Since 2004 we have helped photographers worldwide to create, exhibit and inspire, awarding over $850,000 in cash and prizes.

The Head On Photo Awards represent a global selection of the best work from emerging and established photographers across three categories:

Portrait | Landscape | Exposure (new)

The Head On Portrait, Landscape and Exposure Awards are open INTERNATIONALLY to photographers of all levels.

Enter Photo Awards

Entries close 11:59pm Sunday 18 August (Sydney time)

Terms & conditions

AUD$30 entry fee per photo.
(Approximately US$20 or €19 per photo).

Head On Premium Account holders receive a discount of AUD$5 per photo entered

Under-25 (NEW in 2024) – 50% discount

  • Judged without artists’ names to ensure equal opportunity
  • $80,000 prize pool inc cash and product
  • One overall winner and two runners-up per category
  • 100 finalists
  • 200 semi-finalists*
  • Featured exhibition of all Finalists’ works in Head On Photo Festival 2024 in print and online
  • Inclusion in the Head On Photo Awards 2024 hard-cover 120 page catalogue

The Head On Photo Awards puts your photos on the world stage!

“Being a finalist and exhibitor in the Head On Photo Festival, I got to connect with photographers with whom I am still in contact. Also being a finalist gets major street cred.”
Krystle Ricci – Portrait Award Finalist 2018

EXPOSURE AWARDS (NEW)

The Head On Exposure Awards reveal new perspectives. Photographers are invited to unleash their creativity and submit their most important work, of any genre, style, technique, or medium, beyond the Portrait and Landscape categories

Entries may be of any subject and may fit into any field of photography such as fine art, fashion, wildlife, street, food, still life, pet, travel, architecture, advertising and more. Portraits and landscapes should be entered in their respective categories.

  • 20 finalists
  • 1 winner
  • 1 Australian runner-up
  • 1 international runner-up

The overall winner will receive

  • AUD$5,000 cash
  • A OM-1 Mark II + 12-100mm F4.0 IS PRO supplied by OM Systems. RRP AUD$5,900

The winner and runners-up receive:

  • A12-month Creative Cloud subscription from Adobe
  • A $300 book pack from Photobook Australia
  • An annual subscription to Better Photography magazine

Enter now

Portrait Awards

The image must feature or reflect the essence of a person or group of people and must be photographed by the Applicant. Group portraits, self-portraits and collages are accepted. We encourage all photographic styles and interpretations of photographic portraiture.

  • 40 finalists
  • 1 winner
  • 1 Australian runner-up
  • 1 international runner-up

The overall winner will receive

  • AUD$5,000 cash
  • A OM-1 Mark II + 45mm F1.2 Pro supplied by OM Systems. RRP AUD$5,700

The winner and runners-up receive:

  • A12-month Creative Cloud subscription from Adobe
  • A $300 book pack from Photobook Australia
  • An annual subscription to Better Photography magazine

Enter now

See the 2023 Head On Portrait Awards finalists.

See more: 15 portrait photographers you should know and 14 most influential portrait photographers

Landscape Awards

Our approach to ‘landscape’ is very broad and encompasses ‘large vista’ images of the natural environment (land or sea), urban or industrial settings. It may include people, but these should be ‘incidental’ rather than the main subject matter. We encourage all photographic styles and interpretations of ‘landscape’.

  • 40 finalists
  • 1 winner
  • 1 Australian runner-up
  • 1 international runner-up

The overall winner will receive

  • AUD$5,000 cash
  • A OM-1 Mark II + 7-14mm F2.8 Pro supplied by OM Systems. RRP AUD$6,000

The winner and runners-up receive:

  • A12-month Creative Cloud subscription from Adobe
  • A $300 book pack from Photobook Australia
  • An annual subscription to Better Photography magazine

Enter now

See the 2023 Head On Landscape awards finalists.

See more: 13 inspirational urban landscape photographers and 10 women landscape photographers.


Enter Photo Awards

Terms & conditions

AUD$30 entry fee per photo. (Approximately US$20 or €19 per photo).

Head On Premium Account holders receive a discount of AUD$5 per photo entered

Under-25 (NEW in 2024) – 50% discount

The Head On Photo Awards 2024 winners share an incredible prize pool in excess of $80,000, including $15,000 in cash. All finalists have their work exhibited in print and online in Head On Photo Festival 2024!

Winners will be announced in November at the Festival Launch in Sydney.
Benefits for all finalists (all categories)

  • their printed image will be included in the ever-popular Finalists exhibition at Head On Photo Festival 2024
  • inclusion in the Head On Photo Awards 2024 book publication at no additional cost
  • 12-month subscription to PhotoReview magazine
  • dedicated webpage on headon.org.au
  • Head On pursues further exhibition/publication opportunities

SEMI-FINALISTS

100 Portrait Awards and 100 Landscape Awards semi-finalists will have their work presented in a rolling slideshow situated at a major festival venue.

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… Head On Photo Awards are an important part of the strategy to keep your work and name ‘out there’ in the photographic community and potentially clients.

Head On Photo Awards finalist – Brian Cassey

FINALISTS’ EXHIBITIONS & SEMI FINALISTS’ SLIDESHOW

The Head On Photo Awards finalists’ exhibitions and semi-finalists’ slideshow will be open to the public during Head On Photo Festival 2024 at key Festival venues (subject to public health orders). These venues are at the heart of the Festival where talks, tours and school excursions take place.

The Head On team curates, designs and produces the exhibitions and slideshow, and Head On Foundation covers all associated costs (once you enter your image, we do the rest!).

Awards exhibitions receive significant visitation, recording tens of thousands of visitors across stunning Festival venues and have toured globally. The Awards also have dedicated exhibition web pages with high traffic.

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Dean Sewell
2023 Head On Portrait Awards finalists exhibition at Bondi Pavilion.

I urge all image makers both amateur or professional to enter Head On

 Head On Portrait Awards peoples choice winner, Brett Canet-Gibson

HEAD ON PHOTO AWARDS CATALOGUE

We produce a limited edition printed catalogue of the Finalists’ work each year. The high-quality 20x20cm hardcover book contains a full page for each photograph. It is available at the Festival Hub or in our online store.

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Sample pages from our 2022 Photo Awards catalogue

Competitions and festivals are a great way to put forward new work and share in a global conversation in the medium.

Head On Photo Awards finalist – Cathy Carter

Head On Photo Awards cermony

Over 2,000 people attended the Head On Photo Festival launch each year, a celebratory event centred around the announcement of the Head On Photo Awards winners.

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Stephen Godfrey
2023 Head On Photo Awards ceremony

Under-25 (NEW in 2024) – 50% discount

We want to support the next generation of photographers and provide them with a space to shine on an international stage.  We have reduced the entry fee for people aged 24 and under to AUD$15 per photo.


Enter Photo Awards

Terms & conditions

AUD$30 entry fee per photo. (Approximately US$20 or €19 per photo).

Head On Premium Account holders receive a discount of AUD$5 per photo entered

Under-25 (NEW in 2024) – 50% discount

Work is judged anonymously; no identifying details of the photographer will be visible to the judges to ensure that the work is selected on creative merit alone.

The judging panel comprises leaders in the Australian and international photography communities. It represents all aspects of the photography world, including curators, picture editors, photographers, educators and other industry professionals.

Our 2024 international judging panel

team-member1 Trent Parke, the first Australian to become a member of the renowned Magnum Photo Agency, is considered one of his generation’s most innovative and challenging photographers. Moving beyond traditional documentary photography, Parke’s work sits between fiction and reality, offering an emotional and psychological portrait of Australia. Photo: Narelle Autio

Trent Parke

Member of Magnum Photos (Australia)
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team-member1 Anne Leighton Massoni holds an MFA in photography, BAs in photography and anthropology and is currently the Executive Director of the Houston Center for Photography (HCP) in Texas. She previously served as the Dean and Managing Director of Education at the International Center of Photography in New York City and held various professor and academic administrative positions at institutions such as Cornell University and the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. In addition, she co-edited The Focal Press Companion to the Constructed Image in Contemporary Photography in 2018.

Anne Leighton Massoni

Executive Director Houston Center for Photography (USA)
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team-member1 Dr Daniel Mudie Cunningham is an artist, curator, critic and lecturer at the National Art School. Currently, he is the lead curator of Cementa 2024. Recently, he was appointed Director of Wollongong Art Gallery and commences the role on 12 August 2024. Daniel’s artistic practice draws upon and remixes the image streams of art history, queer politics, pop culture, performance and music. His recent career survey, Are You There? at Wollongong Art Gallery spanned 30 years of practice. Curated by James Gatt, the exhibition is accompanied by a career-spanning monograph supported by Creative Australia (forthcoming late 2024).

Dr Daniel Mudie Cunningham

Director of Wollongong Art Gallery (Australia)
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team-member1 Michael Dooney is the director of Jarvis Dooney Galerie in Berlin, an independent exhibition space co-founded in 2013. The gallery has showcased the work of over 100 artists, balancing male and female perspectives. It regularly collaborates with local institutions and has participated in international fairs and festivals. Michael is also involved in exhibition design, curation, running workshops, and coaching artists specializing in photography and other lens-based media. He hosts the Subtext and discourse art world podcast, featuring interviews with artists, curators, collectors, and other participants in the field.

Michael Dooney

Gallery director & podcast host (Germany)
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team-member1 Beginning his career at a New Zealand community newspaper, Mark moved to Australia, joining Reuters in 1988. In 2003, he joined Associated Press (AP) where in 2014, he was the first photographer appointed as bureau chief in Malaysia and Singapore. Throughout his career, he has covered major international events including fourteen summer and winter Olympic Games, Rugby World Cups, riots in the Pacific Islands and the Christchurch mosque shootings. Mark won a Walkley Award for news photography in the 1990s and served as a judge for the World Press Photo competition in 2014. One of his most cherished memories is shaking hands with Nelson Mandela before the Rugby World Cup final in 1995.

Mark Baker

Associated Press bureau chief (Australia)
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team-member1 Roberta is Founder, Educator, Curator, and Creative Director of Alfabetismo Visual and AlfaAgency Photo. She strongly believes in the role of visual literacy and photography in opening dialogues, raising awareness, and supporting visual investigation of the storytellers of Brazil, Latin America, and across the Portuguese Diaspora. As a researcher and public presenter, she has taken the stage at schools, national and international seminars and festivals, focusing on documentary visual language. Roberta has managed major cultural events and educational activities for Magnum Photos, Miami Photo Fest, and Burn Magazine. She has also coordinated assignments in Brazil for National Geographic, New York Times, Al Jazeera, UNICEF, and more.

Roberta Tavares

Creative Director of Alfabetismo Visual & AlfaAgency Photo (Brazil)
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team-member1 Dianna Snape is a Melbourne-based photographer holding a BA Photography (Honours) and over 20 years of experience. Specialising in architecture, interior, and landscape photography, Dianna recently released a book titled Architecture at the Heart of the Home. She was voted one of the ‘100 most inspiring architectural photographers’ in 2022 and is the co-founder and President of the Image Makers Association Australia.

Dianna Snape

Photographer and President, Image Makers Association Australia (Australia)
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team-member1 Ali Arkady, an Iraqi photographer, artist, and filmmaker, left Iraq with his family in 2017 after documenting Iraqi armed forces committing war crimes. Arkady continues his work in photography, art, and documentary and fictional films, all aimed at raising awareness about global concerns, human rights and social justice. Currently, he is developing new projects centred on displacement, migration, and the struggles of refugees, using his artistic talents and field experience to share compelling stories.

Ali Arkadi

Photojournalist and filmmaker (Iraq)
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team-member1 Peggy Sue Amison is the Artistic Director of East Wing, a platform for contemporary photography founded in Doha, Qatar, in 2012. As a curator, writer, producer, and consultant, she collaborates with photographers and festivals globally. Peggy Sue has curated exhibitions across Europe, Africa, the United States, and China. Her most recent projects include co-curating Lagos Photo Festival 2023 in Benin and Nigeria, and the main exhibition for FORMAT 2024 in the UK, titled ‘FUTURE TENSE.’ Peggy Sue is the former Artistic Director of Sirius Art Centre in Ireland (2001 – 2014) and a founding Board Member of the Belfast Photography Festival in Northern Ireland. Originally from the United States, she now lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

Peggy Sue Amison

Artistic Director, East Wing Gallery (Germany, Qatar)
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team-member1 Moshe Rosenzveig OAM is the founder and Creative Director of Head On Photo Festival. Moshe has over 40 years’ experience in the media as a photojournalist, award-winning television producer/director (SBS TV) and commercial photographer. He has held lecturing positions at the University of Technology (UTS), the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and others. He has also sat on judging panels for various competitions including The Walkleys, Tokyo Photography Prize, Sydney’s Art & About and is the lead judge for Head On Photo Awards. In 2018, Moshe received an Order of Australia Medal for services to the arts.

Moshe Rosenzveig OAM

Founder and Creative Director, Head On Photo Festival (Australia)
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Enter Photo Awards

Terms & conditions

AUD$30 entry fee per photo. (Approximately US$20 or €19 per photo).

Head On Premium Account holders receive a discount of AUD$5 per photo entered

Under-25 (NEW in 2024) – 50% discount

Frequently asked questions

What photo genres are eligible?

Images of all styles and genres are eligible as long as they are true to the spirit of the category. The 2024 Awards categories are Portrait, Landscape, and Exposure.

Can I enter into more than one Awards category?

Yes, you may enter more than one category. In the past, some finalists have achieved a grand slam and been a finalist in multiple categories in the same year. You can also enter more than one photo into any given category!

What is the cut-off for the under-25 discount?

You need to be under 25 on 18 August 2024 (i.e. born after 18 August 1999) to be eligible for the discount code. If your work is selected as a Finalist or semi-finalist, we may request proof of date of birth.

How many finalists will be selected in each category?

The Portrait and Landscape Awards will nominate 40 finalists and the inaugural Exposure Awards will nominate 20 finalists. All finalists will be included in the Finalist Exhibitions as part of Head On Photo Festival 2024.

What is the cash prize?

In each Awards category, there is a $5,000 cash prize for the overall winners, and yes, if you enter two, or even three categories, you could win the cash prize for all of them.

Is there a time restriction on when the photo was taken?

We don’t have any restrictions on when the photo was taken, but we do prefer more recent work.

How can I pay for my entry?

You can pay either with your credit card via the PayPal gateway or via your Paypal account. We do not have access to your bank details at any stage of the process.

For further instruction, watch our entry walkthrough video (which starts at 4:40) .


Enter Photo Awards

Terms & conditions

AUD$30 entry fee per photo. (Approximately US$20 or €19 per photo).

Head On Premium Account holders receive a discount of AUD$5 per photo entered

Under-25 (NEW in 2024) – 50% discount

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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 are open now. $80,000 prize pool including finalists exhibition.

Image detail: Gary Ramage