The $25,000 National Photographic Portrait prize, organised in conjunction with the National Portrait Prize by the National Portrait Gallery, is one of the few big awards in Australia for both amateurs and professionals in open competition.


Life dancers, 2015, by Elizabeth Looker ““ digital print, winner of the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016.

The accompanying exhibition is equally ecumenical. There were 2000 entries and 49 finalists. This year, a typically Australian scene of children skylarking in the backyard by West Australian Elizabeth Looker has taken the top accolade.

It features a photo of her niece and son. (Model release forms and fees shouldn’t be an issue!) Looker is a self-taught photographer who had a career in commercial photography and then took a break to raise her children.

The exhibition will travel throughout Australia in 2016″“17, visiting the Dubbo Regional Gallery, Lovett Gallery (Newcastle), Port Pirie  Regional Gallery, Mildura Arts Centre and the Bay Discovery Centre (Adelaide).

Portrait fans can jump on to the NPPP website to check out finalists, read the judges’ comments and even vote for your favourite portrait, with the People’s Choice Award announced in June. Entries for next year’s National Photographic Portrait Prize will open in October 2016.

Open 7 days
National Portrait Gallery  
Until June 26, then on tour King Edward Terrace, Parkes, Canberra ACT