Images L-R Debbie Gallulo, Ivana Martyn-Zyznikow, Adrian Grasso, Cihan Bektas, Vitor Queiroz


2019 SEPA finalists announced


From hundreds of submissions across Australia, a blind judging process has chosen the strongest twelve emerging photographic talents as finalists in the 2019 SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Award (SEPA).

Each year SEPA aims to break down the barriers photographers face in establishing a career by offering an opportunity to have work evaluated by industry leaders and commissioning agents. The free-to-enter award offers a generous and flexible $25K prize pool, available for redemption in products and services at SUNSTUDIOS including product, fine art printing, equipment hire, exhibition and studio space.

Twelve finalists across four photographic categories will feature in a finalist exhibition opening September 19 at the Atrium Gallery, SUNSTUDIOS Sydney where the winner, runner up and highly commended will be announced. The exhibition continues until October 6 before travelling to SUNSTUDIOS Skylight Gallery in Melbourne from November 7-19.

“It’s always surprising to see what will surface in a blind judging process,” said SUNSTUDIOS Head of Exhibitions Jessica Donovan.

“In its eleventh year we were pleased to see a record number of applicants and overall, an even split of representation across genders amongst the finalists. SEPA is a core event in the SUNSTUDIOS calendar where we get to use our industry networks and resources to provide measurable opportunities to early career photographers.”


Commercial / Lifestyle:

  • Adrian Grasso
  • Belinda Richards
  • Kevin Li

Fashion / Beauty / Portrait:

  • Cihan Bektas
  • Ivana Martyn-Zyznikow
  • Jessica Brohier


Landscape / Architecture: 

  • Ashley Ludkin
  • Debbie Gallulo
  • Matt Solomon


News / Reportage:

  • Karlina Mitchell
  • Mridula Amin
  • Vitor Queiroz



  • 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 | Photographer


  • 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


  • Winner: $10,000 "SUN Dollars" - to be redeemed on studio hire, equipment hire and limited retail product and fine art printing service ($5,000 spend limit in each department).
  • 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.

Images L-R Debbie Gallulo, Ivana Martyn-Zyznikow, Adrian Grasso, Cihan Bektas, Vitor Queiroz.