We are looking for submissions of 8-10 images to be considered for solo or group exhibitions in the 2023 Festival.

(This is not a call for entries into the Head On Photo Awards)

Head On Photo Festival exhibits diverse and engaging, high-quality work across still photography, multi-media and video art. We welcome submissions from individual artists, curators, groups and exhibition spaces/galleries, Australian and international. Work can be recent or not – are you sitting on a treasure trove of past images?

We believe all photo-artists need a fair chance to show their work, therefore, all the proposals received by Head On are selected without the artists’ names or pedigrees. This ensures that all photographs selected by Head On are chosen on merit alone.

After the selection panel reviews the submissions, we will invite successful applicants to exhibit during Head On Photo Festival.

Our 2023 Festival will be a mix of online and in-person exhibitions and events across Sydney, Australia from mid-November till early December.

Festival submissions for 2023 are now closed

Join our mailing list to be notified of our Head on Photo Awards

Chris Round, Jo Brunenberg, David Schalliol


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 and exhibit all genres of photography by artists at aevery career stage.

This year’s Festival will be a hybrid of online and in-person exhibitions and events. We preempt any changes in health and travel advice with tried and tested strategies in place to ensure that all exhibitions will have not only viability but also visibility. We can and will pivot our Festival program online if required. In 2020, we were the first photo festival in the world to go entirely online: 13,000 people participated in our online workshops and talks, and over 80,000 visited our website and online exhibitions.

Head On Photo Festival is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience in the process of preparing and exhibiting your work, meeting other artists and creative professionals, and being part of an internationally recognized event.

  • Inclusion 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)
  • Access to premium service providers at discounted fees
  • Invitation to join Head On Photo Festival exhibitors on-line community
  • Head On help desk
  • Featured/Head On Curated exhibitors gain additional benefits.
Bondi Beach installation 2022

Welcome to our brand new submissions system which gives you better access to create, save your progress and edit your submission.


You will first need to either login or register for a new account. If you have forgotten your password you can reset it here.

You can get to the submission form either from the submission tab on your My account page or via this link.

The submission form has 4 sections to fill out. On each section you will have the option to Save draft or to move to the previous or next section. We recommend that you save draft regularly to avoid losing any work.


Go to your My account page after logging in and click on the Submissions tab. Here you will see all you active submissions you have made to Head On Foundation.

You will be able to edit your submission as many times as you want until the deadline. You will see the status is either set to draft which means you still need to pay the submission fee or submitted if you have paid the submission fee.


  • 10 resized images from the series – 1200px on the longest edge (JPG format, less than 500Kb, sRGB). You may provide a title, caption and year taken for each photo (optional)
  • Project description max 1000 characters
  • Artist/group bio, max 1000 characters
  • Read the Terms and Conditions
Paper Tigers opening, Delmar gallery 2022

Head On Photo Festival believes all photo artists need a fair chance to show their work. This is why all exhibition submissions are selected without the artists’ names, so the proposals stand on their merit alone.

  • All submissions will be reviewed
  • Blind selection will be performed by a selection panel of industry professionals
  • The selection panel has access only to the ‘title’, ‘description’ and images
  • The selection panel will decide if the exhibition fits into the program
  • All applicants will be notified of the panel’s decision by email (please check your junk/spam/trash/clutter folders regularly)

Key questions the selection panel asks:

  • Is each image individually strong?
  • Is the submission 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 2023 selection panel

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 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 Catherine Benz is an art curator based in Sydney. She has over 25 years’ experience working in the contemporary arts sector, holding positions at NAVA, university galleries and Sydney’s former leading photographic gallery, Stills Gallery. Her curatorial projects include survey exhibitions of Australian photographer Trent Parke and New Zealand photographer Laurence Aberhart, amongst many others. She is currently director of Delmar Gallery at Trinity Grammar School.

Catherine Benz

Curator/Director, Delmar Gallery
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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 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 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 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 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 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 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, Fairfax Media
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team-member1 Alison Stieven-Taylor is an international photography commentator, journalist and educator. Her writing has appeared in publications including The Weekend Australian, World Press Photo Witness, and the French journal The Eye of Photography. She is also the publisher of the widely-read weekly blog Photojournalism Now. Alison has been a juror for numerous international photography festivals and awards including FotoEvidence Book Award, ANZ Photobook Awards, the Walkley Awards, Head On Photo Awards and the Indian Photography Festival. Alison is currently writing her PhD on photography and social change, and is a lecturer in media communications at Monash University (Melbourne).

Alison Stieven-Taylor

Photography commentator, journalist and educator
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team-member1 Gerrit Fokkema spent many years balancing assignment-based work with personal projects and family life and now concentrates on a number of long-term documentary projects. In addition to a successful commercial career, Gerrit’s personal practice has led to inclusion in the collections of the Australian National Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW, State Library of NSW, and the National Gallery of Victoria.

Gerrit Fokkema

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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Paddington Reservoir Gardens install 2022

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 5 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 between 1 Sep 2023 and 1 Jan 2024.
  • Collaborative works/group shows are accepted
  • There is no specified size or limit on the number of images for your proposed exhibition. The selection panel does consider the size/quantity of the work in relation to available exhibition spaces
  • We accept any genre of photography, including multi-media and video

Join the Head On Photo Festival team in person on Sunday 26 February. Let us know if you are coming by booking and receive further details.

Watch our recent webinar to get tips on how to be shown at photo festivals by Moshe Rosenzveig OAM Head On Photos Festival creative director.


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