Where are they now? SEPA 2018 finalist update

Portrait by Romon Yang.

Films, commissions, prizes and most importantly, making more work: SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photography Award 2018 finalists have made the most of their time in the spotlight. Here’s a small selection of what they have been up to since appearing in our 2018 exhibition.

Daniel Njegich 

Overall SEPA 2018 winner Daniel Njegich used his prize to help create "Persia's Pantry" – a short documentary about an Iranian asylum seeker standing on his own two feet. The work was screened at the Revelation Film Festival in July 2019 and will progress onto a festival circuit.

“I am in the process of trying to organise a trip to Banglasdesh to do a photo story on the Hijra people as well as continue work on my "Life on the Edge" series.”

Behind the scenes with SEPA 2018 winner Daniel Njegich making the documentary Persia's Pantry.

Arad Niksefat, the subject of the documentary Persia's Pantry, filmed and produced by Daniel Njegich.


Joel Pratley

“SEPA worked text book well,” said Pratley.

He had been working as a well-regarded assistant in Sydney before being a finalist in the reportage section last year. A director who had seen his work on the walls of SUNSTUDIOS Atrium gallery remembered him when work came up in behind the scenes photography, leading to a role in stills photography on film sets.

The bookings grew, fuelled by further finalist appearances in the National Photographic Portrait Prize and the Head On Portrait Prize. Joel is now working as a full-time freelance photographer alongside continued work on personal projects.

  Joel Pratley at work.

'Tony' by Joel Pratley was a finalist in the 2019 Head On Portrait Prize.

Bonnie Coumbe


Her finalist SEPA series was picked up and featured in Suit Case magazine. Coumbe also landed her dream assignment: a commission from Delicious magazine to shoot a travel feature on Norfolk Island (published in February 2019).


“Recently I have been in southern Spain working on a personal body of work at Seville’s Fera festival,” she said.


“The festival draws thousands of people together to celebrate their culture. The women dress in traditional flamenco, horses dressed in bells parade around, tents are filled with the sound of traditional music, dancing and drinking. I even got in the thick of it and dressed up like a local in flamenco to get the images I wanted.”

Norfolk Island by Bonnie Coumbe, commissioned by Delicious magazine for their February 2019 issue.

Norfolk Island by Bonnie Coumbe, commissioned by Delicious magazine for their February 2019 issue.


Romon Yang

Yang has continued to refine his creative practice focusing on challenging the boundaries within photography while gradually developing my style/aesthetic.


“At the moment, my works are still very experimental, but they are slowly coming together, with the primary focus still on portraiture, storytelling and its relevance to contemporary society.”


By Romon Yang.

By Romon Yang.


Pier Carthew

Shot this recent commission for jewellery brand Underground Sundae

  Pier Carthew for Underground Sundae.