Winners announced for the 2020 Head On Photo Awards

Head On Photo Festival, Australia’s leading international annual photography event, have announced the winners of the 2020 Head On Photo Awards. Judged anonymously by a panel of internationally recognised photographers, editors and leading industry professionals, the annual awards celebrate excellence in three categories including PortraitLandscape and Student.

The winners were announced on Friday 1 May as part of the Head On(line) Photo Festival digital launch event hosted by Bachelor host Osher Günsberg. Exhibitions featuring the winners and finalist works for each category will be presented online as part of the 2020 Head On(line) Photo Festival. Running from 1 – 17 May 2020, the digital festival features 110 exhibitions by leading international and local photographers from around the globe alongside a public program of over 80 artist talks, panel discussions and webinars, led by internationally renowned photographers and industry professionals, stretching five continents.

The annual awards offer a prize-pool of $70 000 to professional and amateur photographers around the world. The awards are a rewarding platform for both professional and amateur photographers with finalist exhibitions set to tour internationally after the festival.

Festival Director Moshe Rosenzveig OAM said, “The Head On Photo Awards are at the centre of our festival and showcase incredible talent from professionals and amateurs alike. The judges and I have been blown away by the high standard of this year’s submissions and we are delighted to announce the 2020 winners as we launch our exciting digital program.  We look forward to sharing the winners and 2020 program with our international community.”

The 2020 Head On Photo Award Winners are as follows: 

The 2020 Portrait Prize

  • Overall Winner: Australian photographer Fiona Wolf-Symeonides’ The gift, RHW 2020, which captures a modern family story of a girl born by a warrior woman to two loving dads, with the love and support of a wonderful family around them.
  • Australian Runner Up:  Australian photographer and filmmakerJon Frank’ s Yuendumu, Northern Territory, 2019created during his year living and working with the Warlpiri people in the Northern Territory.
  • International Runner Up: Acclaimed Dutch photographer Jouk Oosterhof’s work Egbert, a portrait of toddler Egbert that draws on an old technique used for long exposures where children were held by their parents who were covered in decorative fabrics, to keep them in place and prevent blurry pictures.

The 2020 Landscape Prize

  • Overall winner: Whimsical warrior by Mullengudgery-based special needs teacher Marcia Macmillan, who caught the moment her daughter, a quintessential farm girl who likes to dress up, ran towards a huge dust storm. A fragile, yet fearless nine-year-old, challenging mother nature to unleash herself in all her fury.
  • Australian Runner Up: Celebrated Australian photojournalist Nick Moir’s Run documenting firefighters escaping the intense heat of the Green Wattle Creek fire in Orangeville during the devastating 2019/20 Australian bushfire season.
  • International Runner Up: English photographerPaul Carruthers’ Cheddar Gorge – Horseshoe Bend which is a five-minute night-time exposure of the famous limestone gorge, once voted one of the seven wonders of Britain.

The 2020 Student Prize (open to school years K-12)

  • Joel Parkinson’s Within without, a self-portrait that explores the unstable terrain between childhood and adulthood and illustrates the last vestiges of innocence and ever-growing maturity and individuality before the arrival of adulthood.
  • Alice Tasker’s self-portrait titled Bagel, after her nickname, that was taken in a local park and seeks to capture her identity in the quiet moments.
  • Lewis Dobbin’s Snow trails features three hikers trekking across a barren snow-filled landscape and considers the lasting impact humans have on untouched landscapes despite their sheer inferiority to nature.

To see the 2020 Head On Photo Award finalist exhibitions and for more information about select events visit

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