The Head On Photo Festival, Australia’s leading international annual photograph event, has announced the winners of this year’s Head On Photo Awards. The annual awards celebrate excellence in three categories – Portrait, Landscape and Student – and are judged anonymously by a panel of internationally recognised photographers, editors and industry leaders. The winners were announced on May 1 as part of the Head On(line) Photo Festival digital launch.

Offering a prize pool of $70,000 to professional and amateur photographers around the world, the Head On Photo Awards are made doubly attractive to entrants given that they tour finalist exhibitions internationally at festival’s end.

Fiona Wolf-Symeonides‘s The gift, RHW 2020. Photo supplied

“The Head On Photo Awards are at the centre of our festival and showcase incredible talent from professionals and amateurs alike,” said Festival Director Moshe Rosenzveig. “The judges and I have been blown away by the high standard of this year’s submissions and we are delighted to announce the 2020 winners as we launch our exciting digital program. We look forward to sharing the winners and 2020 program with our international community.”

In the Portrait category, the Overall Winner is Australian photographer Fiona Wolf-Symeonides’s The gift, RHW 2020, which tells a story of a modern family through its depiction of a girl born by a warrior woman to two loving dads. The Australian Runner Up is photographer and filmmaker Jon Frank’s Yuendumu, Northern Territory, 2019, created during his year living and working with the Warlpiri people in the Northern Territory. The International Runner Up is renowned Dutch photographer Jouk Oosterhof’s work Egbert, a portrait of a toddler that draws on an old technique used for long exposures where children were held by their parents covered in decorative fabrics in order to keep them in place and prevent blurry pictures.

Maria Macmillan’s Whimsical warrior. Photo supplied

In the Landscape Prize, the Overall winner is Whimsical warrior by Mullengudgery based special needs teacher Marcia Macmillan, who caught the moment in which her nine-year-old daughter ran towards a huge dust storm. The Australian Runner Up is respected Australian photojournalist Nick Moir’s Run, which documents firefighters escaping the intense heat of the Green Wattle Creek fire in Orangeville during the 2019/20 Australian bushfire season. The International Runner Up is English photographer Paul Carruthers’ Cheddar Gorge – Horseshoe Bend, a five-minute night-time exposure of the famous limestone gorge in England.

Joel Parkinson’s Within without. Photo supplied

Open to children from kindergarten to Year 12, the Student Prize category saw three winners – Joel Parkinson for Within without, a self-portrait exploring the unstable terrain between childhood and adulthood; Alice Tasker’s self-portrait Bagel, taken in a local park and capturing her identity in a quiet moment; and Lewis Dobbin’s Snow Trails, which considers the lasting impact humans have on untouched landscapes.

Exhibitions featuring the winners and finalist works for each category will be presented online as part of the Head On(line) Photo Festival. Running from May 1-17, the digital festival features 110 exhibitions by leading international and local photographers alongside a program of over 80 artist talks, panel discussions, and webinars helmed by industry professionals from around the world.


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