Steady your smart phone, make room on an SD card, load up a spool of 35mm film – the Picturing Footscray Photography Prize is making its annual return, with entries opening on the 15th of March.

    Picturing Footscray is an open-entry photography prize that celebrates the uniqueness of Footscray. Established in 2016 by Victoria University, the Prize invites photographers of all capabilities to explore the streets of Footscray and capture its essence.

    This year, West Envy is the guiding theme. What does Footscray have that other places don’t? The list is endless, an appreciation that isn’t lost on local photographer Jody Haines. Haines will be joining Director of the Centre for Contemporary Photography, Adam Harding, to select the winning works. Having lived here for many years, she has a first-hand understanding of Footscray.

    “There is a rawness, a lack of pretension to Footscray that I really love. What you see is what you get”

    With a coveted first prize of $3,000 cash, Haines hints at the kind of photographs she’ll be considering for the top prize.

    “What I look for is evidence of a true connection happening… That there is an engagement between the person operating the camera and the subject on the other side (be that a person or object for
    a scene).”

    Photography has a special way of sparking curiosity, connecting people and, as Haines reflects, can enable “’seeing’ a sense of empathy with what lays within the frame”. Picturing Footscray is an extension of this, with hundreds of perspectives presented side by side without bias towards format or experience.

    Entry is free, with all photographs exhibited in a major salon-style exhibition held at VU at MetroWest in May and June.

    To find out more and enter a photograph, visit

    Entries close at 5pm on Wednesday 1 May.

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