SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photography Awards


Submission Deadline:
19 August

Opening Night:
19 September

The annual SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Award (SEPA) unearths and extends the skills of our next generation of professional photographers by providing a platform for excellence in the medium of photography.

For its eleventh year, the Award continues to offer a generous $25K in prizes across four categories, resourcing recipients through the next stage of their careers.

Entries are invited from all states and territories within Australia during the search for the nation's brightest new talent. The competition is free to enter until midnight, Monday 19 August.

Entrants will have their work anonymously judged by some of Australia's finest photographers and industry professionals, including leading photo editors and commissioning agents.

This culminates in an exhibition of the finalists work launching at SUNSTUDIOS Sydney's Atrium gallery on 19 September where the overall winner, runner up and highly commended prizes will be announced. It later travels to the Skylight Gallery at SUNSTUDIOS Melbourne. SEPA COMPETITION 2019Image © Marcus Coblyn

How to enter

1. Choose a category:

  • Fashion / Beauty / Portraiture
  • Landscape / Architecture
  • News / Reportage
  • Commercial / Lifestyle 

2. Read the Terms & Conditions and ensure your submission meets the criteria. 

3. Upload a series of 3-5 images. Image specs and naming convention detailed here

4. Complete the online submission form and be sure to include an artist statement and link to your submission images.  

*Entrants can submit in each genre up to three times. There is a maximum of 12 entries per person. Entries close 11:59pm EST Monday 19 August 2019.

The prizes

The SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Award is unique among Australian photo prizes in that it is free to enter, generous and targeted in $25K worth of prizes. 

We acknowledge that trajectories are unique and there is no cookie-cut method to launch a career in our industry. Therefore, SUNSTUDIOS has designed an adaptable prize that can be customised depending on an individual photographer’s aspirations, and we are putting their work in front of judges who can offer opportunities in different areas of professional practice.

The 2019 winner receives $10,000 RRP to spend across SUNSTUDIOS services with up to $5,000 in each department.

Winner: $10,000 "SUN Dollars" - to be redeemed on studio hire, equipment hire and limited retail product and fine art printing service.

Runner-Up: Fine art print services by SUN Print Sydney or Melbourne to the value of $2,500* and $2000 "SUN dollars" - to be redeemed on studio hire and  equipment hire.

Highly Commended: 3-month Treehouse Co-working Resident Desk membership.

All Category Finalists: $700 "SUN dollars" - to be used on studio hire and and equipment hire.

The Judges

Four categories. Three judges per category.

Our search for the best emerging talent is shaped by judges who can both recognise and reward it. We invite industry leaders who commission and select photographers and imagery in agencies and publications.



Mags King

Managing Photo Editor – Sydney Morning Herald + Australian Financial Review

Jessica Hromas

Picture Editor – The Guardian Australia

Nic Walker

Freelance Photographer


Emily Abay

Fashion & Beauty Photographer

Jane Robinson

Director – Artboxblack

Gary Heery



Shannon Stoddart

Managing Director – The Kitchen Creative Management

Anna Pogossova

Still life Photographer & photo media artist - Represented by B&A and Jerico Contemporary

Tegan Sadlier

Photo Editor – Fairfax Media


Simon Harsent

Photographer & Director - Represented by the POOL Collective

Holly Cunneen

Editor, Habitus Magazine

Derek Henderson

Photographer - Represented by M.A.P

The SEPA 2018 judging panel consisted of 12 experts.

Get a headstart on your entry with these tips from some of our 2018 category judges:

News / Reportage

And arm yourself with some insights from the 2018 Finalists Exhibition Opening Night:

The Categories

1. Fashion / Beauty / Portrait

2. Landscape / Architecture

3. News / Reportage

4. Commercial / Lifestyle

Last year's Winners


DANIEL NJEGICHFor his series Victims of Politics

Read interview here

SEPA 2019


MARK MORGAN Fashion / Beauty

Read interview here

SEPA 2019 Mark Morgan


SEAN PARIS News / Reportage

Read interview here