BBC 5 Live Interview

Prior to the launch of my exhibition “A Photographer’s Life – Part One” at the 2017 Head On Photo Festival in Sydney, I was interviewed by my old mate BBC Australia correspondent Phil Mercer.

The BBC 5 Live interview, hosted by Phil and Rhod Sharp, became a rather lengthy affair and touched on my photographic work over the decades, the then pending exhibition in Sydney, various aspects of photography and photojournalism … and my life in the UK and Australia. It runs for near 22 minutes.

NPPP … Vote for Carol …

Have received some nice comments about my work “The Skin I’m In – II” from visitors to the “National Photographic Portrait Prize” 2017 exhibition at the Canberra “National Portrait Gallery”. Very rewarding … and a real buzz to be part of such a brilliant collection of photographic portraiture.

Some have even told that they were moved to vote for the image of burns survivor Carol Mayer in the now main focus of the awards … the “People’s Choice Award”.

The good news is that all can still vote in the “People’s Choice Award” … AND stand a chance to win an award for themselves … until June the 1st. There are ten prizes up for grabs for those who take the time to vote for their favourite portrait of the NPPP exhibition … including a $2000 accomodation package.

Voting is simply conducted on line where all the finalist work is shown … to vote for my portrait of Carol … “The Skin I’m In – II” simply click on this link (or click on the image below) … … and enter your vote and details on the NPPP site. (please don’t forget to verify the NPPP return email 🙂

The NPPP exhibition runs at the “National Portrait Gallery” Canberra till June 18th.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 - "The Skin I'm In - II" - by Brian Cassey

Canberra, Carol and the NPPP …

Despite the best efforts of devastating Cyclone Debbie, massive floods and Qantas I still managed to make it to Canberra on Friday eve for the official opening bit of the 2017 National Photographic Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery … but with literally just seconds to spare.

Getting to Canberra at all was a massive drama. I spent a near week covering the Cyclone Debbie story in Bowen for Fairfax news. There was a tiny window late on Wednesday – after ‘Debbie’ battered the Whitsundays and before the ensuing massive storms – for myself and three AAP and Fairfax colleagues to attempt to get out of Bowen. Roads north had supposedly been blocked by flood waters in the cyclone aftermath – so when officers left a road block we made a move. In the little car convoy we forded flooded roads and into an almost apocalyptic thunder storm and insanely torrential rains. We eventually came out the other side with the highway surely now impassable behind us and arrived saturated and relieved back in Townsville late that night.

Then Qantas combined with the remnants of ‘Debbie’ to almost thwart the trip to Canberra. In quick succession not one but two of my flights Cairns to Canberra were cancelled. Frantic phone calls, rearranged flights and a car booked to whisk me from Canberra airport to the National Portrait Gallery … and I arrived just as the opening speeches ended.

It had been a badly kept secret … thanks to a great NPPP show preview special article in ‘The Australian Weekend Magazine’ a couple of weeks ago … that my work “The Skin I’m In – II” (below) of burns survivor Carol Mayer was in the mix as a Finalist and in the National Portrait Gallery exhibition. Once again I must sincerely thank the wonderful Carol for her patience and decision to let me make the portrait.

NPPP judge George Fetting had this to say about Carol’s image …  “It’s such a terribly powerful and courageous story and for her to let the photo be taken, presenting such beauty and pain in the same image, moves everyone who looks at it.”

Whilst in Canberra it was great to spend time with photographer colleagues … afore mentioned former Courier Mail and SMH photographer George Fetting, co NPPP Finalist Jon Reid, ex Cairns mate Sean Davey and Nikon Walkley Press Photographer of the Year 2015 Gary Ramage.

Sean has created a great photo gallery in Canberra – The Photography Room – which is currently showing Gary’s excellent work – “Afghanistan” – made during his 2011 embed with Australian forces. Gary and Sean gave me a private showing before a lunch to chew over all the industry ‘goss’. Both the gallery and the exhibition are well worth a visit …

A massive, rewarding and eventful week …

(Below – “The Skin I’m In – II” at the NPPP © Brian Cassey)


The 2017 National Photographic Portrait Prize: - Canberra - "The Skin I'm In II) - Carol Meyer - by Brian Cassey

The 2017 National Photographic Portrait Prize: - Canberra - "The Skin I'm In II) - Carol Meyer - by Brian Cassey

The 2017 National Photographic Portrait Prize: - Canberra - "The Skin I'm In II) - Carol Meyer - by Brian Cassey

National Portrait Gallery … Yes …

I’m not allowed to give you much in the way of details about this yet … sworn to secrecy … but may I say that I’m absolutely stoked to learn the news that an (unnamed at the moment) image of mine has been selected as a Finalist in the National Portrait Gallery’s ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’ for 2017 … !

Apparently close to three thousand entries were received for this years awards … and it’s great to make the finalist cut.

Nice to add the NPPP to the other finalist awards over the last few months … the Moran Contemporary Photography Prize, the Bowness Photography Prize, the Contemporary Landscapes in Photography (CLIP) Awards … along with a second place in the Moscow International Foto Awards (MIFA), two wins in the Tokyo International Foto Awards (TIFA) … and a much appreciated Win in the Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize.

I feel a very fortunate fellow right now … 🙂

All ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’ finalist and winning works will be revealed at the opening of the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, King Edward Terrace, Canberra, ACT on the 31st March. (Note to self … must book flights …) There’s a prize of $25,000 at stake for the creator of the most outstanding photographic portrait. This year there will also be prizes for Highly Commended as well an Art Handlers’ Award and People’s Choice Award.  The exhibition will run till the 18th June before touring to the Blue Mountains, Mornington Peninsula, Western Sydney, and Devonport, with also the possibility of a fifth venue being added.

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2017