Photographic awards put suburban Brisbane in the frame

Southeast Queenslanders are being encouraged to turn their focus to their immediate surrounds for this year’s Brisbane Lord Mayor’s Photographic Awards. But those wanting to submit an entry should snap to it, with entries closing on Wednesday.

Jul 31, 2020, updated Jul 31, 2020
Lachlan Douglas's photo of a crowd-surfer at a Hands Like Houses gig at  Fortitude Valley venue The Tivoli took out the runner-up prize in the Open category at last year's Lord Mayor's Photographic awards. (Photo: Lachlan Douglas)

Lachlan Douglas's photo of a crowd-surfer at a Hands Like Houses gig at Fortitude Valley venue The Tivoli took out the runner-up prize in the Open category at last year's Lord Mayor's Photographic awards. (Photo: Lachlan Douglas)

Now in their eighth year, the Lord Mayor’s Photographic Awards are open to anyone who lives, works or studies in the city and this year’s theme is suburban life in Brisbane.

With the city’s residents forced to spend more time within a small radius of their homes due to COVID-19 social restrictions, Brisbane Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner said the awards provided an opportunity for locals to capture and share how the coronavirus pandemic had impacted their lives.

“We have faced so many challenges this year and this includes staying at home more than usual,” he told InQueensland. “With more time at home, there’s been a chance to discover something new when it comes to suburban life.

“You may have discovered something eye-catching in your back yard, visited a local park or experienced a new walking track. These are the little things that can become big sources of inspiration when you get behind the camera lens.

“There are four categories to enter, with seven cash prizes available, so now is the chance to start a new hobby. We’re looking for standout photos that showcase Brisbane’s character, our vibrant lifestyle and stunning scenery, all through the lens of our suburbs.

“In previous years, we’ve received photos of everything from stunning sunsets to festivals and backyard catch-ups with friends.”

There are $14,000 in cash prizes up for grabs this year, including $5000 for the winner of the Open category, $2000 for first runner-up and $1000 for second runner-up.

There are also Student and Social Media categories, which each have top prizes of $1500, and this year there will also be $1500 on offer in the Green Heart category, which is being included in the Lord Mayor’s Photographic Awards for the first time after previously being a standalone competition.

“Brisbane residents maintain strong connections with the outdoors, and whether it’s relaxing in their back yard, visiting a local park or exploring our bushland reserves, the Green Heart category is all about capturing our local connections with nature,” Schrinner said.

“We know there is no shortage of inspiration in the outdoors and I cannot wait to see what creative and diverse photographs people submit to this new category.”

To be in the running for the Social Media category, entrants should use the hashtag #lmpa2020 when uploading their photos to Instagram.

There is also a People’s Choice category, which will be determined by public vote, with voting open from September 2-30 on the Brisbane City Council website.

This year’s awards opened early last month but any photos taken in the Brisbane City Council region from last September onwards will be eligible for entry.

“If you’ve been holding onto a cracking image that you’ve taken before the awards opened on July 8 but after September 1 last year, I encourage you to nominate for a category in this year’s awards,” Schrinner said.

Wiliam Fryer took out the top prize in the Open category last year for his image of one of Brisbane’s old ferries heading downriver at St Lucia, with a full moon rising while the sun sets in the background.

William Fryer’s photo of a ferry heading down Brisbane River while the moon rises over a sunset-lit sky took out the top prize last year. (Photo: William Fryer)

Schrinner said the standard of entries had been growing every year but encouraged enthusiastic photographers of all skill levels to submit shots of their surrounds, saying “the fact that you don’t have to be a professional photographer is a big drawcard for these awards”.

“With the quality of our phone cameras extremely high, entrants don’t even need a fancy camera, so along with our seasoned professionals, I’m keen to see amateurs take a punt and submit their photos to the awards,” he said.

Last year, there were more 1245 website entries, more than 1400 Instagram entries, and more than 4400 votes in the People’s Choice category and Schrinner said he was expecting a last-minute flurry of entries this weekend before entries close on Wednesday.

We’re looking forward to seeing even more entries come through this year and discovering more places and activities occurring across Brisbane through the eyes of our residents.”

Finalists for the People’s Choice award will be announced on September 2, with voting open until September 30. To find out how to submit entries or vote, visit the Brisbane City Council website.

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