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2023 Head On Awards open for entries

The Head On Photo Awards are open for entries, with four contest categories offering up a $70,000 prize pool.

Photo: Andrew Rovenko.

The Head On Photo Awards is open to all photographers from around the world. Winners for the three primary categories – Portrait, Landscape and the new Environmental category – awarded $10K cash prize along with other goodies. Entries for the student category will open at a later date in July, with the prizes yet to be announced.

Additionally, the finalists in the four categories have their work printed and shown in an exhibition at the 2023 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney. The Head On Portrait and Landscape Awards exhibition is a festival centrepiece, showing in a public space in either Paddington or Bondi where there is heavy foot traffic, resulting in a massive audience.

The Environmental category is a new addition that ‘celebrates the power of photography to capture and provoke reflection on our world and our place in it, inspiring action and driving positive change for our planet’.

‘Images should highlight specific issues, elements or people impacting the natural world and our environment’s wellbeing, including, but not limited to, human-induced climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss, sustainable practices, pollution, ocean acidification and micro-diversity.’

One of the Head On Award’s big draw cards is the anonymous judging process, whereby the entrants identifying details aren’t visible. The goal is to ensure the judges select a work based on creative merit, rather than be swayed by the profile of the entrant.

While it’s possible a judge may notice a famous photographer’s style, the Head On judges and selection process routinely produces eclectic results that celebrates a variety of photographers. Just last year the portrait prize winner, Marika Lortkipanidze, has literally no online profile – proof the judging process achieves its goal.

Here’s what Inside Imaging wrote about Lortkipanidze’s win:
Inside Imaging couldn’t uncover any background information about Lortkipanidze. She doesn’t have a visible online profile. We couldn’t even be sure about her nationality or where she is based. Her work, including the winning picture, hasn’t been widely published. As far as we’re is concerned, the Head On win is the first time the image has been widely published to a global audience.
It’s yet another testament to the unique-ness of the Head On Photo Awards, with its foundations entrenched in a set of values that strives for these scenarios. A talented photographer has simply captured something striking that resonated with the expert judges and the public. Her profile is irrelevant to this decision.

This year the judging panel consists of Aline Smithson, Bill Shapiro, Nicky Catley, Jesse Marlow, Gwen Lee, Natan Dvir, Krishna Sheth, James Whitlow Delano, Jessica Hromas, and Moshe Rosenzveig.

Submissions are $30 each (around US$19), or $25 for Head On premium account holders. Click here to enter.

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