The $50,000 National Photographic Portrait Prize is now open for entries

Entries are now open in one of the country’s richest prizes for portraiture. The National Photographic Portrait Award offers the winner $30,000, plus $20,000 in camera equipment from its imaging partner, Canon. Prizes are also awarded for highly commended entries as well as an Art Handlers’ Award. The works of all finalists will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery from June 17 to October 1, 2023.

©Wayne Quilliam. Silent strength, 2021. Winner, National Photographic Portrait Award 2022. In its purest essence, the evolution of culture connects us to Mother Earth. She breathes in and out with us, has a heartbeat and sings songs for everyone to hear. My role as a storyteller continues to evolve and this capture is like a trickle of water melting into a small stream and then into the ocean. This image of Eric Yunkaporta from Aurukun is Culture.

The competition prize promotes the best of contemporary photographic portraiture by professional and aspiring Australian photographers.

©Adam Ferguson.  Highly Recommended, NPPP 2022. Carlos Soyos, 34, a migrant from Guatemala City, Guatemala and his son, Enderson Soyos, 8.
©Adam Ferguson. Strongly recommended, National Photographic Portrait Award 2022. Carlos Soyos, 34, a migrant from Guatemala City, Guatemala and his son, Enderson Soyos, 8.

The 2022 National Portrait Photography Award was presented to leading Indigenous curator/photographer Wayne Quilliam for his image, Silent Force 2021, depicting Aurukun man Eric Yunkaporta wearing ceremonial headgear. The Highly Commended award went to Adam Ferguson for his portrayal of Guatemalan migrant Carlos Soyos and his eight-year-old son Enderson, taken from the migrant shelter on the Mexico-US border. The Art Handlers’ Award was won by Adam Haddrick for his portrait, Cordy in the clouds. Luther Cora won the audience award.

© Luther Cora.  Flora and fauna, Giara: white cockatoo.  Winner of the public prize, national prize for photographic portrait 2022.
© Luther Cora. Flora and fauna, Giara: white cockatoo. Winner of People’s Choice, National Photographic Portrait Prize 2022. “This photo was part of a series I took in my living room in a makeshift studio during a short period of COVID-related lockdown. I decided to trying to create a floral headdress with native flowers. This triggered me to think, are we First Nations indigenous people still classified in flora and fauna? Do we still have government policies or laws in place in which do we fall or fall under the influence of our elderly?

Registration closes January 31, 2023.

For more information, visit https://www.portrait.gov.au/nppp.

©Adam Haddrick.  Cordy in the clouds.
©Adam Haddrick. Cordy in the clouds. Art Craftsmen Awards, National Photographic Portrait Award 2022. “I first saw ‘Cordy’ (meaning ‘Spirit of the Sunrise’ in the traditional language of the Tjungundji people of Far North Queensland) when he walked past me on my first day in Charters Towers. I was immediately mesmerized by his presence. Months later I had the good fortune to meet him. He shared his story and told me about a visit to India for an archeology conference where locals greeted him as a holy man. I had not seen clouds in the sky for weeks, but as taking his portrait they rolled behind him as if at the right moment.”

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Michael E. Marquez