Head On Foundation is Australia’s premier non-profit organisation for photography, producing the esteemed annual Head On Photo Festival in Sydney and a year-round program of events and collaborative projects.
Celebrating all photography forms, the Festival draws over 400,000 visits, featuring 900+ Australian and international photographers in innovative exhibitions in galleries, public outdoor spaces, cafes, and projections. It’s a hub for emerging and established talent, fostering innovation via exhibits, conversations, workshops, and collaborations. Central to the Festival are the Head On Photo Awards across three categories; the Foundation has given awards worth $800,000+. The Festival works with international festivals and organisations and regularly tours worldwide.
Head On Foundation also produces a comprehensive yearly public and educational program of hybrid workshops, seminars, talks, reviews and collaborative projects.
The Head On Photo Festival launch party attracts an average attendance of 1500, ready to celebrate photography.
Festival Hub, Bondi Beach, Head On Photo Festival 2022
“It has raised Australia’s, and in particular Sydney’s, profile as a centre of excellence in photography highlighting the talent that abounds in our community.” Clover Moore, Honourable Lord Mayor of Sydney
Head On Photo Festival exhibitions tour internationally to major festivals in America, China, India, Europe, and New Zealand.
Since 2015, we have engaged the public by taking art out of the gallery and onto the streets for people to enjoy throughout the day. Sydney CBD, Head On Photo Festival 2015
Our education program aims to inspire meaningful conversations and help you create the photography you’ve always dreamed of.
Our education program focuses on learning from industry experts about topical photography issues. Ron Haviv (VII agency) discusses his exhibition ‘The lost rolls’ with Daniel Milnor. Head On Photo Festival 2016
Pop-up photo studio, Pitt Street Mall, Sydney Head On Photo Festival 2014
Placemaking in Pitt Street Mall, Sydney. Head On Photo Festival 2018
“You have a great and one of the most important photo festivals in existence today…” Chris Rainier, National Geographic Photographer
We are a leader in placemaking in Sydney. Head On Photo Festival 2014 featured artist Erika Diettes, St Canice church
Humble beginnings, the first Head On Portrait Prize exhibition in 2004.
‘Magnum On Set: Iconic Hollywood Stars’ State Library of New South Wales, Head On Photo Festival 2013
Head On Foundation believes in equal opportunity for all photo artists. Work submitted to Head On is judged solely on merit, without artists’ names or backgrounds.
We established the Head On Foundation in 2008 as a not-for-profit organisation. Its mission is to promote photographers’ work at all career stages, encourage visual literacy, excellence and innovation, make photography accessible to all, and raise awareness of important issues through photography.
Head On offers valuable exhibition opportunities in Sydney and internationally through the Head On Photo Festival, the Head On Photo Awards (Portrait, Landscape, and Student awards), and an annual program of events and collaborative projects.
The Head On Photo Festival serves as a bridge between Australian and international photographic markets. The Festival has toured in America, China, India, Europe, and New Zealand, showcasing Australia’s wealth of photographic talent to the international photographic community.
Head On is committed to inclusivity and supports people and projects from diverse backgrounds, including indigenous, young, older, disabled, LGBTQIA+ and culturally diverse individuals.
The Head On Foundation is dedicated to supporting the arts ecosystem by promoting creative development and employment opportunities and generating business for industry suppliers and local businesses. The Head On Photo Awards have directly contributed over $800,000 to photo-based artists, and the Head On Photo Foundation has contributed over $5,000,000 to the growth and sustainability of the photography and aligned industries.