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Geraldton photographer Elliot Brown finalist in National Photographic Portrait Prize

Jessica MoroneyGeraldton Guardian
Photographer Elliot Brown has been nominated in the 2023 National Photographic Portrait Prize.
Camera IconPhotographer Elliot Brown has been nominated in the 2023 National Photographic Portrait Prize. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardian

When he’s not perched at a cafe with a book in hand, he’s capturing real life moments somewhere and has just been named a finalist in a prestigious national photography competition.

Photographer Elliot Brown, who turned 27 on Friday, has a chance to win a $30,000 prize after his work was chosen as a finalist in the National Photographic Portrait Prize.

He said he was one of 47 finalists from across Australia who were selected out of more than 2500 entries nationwide.

Brown said he was still in disbelief he’d been nominated.

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“It was such an on-the-whim decision. I was expecting an email to say I wasn’t a finalist and then I got a call saying ‘congratulations, you’re a finalist’,” he said.

“It was unreal.”

The winner will be selected from a range of national entries reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia’s aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Brown’s portrait, an image of his friend Jaye in her Geraldton backyard, depicts her standing near a clothesline with a hanging shirt. It’s red with a panda on it and was symbolic of her time in China working to improve the living conditions for pandas in zoos.

Brown said the photo shared a powerful story as the model was passionate about teaching Mandarin and the Chinese culture yet remained content in her Australian backyard.

The competition winner will receive $30,000 cash and about $20,000 worth of Canon Australia photographic equipment.

Brown said he paid attention to the “slices of life” moments and wasn’t very strict when he captured images.

“I’m very observational, so I tend to see what the light is doing or what my friends are doing and capturing memories is my first and foremost intention. I’m not overly concerned if it’s a beautiful image, just attempting to capture the reality of what’s happening through my point of view,” he said.

Brown said he cared about photography as he was stimulated by his surroundings and could share his perception of reality without words.

His photography business is locally-based and is focused on weddings, street photography and commercial jobs. He hopes to expand his reach with travel photography inland and north of Geraldton towards the end of the year.

“This has been the highlight of my year so far, being nominated as a finalist and being given the chance to win. I’m really curious if there’s a certain taste the judges like as it changes all the time,” Brown said.

The winners will be announced in Canberra on June 17 at the exhibition opening night, which runs until Sunday, October 1.

Follow ginger.cloak on Instagram to find out more about Brown’s work.

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