Sally Brownbill

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Head On Photo Festival - Deadline for submissions.

– posted by Sally

Don't forget the deadline for the Head On Photo Festival is fast approaching. Make sure you have your entries in by 11pm Sunday 25th February.



2017 Photographer of the Year - The Results!

– posted by Sally

Congratulations to all the winners. I loved being a judge on for this competition and enjoyed looking a everyones work.

In the link below you can see the overall winner (the highest scoring portfolio from all categories) and winners for each category.

There has also had a little bit of media coverage so far if you're interested:



– posted by Sally

Australian Photography Awards (APA) was started two years ago by like minded photographers wanting to create a photographic competition that wasn’t just available for professionals, but a competition that was accessible to hobbyist, enthusiasts and professionals like.
I have been lucky enough to sit on the panel, amongst an esteemed group of judges since it’s inspection.

At APA, we promote social understanding and diversity through photography. We feel that photography is a powerful medium that has the ability to effect real change, unify people and bridge cultures.

APA is an annual photographic competition open to people living in Australia and Australian citizens living overseas.

In 2017, APA had a record breaking $42,000 worth of cash and prizes to reward the winners. The 2017 categories include Portrait, Landscape, Wildlife, Documentary, Mobile, Student and Peoples Choice. With the support of their major sponsor, Fuji lm Australia and their category sponsors michaels cameras digital and video, Ilford Imaging, Lowepro, Lume Cube, Manfrotto, Reed Graduation Services as well as their social partners AIME, the highest scoring image in each category will receive a Fuji lm X-Pro 2 Graphite Silver Pack, vouchers and a cash prize.

In early October the judging committee assembled in Melbourne on a mission to discover Australia’s most original, thought provoking photography. With over 2,500 entries this year APA is quickly becoming one of Australia’s leading photographic competitions.

Portrait Category Winner
Photographer - Kay Cypher
Image Title - Aged under wraps
Image Caption - Today's media often presents the over photoshoped and perfect images of the young and beautiful but there is little discussion or exposure about the body image of the older person.

Landscape Category Winner
Photographer - Leah Kennedy
Image Title - Progress
Image Caption - An exploration of humans through our interaction with the environment during early stages of our mark on the land. A commentary on the act of human progress.

Mobile Category Winner
Photographer - Glenn Homann
Image Title - Winter Song
Image Caption - An unusually cold morning (the coldest of the year in fact), provided inspiration for my image. The temperature was still below zero as the sun rose above the hills at Ripley, near Ipswich. The early fog had dispersed, but lingered above the creeks and waterways running across the landscape. I was able to capture this panoramic view from a low vantage point, just as the sun highlighted the whispy fog. Shards of light illuminated elements of the creek, it's bed, and surrounds. A conversion to black and white would accentuate a focus on the rich, tonal qualities of the scene before me..

Documentary Category Winner
Photographer - Chris Hopkins
Image Title - A Day at the Races
Image Caption - A group of race goers are caught in a moment of light-hearted hi-jinks after the running of the Melbourne Cup. 2016 saw the worlds media turn to the Melbourne Cup not as a grand event but rather as a lowpoint in the behaviour of Melbourne’s race-goers.

Landscape Category Winner
Photographer - Georgina Steytler
Image Title - Ethereal
Image Caption - I like the feeling of peace and otherwordliness that comes from this elegant white bird against a white background. The sun had not yet risen and there was only a soft, misty light in which there was nothing else to distract the eye.

Student Category Winner
Photographer - Cameron Meacham
Image Title - Ocean Painting
Image Caption - Nill


Sally joins Australian Photography Awards again.

– posted by Mel

"We are thrilled to welcome back Sally Brownbill who is joining us once again on the Australian Photography Awards (APA) 2017 judging committee. Sally has been shaping and promoting the futures of aspiring and professional photographers through lecturing, mentoring and folio consultancy within in Australia for the last two decades. With this in-depth knowledge of the industry and an undeniable energy and passion for photography, Sally has become an incredibly valuable part of our team. We can’t think of a more qualified person to be sitting at our judging table.

This year Sally will join Matthew Palmer, Morganna Magee, Rodney Decker, Bruce Esplin, Markus Anderson, Carly Michael and Samantha Everton in a two day judging processes in Melbourne. This diverse panel of industry experts from across Australia will come together with the aim of discovering some of Australia’s more original and thought provoking photography.

2017 has set new records for APA. With a bigger prize pool of over $42,000, new categories and a record number of entries, we look forward to the next stages in our campaign.

Thank you to our major sponsor Fujifilm Australia and our category sponsors Ilford Imaging Australia, michaels cameras, Lume cube, Lowepro, Manfrotto, Reed Graduation Services and our social partners AIME."


Working with Sal….

– posted by Mel

"Sally has been an integral part of where my assisting is today. Providing pathways to build relations with new photographers and studios. Building my connections and broadening my scope in the assisting field."

Luke Donegan  - Photographer / Assistant


What It Takes To Win!

– posted by Mel

Sally tell's all what it takes to win the Photography of the Year competition in the October edition of Australian Photography Magazine.

The first thing you have to ask yourself when entering a competition like ‘Photographer of the Year’, is “What am I going to submit?”

This can, in itself, cause lots of angst. We all know how hard it can be to be critical of our own images and, after all, image selection is one of the major elements you are being judged on.

I have been editing images for exhibitions, portfolios  and websites for 20 years now, and have spent much of that time judging competitions. I know how hard it can be, so I am hoping by reading these few tips, I can help guide you through how best to prepare and then enter a photography competition like Photographer of the Year.

It is imperative that you understand the conditions of the competition. That is everything from image size, number of images and theme. I realise some of this sounds very straight forward, but I can’t tell you the number of competitions I have judged where entrants have not fulfilled these criteria. Competitions are not only a test of your photography skills, but also a test of your ability to understand a brief. Rules are therefore the number one thing on your checklist your need to be following and ticking off without fail. For example, an excellent body of work will be let down in marking if three of the images are the same size and fourth is a different size. It shows no attention to detail, a lack of professionalism and could easily cost you a place.

Now what to put in? My best advice is not to try and think of what the judges want, but rather to show us what you are made of. Originality in your work and showing personality is the key. Your personally, and how you see things, is the only point of difference you have to another entrant. You must begin to learn how to show self confidence here and, remember, different is good. Don’t try to emulate a past photographer’s work you have seen, put you own spin on theme and images, either in subject matter, composition or technique.

Consistency in the images is a crucial factor in the selection process. Don’t for a minute think you can put the four best images you have shot over the last 12 months: if there is no thread or story to them, they need to be able to interact with each other. Also, don’t put three fabulous images in from one story and then go an add another that has no meaning to the previous three. I see this happen all the time and it really makes me want to cry. Think clearly, look at the series and make sure there is a theme or connection across the entire series.

Ebb and flow in a story is particularly what I look for. There needs to be a beginning, a middle and an end. For me, the best way to make sure you are telling your story is to print out the work and lay it on the floor - then just look at it. Take your time and pick  the image that starts the story. For example: A portrait of dancer on stage, then two shots of her/him dancing, both unique and different to each other but linked by theme or colour palette; then the last image of the dancer taking a bow. This clearly has a flow that the judges can understand, shows us you have thought the process through, and not just put up four random shots of dancers that have no connection.

Technique and treatment of the images is hugely important. What kind of lighting are you using, for instance? Is it all natural light, or all lit in a studio? Are you using a tilt shift lens, are you using certain post-production techniques (if allowed), and what is the central colour theme/ pallet to the story? This needs to be planned carefully and thoughtfully. What we need to remember is taking the photo is the easy part, but showing preparation and understanding of what you are shooting is the key. If you are using different techniques in the four images, you need to ask why. And how does it work in the story telling? It could work, for example, if you were shooting a day in the life of a school girl, one: morning in bed; two: school room; three: after school sport; and four: night time. Whilst the lighting will vary in all of these images, there is a reason for this - some are indoors and at different times of the day. This can work if successfully planned out and, of course, the content and composition is strong.

Composition of each image is also important. Not just two or three of them. They all need to have been planned and thought out. Are they all in focus where they are meant to be? Have they been cropped in a way that not only enhances the image, but compliments the series? Has the best lighting technique been used in all of them.? Understanding what makes a good composition in an image is critical, not only for competitions but right across your photography. Don’t over-complicate an image, keep the key elements simple. This is especially important in putting a series together. Our eye needs to be able to move across the series effortlessly, and not work too hard to understand what is going on.

Allow time. My strong advice is not to decide what to enter into a competition the day before. Give yourself time to a) try and shoot something specifically for the competition, or b) select a series you have been working on, lay them out in print form and look at them for a while. Many series may be upwards of , ten or twenty images, so being able to understand how to turn that into the best four images can take time. Be careful, though, not to over-think it, it is a fine line. You may find you narrow it down to six or so images. This is then a good time to bring in someone you trust has good judgment (probably not mum, dad or your partner), but rather someone who can be objective and give some good solid reasoning and feedback.

Do you need to do an additional shoot? Once you have selected your images, if your gut feeling is there is something missing, or that all of the elements in the series are not quite gelling, arrange a re-shoot. Don’t think about entering the series until you feel happy. In your heart, regardless of how hard it can be to select the final four,  you do know if  the series works. You must remember that you are not present when the images are being judged to explain the meaning behind them. We are working from a blank canvas as a judge, and can only go with what is in front of us.  We have our own interpretations of the story as well. So maximum impact is what we need to being seeing, and a series that combines all I have spoken about. Being on theme, strong composition, a cohesive colour palette, a good ebb and flow in the series and, of course, individuality is what we want to see. If you need to re-shoot, do so with purpose: it will be worth it in the end.

Orientation of the images. Personally, I think a series needs to have all of the elements I mentioned above, as well as being all of the same orientation. By this I mean all portrait or all landscape in shape. I’m constantly surprised when judging at seeing three images all portrait, then one. tacked on the end as landscape. Perhaps two of each could work (but for me it’s not ideal). Think about this at the point of planning your shoot. Always have an idea of the orientation and, if unsure, shoot both ways. This will help guide you when the time comes to choose your final images for submission.

Finally, I think entering competitions is a great way to build your confidence and to gain recognition. There are few things more exciting than seeing your images and name up in print or online, and having that opportunity to do so by entering competitions and winning or even placing is amazing. I see a lot of photographers that fall out of love with photography, because they are often hooked in to the world of shooting other people’s ideas . Competitions are the perfect way to release your imagination, have fun and create. Good luck!


My Experience with TBE - Dominic Hook

– posted by Mel

"I met Sally at an Alumni folio review night at CATC Design school in Melbourne, where Sally was participating in a ‘folio review: speed dating style’ event organised by the school.

Students had the chance to engage in a 10 minute 1 on 1 folio review with industry professionals and I was heavily encouraged to participate by a lecture of mine Patrick Rodriguez.

10 minutes was no where near enough time to get solid advice in my opinion, but Sally not only gave some very concise, thought clearing advice, but also an offer to join TBE as an assistant.

Since joining at the end of 2016, I have assisted 3 TBE photographers and have regular work with Andrew Richey & Ripe Studios. This work has advanced my knowledge of studio photography and lighting greatly, but also the little things which are hard to teach such as working with clients, problem solving in tough situations and the finer points of fashion and architectural photography.

So far my experience with TBE has been wonderful and I look forward to what the future has in store for me.”

Dominic Hook  - Photography Assistant


Exhibition submissions open

– posted by Sally

Head On Photo Festival, Australia's leading annual contemporary photography event returns in May 2018.

Head On creates opportunities for photographers at all career stages to have their work exhibited in Sydney and seen around the world.

With place-making in galleries and pop up exhibition spaces, Head On brings artists, audiences and industry together at exhibitions and events, creating the place to be for anyone who loves photography.

Don’t miss your place in an extraordinary event.

Submit today!

Deadline: 17 September

Head On Photo Festival 2018

5 - 20 May 2018

Sydney, Australia

Create | Exhibit | Inspire



– posted by Sally

The Indian Photography Festival (IPF) - Hyderabad, a Not-For-Profit initiative of Light Craft Foundation, is an international photography festival, showcasing a wide range of photography from India and around the globe with a series of events, including talks and discussions, portfolio reviews, book launches, screenings & workshops.

IPF creates a platform for the professional and aspiring photographers, the photography lovers and the public where the festival promotes the art of photography at the same time address the social issues through the medium of photography.

For more info  -


Call for Submissions: Capture Magazine - The Annual 2017.

– posted by Mel

Hi All,

The call for submissions for Capture’s biggest issue of the year, The Annual, is now open.

The deadline is 21 August at 11:59pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST) – GMT +10.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be featured in the biggest edition of the year.

I’d appreciate it if you could please spread the message to all your current and past students, or in fact any amazing photographers you know.

All the information on how to make a submission can be found at the link below, and it costs nothing to enter.

For a little inspiration, and to see who was featured last year, the 2016 Zinio edition can be located here:, or click on the following link for a little sampler from the website:

The amazing cover for the 2016 edition was shot by Paul Giggle.


Submissions for new section starting up in Good Weekend - Exposure

– posted by Sally

My friend Tegan has asked me to pass this on. It is a really exciting opportunity. Get submitting!

read more …



– posted by Sally

$1000 cash and $500 Momento Pro credit is up for grabs in the 2017 AIPP Book Award. Online registration closes 28 July, with physical copies due by 10 August. We’re offering 40% off Award prints with Inkjet and Premium books orders closing 24 July, and Standard books on 31 July. Entry is $58 for members or $99 for non-members. Non-members must call us to receive AIPP entry login details, and all orders must be placed by phone. Entries are mailed directly to the AIPP.

More info here:

Momento Pro


The power of printed portfolios

– posted by Sally

Image Workshop is the photographic team of myself (Sharon Blance) and my partner Brence Coghill. We’re both photographers but work collaboratively, which is a little unusual but it works well for us. Our work is commercial and editorial photography with a strong focus on people. We shoot some studio work but most of the time we’re on location. One day we might be waist-deep in the ocean shooting an editorial assignment of a Marine scientist, another we could be photographing nurses at work, or in the studio building a cello to promote an experimental music show.

Why do you produce a printed portfolio?

When we moved to Melbourne from New Zealand we needed to get out there and market ourselves to find new clients. We were also ready to step up our game a little. Having a printed folio is part of investing in yourself and showing that you’re serious about your work. Photography is an incredibly competitive market these days and you’ve got to stand out.

Turning up to a client meeting with a slideshow on an iPad just doesn’t communicate the same message as a beautifully printed and bound book. Prints look awesome. You can’t beat the visual impact of large, full-bleed image pages. And the fact that we’ve taken the time, care and attention to make a well-crafted printed folio speaks volumes – it’s the same level of care and attention I’m going to bring to you as my client.

How did you choose which images to include?

The million-dollar question! It can be difficult curating your own work, and as we were also new to Australia we decided to get assistance to build a folio that reflects our style and was relevant to the local market, so we booked a Portfolio Review with Sally Brownbill. Sally was great, giving an honest appraisal of our strengths and weaknesses and helping us ‘let go’ of images that wouldn’t serve us well. She’s doesn’t sugar coat things but she’s empathetic, and the process ended up being liberating.

There were a few sad moments when certain pictures (literally) hit the editing room floor, but in hindsight they were the right ones to cull. A pleasant surprise for us was that Sally included a lot of our personal work in her selection. She helped us move past the idea of a folio being just about ‘these are the jobs we’ve shot’ and to be more of a statement about “this is how we see things”.

The end result was a much more cohesive and interesting selection than we would have put together if left to our own devices. An expert, unbiased eye made the difference. A well curated and beautifully printed folio under our arm also gave us a confidence boost going into client meetings. Click the photo below to view the Image Workshop portfolio.

Why did you choose to print with Momento Pro?

The number one factor was quality. I’m a total research and detail nerd, and print quality is something I’m picky about. I looked into a few options but most left me a bit ‘meh’. I visited Momento Pro at a tradeshow where I could paw over the products in person.  I was impressed by the print quality and extensive choices of cover materials, paper stocks, embossing and other details.

Their software makes it easy for me to upload and order products, and when we were producing the folio, their service reps were really helpful with suggestions about which paper stocks would best suit our images, and organised for some test pages to be printed. We also print some Promo postcards with them every few months. Even the little touches like how well the prints are packaged for posting, shows the level of care that goes into their products.

Sally Brownbill is a trained commercial photographer who has worked in the creative industry for over 20 years in photography, design studios and advertising agencies, and she has also played a large role in photography education. Having attended various events with Sally, we can confirm that she knows the industry inside and out.

How do creative agencies respond to printed portfolios in 2017?

Every day everyone is looking at iPhones, computers or iPad screens all the time. It gets too much. To walk into a meeting and show a beautifully printed folio on great stock is second to none. So many people forget that our industry is about communication. It’s about meeting people. It’s not just all about social media and online folios. A printed portfolio is a fantastic reason to get out and meet people, to connect with and wow them.

What’s your number one tip when selecting images for a portfolio?

I’ve been working with photographers and editing images for their folios for over 15 years now. Every photographer is unique and I treat each one individually. What you must remember is that the only point of difference you have in most circumstances is you! Your personality must shine through in your folio. Potential clients want to see what makes you tick, what you can offer them and what you’re able to bring to the table, so personal work is a must. Campaigns and commercial jobs are based on other people’s ideas. Sure they play an important role in convincing a client you can successfully do a job, but that’s where websites come in to it, you can show that kind of work on there.

Remember … you need to take people on a journey with your printed folio and tell stories. Communicate and make it special.

Is there a ‘best format’ for a printed folio?

There is no right or wrong way to design a printed folio. I rely on the kind of work to guide me on how to reproduce it. It’s all a part of making that body of work, for that particular photographer, individual and to make it stand out.  A combination of full bleed pages, and multiple images on a double page spread, offers visual variety and will take the viewer on a journey that is engaging, with ebbs and flows. You also need to be careful to not make it too short or too long. When I work with a photographer, it becomes apparent quite quickly, how many pages we need to tell their story.

How do you help photographers with their portfolio?

My Sally Brownbill business is all about photography. I offer 2 hour consultations where I give an appraisal of your work and answer any questions you have about the industry, your work, your goals etc. My aim is to inspire and guide you with your career choices. In some cases it’s also about helping photographers fall in love with photography again.

My 4 to 5 hour sessions, are for editing and designing portfolios or websites so the photographer can establish a direction and turn them into their sharpest marketing tool. They leave with a clear layout or design guide, along with plans for possible new shots that I feel will add to the folio’s impact.  Following the meeting I keep in touch and guide them through to print stage.

You also offer other resources and services?

The Brownbill Effect is an online directory and creative network I’ve built over the last 5 years. You can use it to search, find and build a creative team, and I can vouch for every company or individual listed, as I’ve hand picked them. TBE also has a blog to showcase the members’ work and publish Q&As from movers and shakers in the industry, while TBE Jobs provides full time, short and long term contract listings along with career advice and testimonials from people I’ve worked with.


Travel Morocco with fine art printmaker and photographer, SILVI GLATTAUER

– posted by Sally

Travel Morocco with fine art printmaker and photographer, SILVI GLATTAUER

This 14 day tour traverses a lot of Morocco from Marrakech to the Atlas Mountains and Sahara.

Fine tune your vision with a view to understanding and producing sophisticated images, that blend both concept and technique. Keeping within the cultural sensitivities and limitations of photography in Morocco, the focus of this tour will be on Landscape, architecture and street photography.

• Using the language of Black and White photography. In camera pre-visualisation tools to compose rich and dynamic b/w images.
• Editing and processing images to maximise quality for a fine print result.
• Creative camera controls for successful technical and conceptual image-making.
• Finding advanced levels of depth through storytelling & sequencing imagery.
• Materiality options – Explore the fine art print and photographic printmaking.

plus Barcelona Extension Tour…

optional follow up Photogravure workshop with Silvi


9-12 October 2017


More information:


You’re invited to Opening Night of PROVOCARE ART PRIZE

– posted by Sally

Sally is judging the photography completion in this festival and encourages you to come along to the opening night on July 19th.

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