The annual SUNSTUDIOS Emerging Photographer Award (SEPA) unearths and extends the skills of our next generation of professional image makers. Entries are now open for emerging photography and videography talent to submit photo and/or video works to the 2021 theme: Faces and Places.
SEPA aims to break down the barriers image makers face in establishing a career by offering an opportunity to have work evaluated by industry leaders and commissioning agents. The award offers a generous and flexible $25K prize pool across four main category winners and two People's Choice prizes, helping to resource recipients through the next stage of their careers. Entry is free until midnight on 23 August 2021.
FACES AND PLACES
For photo entries, submit single images into Faces (think portraiture, fashion, beauty and documentary and/or Places (such as landscape, travel, architecture and documentary). For video entries, submit films under 4 minutes in length using the general category advice above.
Entries are invited from all states and territories within Australia during the search for the nation's brightest new talent. Entrants will have their work anonymously judged by some of Australia's finest photographers, filmmakers and industry professionals. This culminates in an exhibition of the finalists’ work scheduled to launch at SUNSTUDIOS Sydney's Atrium gallery on 30 September 2021 where the winners will be announced and the People's Choice voting opens. The exhibition is then scheduled to travel to the Skylight Gallery at SUNSTUDIOS Melbourne.
HOW TO ENTER
Choose a category Faces and Places. Entrants can submit single image entries or video works under 4 minutes into either category.
Read the Terms & Conditions. Ensure your submission meets the criteria.
Complete the online submission Entries close 11:59pm EST Monday 23 August 2021.
SEPA is unique among Australian photo prizes in that it is free to enter, generous and targeted in $25,000 worth of prizes. We acknowledge that trajectories are unique and there is no cookie-cut method to launch a career in our industry.
SUNSTUDIOS has designed an adaptable prize that can be customised depending on an individual image makers’ aspiration.
The 2021 category winners will receive: $6,000 RRP “SUN Dollars” to spend across SUNSTUDIOS products and services including retail, studio and equipment hire and fine art printing.
The People’s Choice winners will receive: $500 "SUN Dollars" to be spent across studio and equipment hire.
Two 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 can identify and commission photographers, filmmakers and imagery in agencies and publications.
CHARLOTTE KOCH, 2018 SEPA FINALIST“[I] felt very supported and valued and it's great to be able to show my work and have people enjoy it”
MARK MORGAN, 2018 SEPA FINALIST“I don't put my pictures out there much and I just thought it would be a good way to do that. It's quite nice to get some recognition”
ADRIAN GRASSO, 2019 SEPA FINALIST“All the SEPA prizes are amazing and a massive help to us all. I am very grateful to be given the opportunity to be part of SEPA 2019. In all honesty, it isn't about the prizes. I love what I do and had fun with this shoot – prizes are a bonus.”
Q: What is the deadline date/time?
The competition is free to enter until 11:59PM EST, 23 August 2021. Entries submitted after this deadline will not be accepted.
Q: How do you define an Emerging artist?
We define an Emerging Photographer or Videographer as someone with less than five years’ professional experience. Make sure you’ve read through our full terms and conditions here. >
Q: Does my work best fit into Places or Faces?
We are open to your interpretation of our two themes. As guidance, genres like portraiture, fashion, beauty and photojournalism may best fit “Faces”. Landscape, documentary, travel and architecture are good fits for “Places”. If in doubt, enter both and we can decide for you. Please note that entering one work into both categories is counted as two entries.
Q: How many times can I enter?
You can enter up to ten works in total.
Q: What is your judging criteria?
Entries in both categories will be judged on creative concept, and skilled execution.
Q: What specs should I conform to?
Video category entries should be submitted in FHD (1920x1080) without credits and run for no longer than 4 minutes in length in one of the following formats: MPEG, MPG, MOV, MP4, AVI. Please include credits in a separate word doc or the artist statement field to allow for anonymous judging.
Photography files should be submitted as single images in both low res (72 dpi jpg minimum 2500 pix wide) and high-res TIFF files (unsharpened) with embedded ICC profile for exhibition printing.
Name files as CATEGORY_ARTISTNAME_IMAGETITLE.
Please include all passwords and shared access for share links.
Q: Can I submit from outside Australia?
SEPA is a national competition for residents of Australia only.
Q: How many finalists will be selected?
All Entries are judged by a panel of the industry’s best (judges are selected at the sole discretion of the Promoter) to shortlist fourteen finalists in each category for stills (14 on the theme “Faces” and 14 on the theme “Places” - 28 in total. Seven video finalists for each category will be chosen as displayed finalists (14 in total).
Q: Which genres are accepted?
All genres. Including animation, documentary, art, fashion.
Q: Where/how will my entry be displayed if I am a finalist?
SUNSTUDIOS will cover the cost of fine art printing, mounting photographs to gatorboard and installation for SEPA finalists.
For the Sydney launch night and award announcement, video category finalists will be projected before moving to a screen within the gallery for the duration of the exhibition.
Sydney exhibition is scheduled to open 30 September - 30 October.
Melbourne Exhibition is scheduled to open 18 November - close of year.
Q: Can my work have been published or displayed at an earlier date?
Yes, that’s fine.
Q: Can it be a collaborative work?
Yes, provided you have collected any necessary permissions needed from contributing parties. Please see full terms and conditions for details. If Entries are or have been produced for, or used as part of, a commercial project or body of work, the Promoter requires written approval for exhibition and promotion from the client or any party who holds licensing rights.
Q: When are finalists advised?
Finalists will be notified by 2 September 2021 by email.
Q: How will my entry be used?
All Entrants retain any copyright they own in their Entries. By entering the Competition, Entrants grant the Promoter permission to:
- Reproduce their Entries for display or archival purposes;
- Use their Entry for PR or marketing purposes;
- Capture their Entry in film footage or photos (to the extent they are exhibited) for subsequent use in any media; and
- Use their Entry on the Promoter’s website, in catalogues, books or in advertising;
But only for the purpose of conducting and promoting the Competition and future versions of this Competition.
All finalists will be exhibited and imagery will be made available for public display online during People’s Choice voting.
Q: How do I contact you with any further questions?
Contact us at email@example.com.
Q: Where can I find the full terms and conditions?
Please find our full terms and conditions here.