The Head On Student Awards are open to Australia’s young photographers from kindergarten to year 12. There is no theme and you can enter work of any photographic genre or style – flex your creativity!

AUD$1 entry fee per photo

Enter Student Awards

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Tuesday 29 August 11.59pm (Sydney time)

Terms and conditions

The Head On Student Awards is one of four categories of the Head On Photo Awards. Since 2004 we have been helping photographers all over the world to create, exhibit and inspire, awarding over $800,000 in cash and prizes.

Banner photo: Erica Williams, 2022 Head On Student Awards Finalist

“Being a finalist and exhibitor in the Head On Photo Festival, I got to connect with photographers
with whom I am still in contact. Also being a finalist gets major street cred.”
Krystle Ricci – Portrait Award Finalist 2018

Student Awards

Who can enter?

The Head On Student Awards are open to Australia’s young photographers from kindergarten to year 12.

What can you enter?

There is no theme and work entered can be of any photographic genre.

See more: Past student Awards winners

Finalists and winners

  • 20 finalists
  • 1 winner
  • 2 runners-up


The overall winner will receive AUD$500 cash.

The winner and runners-up receive:

  • 12 month subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud (valued at $960)
  • a $300 book pack from Photobook Australia
  • and annual subscriptions to Australian Geographic, Better Photography, and PhotoReview magazines

Major category prize by Adobe

AUD$1 entry fee per photo

Enter Student Awards

Entry deadline: Sunday 27 August 11.59pm (Sydney time)

Terms and conditions

The 2023 Head On Photo Awards (Portrait, Landscape, Environmental, and Student) winners shared a massive prize pool inexcess of $70,000, including $30,500 in cash. All 120 finalists had their work exhibited in print in Head On Photo Festival 2023!

Benefits for all finalists (all categories)

  • Head On Student Awards 2023 finalists certificate
  • their printed image will be included in the ever-popular Finalists exhibition at Head On Photo Festival 2023
  • inclusion in the Head On Photo Awards 2023 book publication at no additional cost
  • 12-month subscription to PhotoReview magazine
  • dedicated webpage on
  • Head On pursues further exhibition/publication opportunities


… Head On Photo Awards are an important part of the strategy to keep your work and name ‘out there’ in the photographic community and potentially clients.

Head On Photo Awards finalist – Brian Cassey


The Head On Photo Awards finalists’ exhibitions will be open to the public during Head On Photo Festival 2023 at key Festival venues (subject to public health orders). These venues are at the heart of the Festival where talks, tours and school excursions take place.

The Head On team curates, designs and produces the exhibitions and slideshow, and Head On Foundation covers all associated costs (once you enter your image, we do the rest!).

Awards exhibitions receive significant visitation, recording tens of thousands of visitors across stunning Festival venues and have toured globally. The Awards also have dedicated exhibition web pages with high traffic.

2017Head On Portrait Awards finalists exhibition at museum of Sydney

I urge all image makers both amateur or professional to enter Head On

 Head On Portrait Awards peoples choice winner, Brett Canet-Gibson


We produce a limited edition printed catalogue of the Finalists’ work each year. The high-quality 20x20cm hardcover book contains a full page for each photograph. It is available at the Festival Hub or in our online store.

Sample pages from our 2022 Photo Awards catalogue

Competitions and festivals are a great way to put forward new work and share in a global conversation in the medium.

Head On Photo Awards finalist – Cathy Carter

Head On Photo Awards cermony

Over 2,000 people attended the Head On Photo Festival launch each year, a celebratory event centred around the announcement of the Head On Photo Awards winners.

Steve Marshall
Past Head On Photo Awards ceremony

AUD$1 entry fee per photo

Enter Student Awards

Entry deadline: Sunday 27 August 11.59pm (Sydney time)

Terms and conditions

Work is judged anonymously; no identifying details of the photographer (including the school they attend) will be visible to the judges to ensure that the work is selected on creative merit alone.

The judging panel comprises leaders in the Australian and international photography communities. It represents all aspects of the photography world, including curators, picture editors, photographers, educators and other industry professionals. The 2023 judging panel will be announced when Awards entries open.

Our 2023 Student Awards judging panel

team-member1 Jasmine is the Director of Media, Art, Design, and Entertainment at TAFE NSW and is an experienced photographic artist and educator. With over 20 years of experience as a commercial photographer and in creative arts education, she brings her expertise and innovation to the realm of Vocational Education and Training with a commitment to nurture emerging talent, transforming aspiring photographers and artists into career ready graduates. Jasmine continues her artistic practice specialising in traditional photographic processes in Fine Art Black and White photography, processing and printing.

Jasmine Robertson

Director of Media, Art, Design, and Entertainment at TAFE NSW
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team-member1 Moshe Rosenzveig OAM is the founder and Creative Director of Head On Photo Festival. Moshe has over 40 years’ experience in the media as a photojournalist, award-winning television producer/director (SBS TV) and commercial photographer. He has held lecturing positions at the University of Technology (UTS), the Australian Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and others. He has also sat on judging panels for various competitions including The Walkleys, Tokyo Photography Prize, Sydney’s Art & About and is the lead judge for Head On Photo Awards. In 2018, Moshe received an Order of Australia Medal for services to the arts.


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team-member1 Moore’s work examines the nature of photography, experimenting with the capacity of the photographic portrait to represent complex meanings about identity and human relationships. She has exhibited multiple times in the Head On Photo Festival and has a passion for sharing her knowledge with others through teaching, having worked as an educator at the Australian Centre for Photography and the Art Gallery of NSW.

Laura Moore

Practicing artist
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“Head On Photo Festival challenged me to be a better photographer
and gave me a sense of being a member of global photographers community.”
Nadide Goksun – Finalist and Winner 2019, 2020, 2021


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