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Life caught on camera takes top award

The Australian Life photography competition crown has gone to photographer Samuel Ferris for their image “On the Way to Inspections”.

The image of Ferris’s family rushing between rental inspections in Sydney last year was picked from 28 finalists, a mix of amateurs and professionals, to win the $10,000 cash prize.

The winner was announced on September 14 at the launch of the outdoor Australian Life exhibition.

Samuel Ferris said of their image: “My partner Luisa (pictured) and I have moved rentals nine times in the 13 years we’ve been in Sydney. This image (shot in Camperdown) was made while rushing between inspections on a Saturday last year. Our children, Orson and Leon, are in the background, letting loose some of their pent up energy.”

The winners of the Little Sydney Lives photography competition were also announced at the launch.

Pina Macedone from Erskineville won the age 3 to 7 years category for the image “Charlotte of the Inner West”. Orson Ferris from Newtown won the age 8 to 12 years category for the image “Man with His Parrot”. Both winners take home a $500 photography pack.

Winners of the photography competitions were selected by a panel of judges including Australian Life 2022 winner Matthew Abbott, Awesome Black’s Travis De Vries, documentary photographer Sandy Edwards and prominent Australian photographer Liz Ham.

Curator Sandy Edwards said judges were drawn to the diverse images from a strong field of entrants, with the winning image a perfect example of street photography.

“It feels classic and modern as it simultaneously speaks to the past. It feels like a moment of discomfort, waiting in limbo for something to happen, to resolve things.”

A gallery of all Australian Life finalist images can be viewed online, with an option to vote for a People’s Choice winner.

An OM System professional photography pack, valued at over $2,300, will be presented to the People’s Choice winner at the closing of the exhibition.


The Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives exhibitions will run at Customs House Library and Customs House Square until October 8.For more details on all the Australian Life and Little Sydney Lives winners and finalists, visit

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