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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 closed for 2024

Next open call is for the Head On Photo Awards

Submission fee AUD$25 (approximately US$16/€15)

Terms and conditions

Mauro Antonio Barreto, Tony Potts, Kristin Van den Eede


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 (also available post-festival)
  • Head On help desk
  • Exhibition management, production and promotion for exhibitions in Head On managed venues
Head On Photo Festival exhibition spaces

Welcome to our new submissions system, which gives you better access to creating, saving your progress, and editing 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.


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.

Submission checklist

  • 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.

Barbara Peacock
  • 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

team-member1 Murray Fredericks is an internationally-recognised and multi-award winning artist and filmmaker. Graduating with a Bachelor of Politics from the University of Sydney in 1992, Fredericks subsequently spent extended periods travelling alone in the Himalaya and Middle Eastern deserts. During this time he became aware of the profound effect that time spent in isolation – particularly in powerful landscapes – can have on the mind and one’s sense of self.

Murray Fredericks

Artist and filmmaker
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team-member1 Claire Martin (1980) began her career by studying a degree in Social Work, however, she changed her focus to Photography when she realised that change can also be effected through this medium. Her personal work has been awarded by organisations including the Magnum Foundation, and Reportage by Getty Images. She has exhibited at many institutions including Espacio Fundacion Telefonica, Madrid, the Art Gallery of Western Australia, Photographers Gallery, UK. Operating alongside her personal work, Claire photographs in-depth editorial feature stories for publications such as TIME Magazine, Bloomberg Business week, and Vanity Fair. She was a member of Oculi, Australia’s most established photo collective, from 2010 – 2014. She also co-created “Danube Revisited – The Inge Morath Truck Project”, a photographic road trip along the length of the Danube River and a traveling exhibition of the work of renowned Magnum photographer Inge Morath. Beyond the still image Claire is preoccupied with the power of story telling in any medium. She lectures in photo media at Edith Cowan University and is routinely invited to speak about photography and journalism at galleries and industry events. Claire is based in Perth, Western Australia and is represented internationally by INSTITUTE artist management.

Claire Martin

FotoFreo creative director
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team-member1 Simon Harsent’s career has spanned more than 20 years and three continents. Born in England, his photographic career began in London after he finished studying photography at Watford College. In 1987 Harsent moved to Sydney, Australia where he soon established himself as one of the country’s leading commercial photographers working with the top advertisers in Australia and Asia. 1997 saw Harsent move to New York. However, his connection to Australia and Asia did not stop there. He frequently returns to Australia to shoot and is co-founder of POOL collective, a thriving photographers’ collective. Harsent was listed as one of the most influential people in advertising in Australian Creative’s 2011 Power 20 issue.

Simon Harsent

Director/Photographer and founding member of POOL Collective
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team-member1 Garry Trinh  is an artist working in photography, video, painting and works on paper. He makes art about the uncanny, unexpected and spontaneous moments in daily life. He is inspired by his surroundings and from the vast visual output of mass culture. His work is collected by the Art Gallery of NSW and Artbank. He has been exhibited at the Australian Centre for Photography, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Blacktown Arts Centre, Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre, Stills Gallery, Gallery 4A and many others.

Garry Trinh

Artist and educator
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team-member1 Brian Cassey has been working as a media photographer/photojournalist for several decades. Originally from London, he began his lengthy career in photography; Brian has now long been based in tropical Cairns, Australia where he freelances for International and Australian media and wires. He has exhibited at Head On Photo Festival and has had work featured in Head On Photo Awards many times.

Brian Cassey

Walkley award winning photojournalist
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team-member1 Judith Nangala Crispin is a poet, editor and photographic artist. Her visual work focuses on Lumachrome glass printing, a technique she has developed from layered alternative analogue methods including sun printing, chemigram and cliché-verre. A collection of her photographic portraits of remote Warlpiri elders were published in her book ‘The Lumen Seed’ by Daylight Books in 2017. Judith’s work responds to her Indigenous ancestry and includes themes of displacement, genocide and the loss of connection with nature. In addition to her photography, she has published collections of poetry and academic writings on music. She is currently poetry editor for The Canberra Times and Photography Director for the Kurdiji Aboriginal Suicide Prevention Project.

Judith Nangala Crispin

Visual artist and poet
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team-member1 Liz Ham has been working professionally as a photographer for over twenty years. Straddling the genres of documentary, portraiture and fashion, her work is infused with nostalgia and narrative, often exploring ideas around identity and subculture. In 2017 Ham’s first monograph ‘Punk Girls’ was released internationally by Manuscript Publishing. Liz is currently undertaking a Masters by Research at UTS exploring her lifelong investment in documentary photography.

Liz Ham

Widely published and collected photographer
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team-member1 Bronek Kozka is a photographer, an artist and educator, with over 30 years’ experience in the photography industry & 20 in tertiary education and an exhibition practice. In 2008 he was named as a Hasselblad Master, launching my exhibition practice. Kozka’s latest direction sees him out of the studio an in the backcountry. Exploring his connection with nature, Mediated by the Digital Lens & The Imperfect Beauty of the Sublime challenge maker and viewer to commune with nature on a deep level.

Bronek Kozka

Artist and educator
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team-member1 Jamie James has spent over three decades documenting Australian LGBTIQA+ and indigenous communities. Their work, which explores connection, memory, and identity, has been collected by the State Library of NSW. Co-producer of Cross Projections and a former Head On Photo Festival exhibitor, Jamie’s talent has been recognised in several prestigious photographic competitions. Photo: Cassandra Hannagan

Jamie James

Documentary photographer
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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.

Moshe Rosenzveig OAM

Founder and Creative Director, Head On Photo Festival
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team-member1 I’m an educator, writer and commentator on photography with a specific interest in photojournalism and social documentary. I’ve loved photography since my teens when I first picked up a camera. I’m excited by the opportunities the medium presents for storytelling, the sharing of knowledge and ideas, and creative expression. I want to be challenged, surprised, delighted and moved by the work submitted to Head On. Pushing boundaries and questioning how we define photography are what keep me interested and motivated. Photo Credit: Juno Gemes, 2024

Alison Stieven-Taylor

Photography commentator, journalist and educator
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team-member1 Louisa Kirby has extensive experience as a photo editor and visual researcher. She is currently working as a visual researcher for the Sydney Morning Herald.

Louisa Kirby

Picture Editor, Nine Media
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Watch our 2023 submissions webinar by Moshe Rosenzveig OAM, Creative Director Head On Photo 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?

We have two additional ways to participate in the Festival. The Head On Photo Awards will begin accepting entries in the middle of the year. We also have AddOn, a non-competitive community exhibition and photo book.

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.

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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