IRIS Award … It’s Alf …

… I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone which of my images was selected as a Finalist in the Perth Centre for Photography’s IRIS Awards a few weeks ago … the list of selected works was a well kept secret … but I can now !

Last Friday saw the opening eve of the awards in Perth … and the forty works selected as Finalists filled the PCP gallery. There was my image “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” hanging nicely on the wall (thanks to the printing and framing skills of Paul Maietta and the crew at Fitzgerald Photo Imaging).

A little forward planning and a lot of positive finger crossing meant that I managed to arrive in Perth from London two days before Fridays’ opening event (shattered following the seventeen hour direct flight that I booked many months ago !).

It’s the third time in a row that my work has been selected as a finalist in this biennial award … links to my previous Finalist works may be found here (2021) … and here (2019) .

Sadly Alf didn’t get to hear of this latest ‘recognition’ of his work in indigenous community and on the 1967 referendum, as he passed away quietly in May this year.

However, “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” is continuing to wrack up accolades and preserve the memory of a wonderful inspirational Yarrabah gentleman.

Image of Alf © Brian Cassey

IRIS Awards - Perth Centre for Photography 2023 Finalists

“People From the Place of Many Waters” Lands in Paris …

Nice to receive the news recently that this set of portraits made in a little pop up studio during a workshop I hosted in the indigenous community of Kowanyama Cape York Peninsula late last year … “People From The Place of Many Waters” … was awarded an ‘Honorable Mention’ in ‘Portraiture – Series’ at this years prestigious “Le Prix De La Photographie De Paris” (Paris Photo Prize … PX3).

Many Thanks to the wonderful people of Kowanyama, Cape York Peninsula … the “People From The Place of Many Waters” . In particular my selection of subjects below from the hundreds of portraits made … David “Crow” Kitchener (top) – James “Doon Doon” Josiah Junior, Jyson Yam & Sneeklaw Possum (second from top) – Evelyn Birchley & Her Red Dress – Nazarie Birchley with Herbert Major-Birchley – Neville Henry – Zacchias Daniel – Arnold Possum – Charmaine Lawrence and Ruban Gibo … and all the many others who I portrayed during the program and workshop … and Tania Major who facilitated the visit for the RISE arts program.

In addition, another of my images … “100 Years & 3 Weeks – Alf Neal OAM” (yeah that one again – see other posts) … was also selected for an ‘Honorable Mention’ in the same PX3 awards, portraiture singles category … a nice welcome double 😉 !

Images © Brian Cassey

Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize #3 … Yes !

… well, that was damn exciting and unexpected !

A few days ago received an email (proceeded by phone calls) with the great news that I’d once again won the ‘Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize’. Really stoked with that …

The Walkley’s usually announce the winners of the ‘Nikon Portrait Prize’, the ‘Nikon Photo of the Year Prize’ and the finalists of the other Nikon photographic categories during state capital evening ‘events’ … but Covid this year meant a much quieter disclosure via an 8am email.

Wasn’t expected anything … so missed the initial email and only learn’t that my pic “The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa” had been selected as the portrait prize winner when colleagues started ringing me !

The pic was made on Mornington Island (Kunhanhaa) in the Gulf of Carpentaria in far northern Australia … an indigenous community that is experiencing multiple ‘social issues’ mostly due to the tyranny of distance and … well …  being ‘forgotten’. Myself and ‘gun’ journalist Michael McKenna travelled to the island in December 2020 to document the story of massive overcrowding in the communities basic homes … and the image and story was published on page one of ‘The Australian’ (below).

Many thanks to Michael … and also to the ‘driven’ Mayor of Mornington, Kyle Yanner, who is single minded in solving the issues that have beset his community.

This portrait was also a part of my pic essay “Mornington Island – The Queenslanders Left behind” that recently won the ‘Photographic Essay’ category of ‘The Clarion Awards’ … Queensland’s media awards.

Also, huge congrats to brilliant Sydney Morning Herald colleague Kate Geraghty who scored the ‘Nikon Photo of the Year Prize’ with an evocative image of a Covid-19 patient that was also published as a page1.

Can’t forget the several of my colleagues that received the news that they are ‘Finalists’ in the remaining Nikon Walkley photographic categories who won’t now learn their fate till the big announcements at The Walkley Awards presentation night of nights in Tamworth in February 2022. I’ll be there ‘with bells on’ !

Below I’ve also posted images and links to my other two previous winning ‘Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize’ photographs in 2016 (here) and 2011 (here). Also just a couple of the links to all the Nikon Walkley winners and category finalists here and here.

STOP PRESS: Was interviewed in the days after the announcement by the Walkley Foundation’s Kate Burgess for an article in The Walkley Magazine. Kate’s work and my words may be found here …

Images © Brian Cassey


2021 Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize - Winner - "The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa' - by Brian Cassey

2021 Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize - Winner - "The Yarrick Family of Kunhanhaa' - by Brian Cassey for The Australian

'Abdullatif - Beaten Asylum Seeker' - Winner 2016 Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize - image by Brian Cassey

'Carol - Burne Survivor' - Winner 2011 'Nikon Walkley Portrait Prize' - image by Brian Cassey

Paper Tigers, Strippers … & Head On Photo Festival

… it started with a germ of an idea and took nigh on a year to come to fruition … but “Paper Tigers – an Anthology of Contemporary Australian Photojournalism” is now very much a reality as an exhibition and a book.

My initial idea of a print swap of work between Australia’s talented photojournalists morphed into something much grander after a long chat with Head On Photo Festival director Moshe Rosenzveig OAM.

Moshe enthusiastically grasped the implications of the project … the like of which he confessed had been close to his heart for some years. Our combined plan grew into a featured exhibition of the work of Australia’s media photographers at Paddington Town Hall during this years Head On Photo Festival, a book of the exhibition and an exhibition ‘event’ for photographers to meet, admire their work and swap prints.

So began the task of ‘mustering’ Australia’s talented photojournalists … an ‘interesting’ exercise to invite, confirm participation and collate the collection of work … one image from each. In the end we had to draw a line at sixty.

The list is exceedingly impressive … in alphabetical order … Alex Coppel, Andrew Chapman, Angela Wylie, Ashley Crowther, Barbara McGrady, Ben Bohane, Brendan Beirne, Brian Cassey, Chris Hopkins, Craig Golding, Craig Greenhill, Darrian Traynor, Dave Tacon, David Dare Parker, David Gray, Dean Lewins, Dean Sewell, Delly Carr, Eddie Safarik, Edwina Pickles, Gerrit Fokkema, Glenn Campbell, Glenn Lockitch, Grant Wells, Helga Salwe, Ilana Rose, Jaime Murcia, Jake Nowakowski, Janie Barrett, Jessica Hromas, John Donegan, John French, Justin McManus, Louise Kennerley, Luis Ascui, Mark Crusty Baker, Martine Perret, Max Mason Hubers, Meredith O’Shea, Merv Bishop, Michael Amendolia, Michael Coyne, Moshe Rosenzveig, Nic Walker, Nick Moir, Nicola Bailey, Noel Butcher, Paul Blackmore, Penny Stephens, Peter Solness, Richard Wainwright, Rick Stevens, Rob McColl, Robert McFarlane, Simon O’Dwyer, Stephen Dupont, Sylvia Liber, Tim Page, Tobias Titz, Tracey Nearmy.

When it comes to media photographers Australia is, indeed, a ‘Lucky Country’.

Then … along came Covid-19 …

It has long amazed me how the tiny Head On team (currently Moshe, partner Anita Schwartz, Stephen, Anna and Paula) manage to put together the far reaching and monumental photo festival that it has become. It enjoys and includes contributions and entries from the best around the planet … and a World wide reputation. For a moment Coronavirus threatened all that …

However, Moshe was not fazed … and the massive work of converting the entire festival to an ‘online’ event began. That online event has now been underway for two weeks … and has been revolutionary in it’s presentation of exhibitions, artist talks, panel talks, photo related workshops, award announcements and more.

Paper Tigers has played a significant part in this Head On festival. The exhibition is available … all sixty works by sixty photojournalists … online (a simple registration required), the book ‘Paper Tigers’ (see my book image ‘Abdullatif’ top below) is now available for purchase on the website … and Head On hosted a fascinating online panel talk around the work and Australian photojournalism. It is planned to still show the physical exhibition of the complete work on the walls and host the photographers ‘do’ and print swap at Paddington Town Hall early in November (hopefully post Covid).

Below are just two of the sixty wonderful images that make up the ‘Paper Tigers’ collection. Dean Sewell’s ‘Bruce’ from 1999 and Nic Walker’s ‘Rite of Passage’ from 2014. The other 58 are just as impressive.

Amongst the massive amount of brilliant photography on line in this years festival I was also pleased to present my own little ‘featured’ exhibition. “Me Too ! Where the Boys Are … the Girls Are” showcases my work covering the MenX burlesque group during their tour to Cairns whilst being filmed for a Vice TV show. It shows the interaction between the guys who are performing and doing a job (without much in the way of clothing) and the young female audience who willingly participate. The exhibition may be found online on the Head On website (again with a simple registration) … and I did mange to stumble through an online ‘artist talk’ on the subject for those brave enough or with time to waste 🙂 . (NB – link to recorded ‘artist talks’ will be down the track.) Two of my images from the exhibition (which also should be physically on the wall in November) are below.

Lastly … was also pleased to see one of my most successful images … ‘Generations – Aurukun’ (yes … you’ve probably seen it before but it’s (bottom) below anyway 🙂 ) … selected as a semi-finalist in this festivals Portrait Prize. It’s also included in the Portrait Prize video here at the 1:18 mark.

The Head On Photo Festival 2020 has just a few days left to run. If you havn’t visited yet and you have any interest in photography at all I strongly suggest you visit and enjoy. Moshe, Anita, Anna, Stephen and Paula have done a remarkable job.

Images © … Brian Cassey & Head On (top), Dean Sewell, Nic Walker and Brian Cassey (bottom three).



Head On - Paper Tigers - Book - photojournalism - 'Abdullatif' by Brian Cassey

Head On - Paper Tigers Book - 'The Block' - image by Dean Sewell - Oculi

Head On - Paper Tigers - Book - image by Nic Walker

Head On - 'Me Too - Where the Boys Are ... the Girls Are' - image and exhibition by Brian Cassey

Head On - 'Me Too - Where the Boys Are ... the Girls Are' - image and exhibition by Brian Cassey

Head On Portrait Prize - Semi-Finalist - 'Generations - Aurukun' - by Brian Cassey

Winning Portraits By Trinity Bay HS Students …

Once again … for the fourth year … had the pleasure last week of judging the work of photography students at the Trinity Bay High School Cairns annual portrait photography prize.

This year the exhibition walls at the school were covered in around seventy works … significantly more than previous years … made by students from grades 7 through to 12. For the first time more than one major prize was on offer … an overall ‘Best in Show’ and Junior (grades 7 to 10) and Senior (grades 11 and 12) Winners prizes.

‘Best in Show’ was a ‘no brainer’ … Lou Vang’s brilliant and highly technical portrait “True Self” (top below) demanded your attention with a mesmerising stare which followed you around the room. Lou focused critically on the most important point of the image … the eyes. A portrait that would stand on it’s own anywhere. Lou was awarded a Nikon D3500 courtesy of Garricks Camera House.

The Junior and Senior prizes, however, were a lot harder to decide upon. Following a fair bit of agonising I settled on the Junior winner … Kelli Baker’s creative “Fragmented” (bottom below) just getting the nod over Holly Koch’s dark brooding “Arinar in Shadow” (second from top below). The Senior decision was just as difficult but eventually settled on Marcus Pedro’s “Time to Destroy” (right – third from top) over Kayla Allan’s “Kales” (left – third from top).

Two others received ‘Highly Commended’ awards … Georgia Willis for “Windswept” in the Juniors and Tarik Clarke for “Denied” in the Seniors. Visitors to the exhibition voted “Saturated Vibrance” by Chantelle as the ‘Peoples Choice’ winner.

Another great exhibition by photography students at Trinity Bay … and a testament to the quality of the arts and photography teaching staff of Dan, Jim, Nina, Ian et al. Refreshing to see this dedication to the photographic arts.

Links to previous years winners and works can be found here … 2018, 2017, 2016.

Images © the artists … Lou Vang, Holly Koch, Kayla Allan, Marcus Pedro and Kelli Baker.

Trinity Bay High School Photographic Portrait Prize - Winner - Mugshot by Lou Vang

Trinity Bay High School Photographic Portrait Prize - Arinar in Shadow by Holly Koch

Trinity Bay High School Photographic Portrait Prize - Images by Kayla Allan and Marcus Pedro

Trinity Bay High School Photographic Portrait Prize - Junior Winner - Fragmented by Kelli Baker

Moran & Head On Photo Festival … Sydney Wrap & Chat …

A packed ten days in Sydney town … (with a quick dash back to Cairns in the middle.)

Plenty of reasons to make the trek to Sydney for the 10th Head On Photo Festival … my “Rain Over Black Mountain” work on the walls of the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize Finalist exhibition and a fantastic prize announcement eve bash …  an ‘artist talk’ to a nice receptive crowd at the Moran Prize Juniper Hall Gallery … hanging and the opening of my “18 Minutes Inside Manus Detention Centre” Head On exhibition at White Rhino Artspace … a glimpse of my Head On Portrait Prize semi-finalist “Tomotaro on the Block” at Paddington Town Hall … AND the opportunity to see brilliant work on many and varied exhibition walls and spend some quality time with many photo colleagues and friends old and new. It all went far too fast …

I could rave on for pages about the all the happenings over the ten days … but will have to abbreviate this just to the (many) highlights … here goes …

The grand opening eve of the 10th Head On Photo Festival and announcement of prize winners … including the camaraderie in the pub afterwards … with photographers David Dare Parker, Tracey Nearmy, Melanie Russell, Tami Xiang, Max Mason-Hubers, John Swainston and many more … pic editors News 360’s Neil Bennett and Fairfax’s Mags King … and photo industry personalities Alison Stieven-Taylor and Sally Brownbill.

A personal tour of the wonderful exhibition “Heat” at the Bondi Pavilion by the very talented photographer and great guy in question Paul Blackmore.

The opening eve of the exhibition of the work of infamous eccentric photographer Helmut Newtown in the gallery of the equally eccentric paparazzo Darryn Lyons … and the artist talks there by David Bowie photographer Masayoshi Sukita (who was celebrating his 81st birthday) and US music photographer Chris Cuffaro … followed by more pub natter with Natalie Grono, David DP, Max MH and more.

In Paddington Reservoir Gardens, the “Photos 1440” exhibition by the SMH with personal ‘commentary’ by pic editor Mags King and staff photographer Kate Geraghty … and also the brilliant images in “Like Last Years Snow” by Oded Wagenstein.

Head On ‘Conversations’ … two of the panel talks stood out … “Recapturing the Audience : Why is Nobody Paying Attention” … and “Truth, Lies and Censorship” (with US professor and artist Jennifer Greenburg outstanding in the later).

The great work of mate David Dare Parker covering the Rohingya story … “Exodus : Rohingya Refugee Crisis Bangladesh” … on the walls of the Delmar Gallery.

The truly memorable eve at the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize opening and 2019 results at Juniper Hall and the spill over into the Imperial Hotel next door (with a whole bunch of great photographers and mates). Great to see “Rain Over Black Mountain” on the walls amongst other finalist works from a host of so talented colleagues (too long to list but you know who you are !).

My little ‘chat’ (‘artist talk’) to a crowd on a pleasant Sunday afternoon at Juniper Hall for the Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize.

Fantastic to see my work “18 Minutes Inside Manus Detention Centre” on the walls again … this time at the ‘White Rhino Artspace’ as part of the Head On Photo Festival. A huge Thanks to ‘Rhinos’ Catie and Regula for their help hanging and organising a thoroughly enjoyable ‘opening’ event that attracted many visitors … some of which were old friends/colleagues who I hadn’t seen for many years.

Lastly, but nowhere near least, the fabulous hospitality shown by the Head On Photo Festival crew … both widely across the entire festival and at the Paddington Town Hall ‘Hub’. Moshe (OAM), Anita, Stephen, Paula and all of you … I profusely Thank You !

Below … from top … Images © Brian Cassey … “Rain Over Black Mountain” on the wall of the beautiful Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize gallery, Juniper Hall … White Rhino Artspace owners Catie and Regula hang my “18 Minutes Inside Manus Detention Centre” work on the walls of their St Leonard’s gallery … the Head On Photo Festival crew (with director Moshe Rosenzvieg OAM second for left) during the “18 Minutes Inside Manus Detention Centre” exhibition launch at White Rhino Artspace … my Head On Portrait Prize semi-finalist work “Tomotaro on the Block” displayed at the Head On festival ‘Hub’, Paddington Town Hall.

'18 Minutes Inside Manus Detention Centre' - exhibition at White Rhino Artspace, Sydney - work by Brian Cassey

'18 Minutes Inside Manus Detention Centre' - exhibition at White Rhino Artspace, Sydney - work by Brian Cassey

Head On Portrait Prize 2019 - 'Tomotaro on the Block' - semi-finalist image by Brian Cassey

Trinity Bay Portraits Excel …

Once again … for the third year … delighted to be asked to judge the annual Trinity Bay High School “Photographic Portrait Prize”.

Once again I was mightily impressed by the work of these talented photography students under the tutelage of the dedicated Trinity Bay visual arts teaching staff. The standard of entries this year exceeded the already high standard of previous years (2017 here and 2016 here)… and that made the judging decision making that much harder.

Eventually, I decided on a Winner, second, third and four highly commended … plus a couple of mentions for the seperate ‘staff’ prize.

Grade 12 student Lit Thao … who has a hearing and communication impairment … won third prize in last years Portrait Prize. There is no doubt that his visual communication skills are extraordinary. This year his image “Angry Man” stared out from amongst the other sixty odd works on the exhibition walls .. and dragged you in. I had little hesitation in awarding his work the winner of the Nikon D3400 DSLR prize sponsored by Garricks Camera House in Cairns.

Not far behind was the Mona Lisa-esque work of grade 11 student Kimberley Burns entitled “Portrait of Ruby”. In both these images the eyes of the subject seem to follow the viewer around the room.

Third place went to a more abstract, creative, but nonetheless intriguing work  … “Portrait of Livio” … by Greta Beluffi. Greta is also a grade 11 student.

Out of the four Highly Commended works I selected … Vika Latu’s “Nostalgia in August”, Madison Robinson’s “Truth Behind the Smile”, Laura Saavedra’s “In the South” and Elise Mcatamney’s “Untiled”… one deserves an extra special mention. Elise (her work is bottom below) is just a grade 7 student. Remarkably three works different from my selection tied for the “Peoples Choice” award.

If you are a Cairns resident and interested in our talented budding photo artists try and get along to the Photographic Prize  exhibition at Trinity Bay High School.

Below … from top … Winner – “Angry Man” by Lit Thao, Second – “Portrait of Ruby” by Kimberley Burns, Third – “Portrait of Livio” by Greta Beluffi, Highly Commended (1 of 4) – “Untitled” by Elise Macatamney (grade 7). Works © the individual artists.


2018 Trinity Bay High School "Photographic Portrait Prize" - image by Lit Tao - judged by Brian Cassey

2018 Trinity Bay High School "Photographic Portrait Prize" - image by Kimberly Burns - judged by Brian Cassey

2018 Trinity Bay High School "Photographic Portrait Prize" - image by Greta Beluffi - judged by Brian Cassey

PNG To Percival Prize …

Pleased that I made it back from an incredible Papua New Guinea gig on Friday morning … just in time to jump on a flight to Townsville for the opening eve ‘bash’ of the 2018 Percival Photographic Portrait Prize.

The ‘Percival’s’ are relatively new … a biennial prize now into it’s third edition. Despite it’s relative youth it has quickly grown into a worthwhile quality event attracting work from some of the best photographic portrait artists from around the country. A ten grand first prize has ensured that. It is run by the Townsville City Council and the exhibition of finalists work graces the clean crisp confines of the Pinnacles Gallery in Thuringowa.

Great to have two works on the walls of the finalist’s exhibition … as also did friends and photographer colleagues Jon Lewis, Peter Solness and Felicity Cole … whilst Rod McNicol and Glen O’Malley scored one apiece. Although there are one or two questionable works in the large expertly lit exhibition the overall standard of the majority is impressive, rivalling many other more notable prizes across the land. The City of Townsville Council also produces what has to be one of the best and most professional printed exhibition catalogues I have seen.

I havn’t previously mentioned my works that have been selected …  but can reveal that they are … “The Skin I’m In – II” of Carol Mayer (the same image that has graced the National Portrait Gallery and several other exhibition walls) … and “Mowisha from Jumbun” made in the indigenous township near Tully. Nothing new here I’m afraid …

The winner of the, not insubstantial, cash was Sydney’s Kellie Leczinska with her work “Mbathio, Marrickville”. The job of judging fell to Cherie McNair, Director and CEO, Australian Centre for Photography and Judy Annear, former Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

Townsville Council should heartily and genuinely be congratulated for hosting this award and exhibition and for their support of the photographic arts. Would be wonderful to see Cairns do something similar …

The exhibition runs at the Pinnacles Gallery, 20 Village Boulevard, Thuringowa Central, Townsville, 10am to 5pm till the 15th July.

Below are images of my works on the gallery walls. (© Brian Cassey)


2018 Percival Photographic Portrait Prize - "Mowisha from Jumbun" - by Brian Cassey

2018 Percival Photographic Portrait Prize - "The Skin I'm In - II" - by Brian Cassey



‘Carol’ Does it Again …

Will have to get on the ‘blower’ again to voice yet another sincere vote of ‘Thanks’ to my amazin’ portrait subject Carol Mayer.

This morning (Sunday), during a live awards streaming event (which I didn’t bother to watch), it was announced that my “The Skin I’m In- II” image of burns survivor Carol  … took out “3rd Place – Honor of Distinction” in the Portrait category of the huge 2018 “International Color Awards” (11th Annual Edition).

There were a host of great portraits made by some very accomplished photographers selected as ‘Nominees’ in the ‘Portrait’ section  … so it was very rewarding to be amongst the top three ‘Honorees’.  (Although I wish they would learn to spell ‘Honour’ and ‘Honourees’ … and ‘Colour’ … correctly.) Rounding out the top three were portraits by winner Boy Surminski from The Netherlands and second placed Azin Haghighi from Iran.  

“The Skin I’m In – II’ has also been recognised by the 2017 ‘National Photographic Portrait Prize’ and several others.

… ‘uge Thanks’ once again Carol …

Image © Brian Cassey

International Color Awards - Honor of Distinction - Portraits - "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

Head On Shenanigans & Finalists …

The Head On Photo Festival continues it’s meteoric and spectacular growth.

This years month long Festival kicked off in style on May 1 at Town Hall Sydney – the Festival ‘Hub’ – and I was pleased to once again be a part of Australia’s eminent photo show thanks to Festival Directors Moshe Rosenzveig and Anita Schwartz. Opening eve was packed to the ornate Town Hall rafters with about 800 guests and nine top flight photo exhibitions – and a very welcome ‘welcome’ bar.

Described as ‘a veritable orgy of photography’ Head On Photo Festival this year consisted of over a hundred exhibitions and the work of several hundred photographers.

For me, a Highlight amongst all the brilliant exhibitions, opening nights, workshops, artist talks, award presentations, portfolio reviews, pop up studios, trivia evenings etc etc and bloody fantastic work … was a meal post Custom’s House wine and cheese which I shared with three US superstar photographers, a delightful colleague from Byron Bay and two photographers from Iran !! (I know … it’s sounding like the opening line of a ‘joke’).

Sharing pizzas, wine and photojournalism small talk that eve were Ben Lowy (renowned Getty Images photojournalist) and his partner Marvi Lacar (Facebook Pages picture editor) , Los Angeles Times Chief Photographer Michael Robinson Chávez , Iranian girls Saghar Amirazimi and Shiva Shakhesi, the gorgeous and so talented Natalie Grono,  … and myself …

An extremely convivial and fascinating ‘across the divide’ few hours … ! (Pizzas weren’t bad either)

Head On Award wise I was, indeed, fortunate to have my work selected as a Finalist in two categories – the prestigious ‘Head On Portrait Prize’ and the new ‘Head On Moving Image Prize’ – and included in the Portrait Prize exhibition at the Museum of Sydney (till June 8th) and the Moving Image show at Brenda May Gallery Waterloo (till June 6th). Both exhibitions are well worth a visit and a pleasure to humbly be a part of.

Below I’ve posted my Portrait Finalist image “Disko Meri” – a portrait of a night club hostess girl in Port Moresby PNG (Thank You Julie!) – and my Moving Image work “Eyes – The Soul of a Photograph”.

Many Thanks for the wonderful hospitality afforded me by the Head On Photo Festival crew – Kat Mills, Lauran Vohmann, John Slaytor, Jon Lewis, Moshe, Anita and many others … just brilliant …

Images © Brian Cassey



Fremantle Portrait Prize …

Had the pleasure on the weekend of being a guest at the opening eve of the ‘2013 Fremantle International Portrait Prize’ at the Moore’s Contemporary Art Gallery in … uuumm … Fremantle.

An excellent array of the finest examples of photographic portraiture, I was indeed fortunate to have two of my images amongst the 2013 collection – “Stockman” and “Carol – Burns Survivor”.

Enjoyed the evening’s events with photographic colleagues David Dare Parker, Richard Wainwright, Peter Ramshaw and others as we were entertained by a string quartet (nice touch!).

The exhibited work was of an exceptional standard and a testament to the organisers of the Prize which is in only it’s second year. Work from thirty countries around the Planet were amongst the entries which totalled near two thousand and, indeed, the winning photographer hailed from Croatia! The exhibition runs at Moore’s until September 1st. The next ‘Fremantle International Portrait Prize’ will be in 2015.

Below are pics of the Moore’s gallery space and my two images as they were hung – “Stockman” and “Carol – Burns Survivor” (©Brian Cassey).