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Image: Probal Rashid from George Floyd death:’This is why we are protesting’

Only seven days to go till we launch!

OMG, we’re delighted to be finally counting down the days to the 12th edition of Head On Photo Festival.

This Festival has it all – exciting new outdoor photographic exhibitions, gallery exhibitions,  entertaining artist talks, informative workshops and panel discussions to inspire and educate, both online and, excitingly, some in person! 

We have 60 exhibitions along the promenade at Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach.  Visiting them makes a great day out at Bondi but if you’re pressed for time, we have a few must-see exhibitions for you.

First up, Probal Rashid’s George Floyd death: ‘This is why we are protesting’ takes a fresh look at the ubiquitous face mask, once just the symbol of a virus that attacks the body, and now a potent symbol of anti-racism for protesters in the US, where Bangladeshi documentary photographer Probal is based.


Images: Alice Mariette and Shweta Agarwal from Double Exposed 

Having exhibited with us for a few years in succession, the Unexposed Collective is becoming a Festival staple.  Double Exposed by Unexposed Collective is a collaboration of contemporary photographers from Unexposed South Asia and Australasia, a collective of female, non-binary and intersex street photographers.


Image: Johannes Reinhart from Dreaming of mermaids

Johannes Reinhart’s Dreaming of mermaids documents the childlike wonder of visitors to the Perth Fringe World Festival’s mermaid tank. His stunning black and white images reveal the magical beauty of the attraction and recall an easily lost innocence and makes us believe again in the magic of mermaids.

And of course, while at Bondi Beach, you should see our Landscape Award. Since 2013, this Award has showcased new perspectives on landscape photography.  Spanning the range of the genre from more romantic vistas and quirky takes on the natural and built environment to the harsh realities of life in the drought and fire-prone landscapes around Australia and indeed the world; this is a must-see.


Image: Tariq Zaidi from El Salvador – a nation held hostage

Meanwhile, over at our other hub in Paddington Reservoir Gardens, you’ll find photographer Tariq Zaidi’s El Salvador – a nation held hostage.  This must-see exhibition looks at notorious street gangs that are infamous across Central and North America for their brutal violence. In El Salvador, these gangs exercise extensive control over communities, and the state is unable to stamp them out.


Image: Anastasia Trahanas from Naked Britain

Make sure you see socio-documentary and fine art photographer Anastasia Trahanas’ Naked Britain which explores the concept of the self and its connection to society, exposing the subject’s identity by presenting them naked – at their most vulnerable and free.

While at the Reservoir Gardens, don’t miss our Portrait and Student Awards. Our long-established Portrait Award showcases a diverse range of innovative approaches to the genre, celebrating the talents of emerging and established contemporary portrait photographers. The Student Award offers a compelling vision of the future of contemporary photography in Australia, with experimental approaches to the photographic medium from the next generation of our emerging photographic artists.

Our yearly favourites – the launch night and announcement of this year’s Head On Photo Awards’ winners across the three categories – take place on Friday, November 19.  Don’t miss out. Get your free ticket here.

The Festival will continue to follow the NSW Health advice regarding COVID-19 restrictions.  We encourage visitors to monitor their social media channels and website for updates.


For more information and to book your free spot for an event, look at our full program here. 

Follow us on Instagram, follow us on Facebook, or subscribe to our newsletter to keep up-to-date with this year’s Head On Photo Festival – and – if you love our Festival, why not donate here?



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Head On Photo Awards 2024

Entries to the Head On Photo Awards 2024 open in May/June.

Image detail: Gary Ramage