society.
I thought back to my own childhood and how at Teresa's age I didn't have a care in the world. I couldn't let Teresa go home that day so I paid for her tuition for the rest of the year. It wasn't a lot of money and that small gesture will give young Teresa some hope to live a more normal independent life. I now have myself an unexpected sponsor child and will continue to pay for her education.
Lina (pictured) is fortunate enough to have better vision than most of her peers at the school, and I noticed her proudly guiding other children to their classrooms. The "Thika" series aims at brining awareness to the struggles some children endure on a daily basis."


Head On Portrait Prize 2013


About Head On Portrait Prize

Previous Shows

Competition Judges



Entries for the 2013 have now closed. Please subscribe to our mailing list to receive news, special offers, competitions and information.