Head On Photo Festival is Australia’s leading international photographic event
Head On Photo Festival represents a global selection of the best work from established and emerging photographers. Our 2024 Festival will be a mix of online and in-person exhibitions and events across Sydney, Australia.
Underscoring our belief that all photo-artists need a fair chance to show their work, our selection panel reviews exhibition proposals without the artists’ names or pedigrees ensuring work is selected by Head On on merit.
After the review process, we will invite successful applicants to exhibit as part of Head On Photo Festival. Head On covers production costs for exhibitions in key Head On managed venues.
Our 2024 Festival will be a mix of online and in-person exhibitions and events across Sydney, Australia. Selected exhibitions may tour nationally and internationally.
Submissions close 11:59pm Sunday 17 March Sydney time (GMT+11)
Submission fee AUD$25 (approximately US$16/€15)
WHY EXHIBIT AT HEAD ON PHOTO FESTIVAL?
Head On Photo Festival is a leading international photography festival. Our outstanding reputation stems from our guiding principle; that every photo artist deserves a fair chance to show their work. This philosophy has allowed us to show diverse quality work that breaks the mould in order to exhibit all genres of photography by artists at every career stage.
Head On Photo Festival is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience in preparing and exhibiting your work, meet other artists and creative professionals, and be part of an internationally recognised event.
Exhibiting at the Festival can be a game-changing opportunity to showcase your work. With stunning exhibition spaces at both Bondi Beach and the picturesque Paddington Reservoir Gardens, this is the chance to get your work seen by thousands.
You can take a virtual tour of some of the breathtaking spaces that were featured in the 2023 Festival and get excited about what lies ahead.
Exhibitors receive the following benefits:
- An exhibition in an internationally recognised festival that puts the spotlight on photography, attracting extensive publicity through a variety of promotional channels
- Access to Head On’s infrastructure built over 16 years
- Dedicated webpage for each exhibition on www.headon.org.au (also available post-festival)
- Head On help desk
- Exhibition management, production and promotion for exhibitions in Head On managed venues
How to submit
Welcome to our new submissions system, which gives you better access to creating, saving your progress, and editing your submission.
CREATING YOUR SUBMISSION
First, you must either login or register for an account on the submission portal. This is a separate login to your Head On account.
The submission form has three sections to complete. One is for you (the submitter) to confirm contact details, the second is about the artist/group, and the third is about the project.
In each section, you will have the option to save your progress. We recommend that you save a draft regularly to avoid losing any work.
Finalising your submission
We will only review completed submissions. To finalise your submission, click the red submit button, and you will proceed to the checkout to pay the submission fee. Once the payment is completed, you will receive a confirmation email; please allow a few hours for it to arrive, and please check your clutter/junk folders.
EDITING YOUR SUBMISSION
Login to your account on the submissions portal to access your active submissions.
You can edit your submission as many times as you want until the deadline. Once the deadline has passed, your submission will be locked.
- 10 resized images from the series –
- File name structure FirstName_LastName_Sequence.jpg eg. Charlie_Smith_01.jpg
- Saved as jpg or jpeg only
- resize to 1800px on the long edge
- saved in sRGB colour space
- Please keep each file to less than 1.5MB
- Project description is recommended 200-300 words
- Artist/group bio, max 250 words
- Read the Terms & Conditions
Note: if your application is successful, Head On’s curatorial team will ask to see more images (if you have) from the series before finalising the exhibition.
- All submissions will be reviewed
- Our selection panel of highly esteemed and experienced industry professionals will only have access to the ‘title’, ‘description’ and images of each submission
- Each panellist reviews submissions before a joint session led by Moshe Rosenzveig OAM to determine which exhibitions fit this year’s program
- We will notify all applicants of the panel’s decision by email (please check your junk/ spam/ trash/ clutter folders regularly)
Key questions the selection panellists ask:
- Is each image individually strong?
- Is the submitted work cohesive?
- Is there a new or unique approach to the subject matter?
- Does the photographer show an in-depth understanding of their genre and demonstrate a deep connection with their subject(s)?
Head On Photo Festival 2024 selection panel
Murray FredericksArtist and filmmaker
Claire MartinFotoFreo creative director
Simon HarsentDirector/Photographer and founding member of POOL Collective
Garry TrinhArtist and educator
Brian CasseyWalkley award winning photojournalist
Judith Nangala CrispinVisual artist and poet
Liz HamWidely published and collected photographer
Bronek KozkaArtist and educator
Jamie JamesDocumentary photographer
Moshe Rosenzveig OAMFounder and Creative Director, Head On Photo Festival
Alison Stieven-TaylorPhotography commentator, journalist and educator
Watch our 2023 submissions webinar by Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, Creative Director Head On Photo Festival.to get tips on how to be shown at photo festivals.
Frequently asked questions
Is there a festival theme?
There is no theme; we celebrate all genres of photography.
When is the Festival?
The Festival will be held in November/December; we will announce the exact dates later in the year. We will notify selected exhibitors in advance to make travel arrangements.
What work do you exhibit?
Head On Photo Festival prides itself on showcasing a diverse selection of work that speaks to the breadth of stories that photography can tell.
- Works completed recently (within the last five years) are preferable, although we accept works made at any time
- Works previously exhibited/published elsewhere are accepted (however, if accepted into Head On Photo Festival the work must not be exhibited elsewhere in Sydney 12 months prior to the Festival)
- Collaborative works/group shows are accepted
- Head On’s curatorial team works with each artist to finalise which images will be exhibited
I want to participate in the Festival, but I am not ready to exhibit a body of work, what can I do?
My work contains nudity/graphic content, will you be able to exhibit it?
We have exhibition spaces we use for more sensitive or challenging material.
Do you accept group shows?
Yes. We have a long history of curating group shows for various photographic organisations worldwide.
What does the selection panel see?
The selection panellists will review your submission based only on the 10 sample photos, the project description and the title.
I have never shown my work before. Do I have a chance?
Yes, first-time exhibitors are welcome at our Festival. Check out the submission advice section and watch our webinar for extra support.
If successful, do I need to ship prints to you?
Generally speaking, we are mainly an outdoor festival; you don’t need to ship any prints to us. We take care of the curation and manage specialist printing for you. However, if you use alternative processes or create photo collages, etc, we may need high-resolution scans to accurately reproduce your work.
Do you accept video/multimedia work?
No. We have in the past, but unfortunately this year we ‘won’t be able to present any video-based projects. If the video/multimedia has accompanying still photographs, we encourage you to submit the project in that form.