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Sam Ferris wins Australian Life Competition

Street photographer, Sam Ferris, has won the City of Sydney’s Australian Life Photography Competition with his image, On The Way To Inspections.

Photo: Sam Ferris.

The black-and-white photo was captured in Camperdown in Sydney, and shows Ferris’ family between rental property inspections during the ongoing nation-wide rental crisis.

‘This image was made while rushing between inspections on a Saturday last year,’ Ferris said. ‘Our children, Orson and Leon, are in the background, letting loose some of their pent-up energy.’

Ferris and his partner, Luisa, have moved nine times in the 13 years they’ve lived in Sydney. The picture was chosen from a pool of 28 finalists by a judging panel consisting of last year’s winner and photojournalist Matthew Abbott, documentary curator Sandy Edwards, and photographer Liz Ham.

‘It feels classic and modern as it simultaneously speaks to the past,’ Edwards said. ‘It feels like a moment of discomfort, waiting in limbo for something to happen, to resolve things.’

This is the third time Ferris has scored a spot in the Australian Life Photography Competition, with the street photographer a finalist in 2015 and 2021. Inside Imaging interviewed Ferris back in 2021 about his work, how to ‘make it’ as a street photographer, and a street photo festival he co-founded, Aussie Street. His winning picture also scored a finalist spot in the 2022 Olive Cotton Prize.

The contest, obviously, is all about Australian life, with it aiming to showcase ‘scenes and stories that make us laugh, cry and wonder’.

– The Australian Life exhibition, displaying the finalist images, is now showing at Customs House Square, in the heart of Sydney’s Circular Quay, until October 8. Click here to view all finalist images. 

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