• Alex Cearns
    Alex Cearns
  • Steve and Ann Toon
    Steve and Ann Toon
  • Drew Hopper
    Drew Hopper
  • Anthony McKee
    Anthony McKee
  • Douwe Dijkstra
    Douwe Dijkstra
  • Tim Levy
    Tim Levy
  • Petra Leary
    Petra Leary
  • Mark Galer
    Mark Galer
  • Tanya Stollznow
    Tanya Stollznow
  • Shannon Wild
    Shannon Wild
  • Lisa Michele Burns
    Lisa Michele Burns
  • Helen Whittle
    Helen Whittle
  • Matt Palmer
    Matt Palmer

We've pulled together a panel of some of Australia and NZ's finest photographers to judge the 2021 Photographer of the Year presented by Nokia, the biggest competition for amateur photographers in Australasia. Meet our judging panel:

Alex Cearns OAM
Dogs Today Magazine in the United Kingdom calls Perth based photographer Alex Cearns “One of our greatest dog photographers in the world.” Alex is the Creative Director of Houndstooth Studio based in Perth, Australia, and specialises in capturing portraits that convey the intrinsic character of her animal subjects. 

She photographs for engaged pet lovers, corporate brands in Australia, the USA and the UK, and for around 40 Australian and International animal charities and conservation organisations. Her images have been published extensively across international media, in books, magazines, billboards and advertising campaigns.  Alex is the recipient of over 350 awards for photography, business and philanthropy and in 2019 was awarded an Order Of Australia for services to animal charities through photography. Inspiring others with her joy of working with animals, Alex’s philanthropy and passionate advocacy for animal rescue has earned her high regard among Australia’s animal lovers and a strong following on social media. She is an ambassador for Tamron, Profoto, BenQ, and Spider Holster and is considered an influencer in photography, business and pet industry communities.

She regularly judges photography competitions and presents at events. Alex lives with her partner, two rescue dogs, and rescue cat in Perth, Western Australia.

Drew Hopper

Drew Hopper is an Australian freelance documentary photographer exploring ecological themes, landscape and place. He is committed to documenting social, cultural and environmental stories around the world. Known for his thought-provoking and in-depth visual storytelling, Drew has photographed multiple feature stories for Australian Geographic, including the front cover of Issue 155 (March-April 2020) on the Black Summer bushfires.

Captivated by the diversity of environments, Drew ventures far and wide to capture pictures that define his experiences with the vision that they will impact and inspire an audience in a way individual to each viewer. Drew’s curiosity for different ways of living has influenced the desire to travel to new and unfamiliar territories. With a talented eye, he captures intimate imagery and works with humility, respect and a light footprint.

Drew also regularly contributes to Australian Photography magazine writing articles and judges monthly contests and has work featured in numerous publications worldwide.

Matt Palmer

Matt Palmer is a landscape photographer focused on conservation issues based in Bright, Victoria. With his partner Mieke Boynton he operates the Alpine Light Gallery. Matt has been recognised as a Master of Photography in Australia and New Zealand, and in 2019 his documentation of fires in Tasmania won him AIPP Australian Professional Photographer of the Year. 
Matt has a diverse history in photography, including 15 years of documenting the world's most influential musicians from Metallica, Pearl Jam, TOOL, Nick Cave and hundreds more. He also is a former AIPP Australian Professional Sports Photographer of the Year for his documentation of the sport of Muay Thai, and he has acted as an ambassador for Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary in Tasmania as well as collaborating with the Tasmanian Land Conservancy. Matt has also been the chief photographer and creative director for Brisbane Roar FC, run a wedding and portrait photography business, and worked with a children's hospital to create images and designs to assist fundraising for medical care and research.

Douwe Dijkstra

Douwe Dijkstra is a professional senior graphic designer based in Sydney. Born and raised in The Netherlands, he relocated downunder in 2003 and now calls Australia home. Photography is a strong passion for Douwe and he picked up his first camera at the age of 12.

Over the years his hobby has evolved from taking family snaps with his grandfather’s camera, to creating black and white fine art in the digital age. Douwe prefers to shoot in monochrome as he simply finds it easier to capture the essence of a scene in black and white: colour is just a distraction. He won the black and white category of the 2015 Photographer of the Year.

Tim Levy

Tim is an award winning Sydney based freelance photographer, writer and teacher who has covered a multitude of photographic disciplines. His professional work has seen him cover over 25 years of music gigs, portraits, football (the real one) tournaments, dog calendars, travel, shoe photography, Film and Television and everything else in between.

His personal work centres around Street Photography with which he has put on numerous solo and group exhibitions. 

Ann and Steve Toon

Ann & Steve Toon are a UK-based, husband and wife team of award-winning, professional photographers with a specialist interest in the wildlife and wild places of southern Africa where they spend several months each year photographing and running photographic safaris.

Their work is published in a wide range of magazines and national newspapers, both in the UK and abroad, and they are reprepresented by several leading photographic libraries. They've also written three books, two on wildlife photography and one on rhinos. You can see more of their work on their website at toonwildlife.com and follow their African adventures on on their 'Beat about the Bush' blog at toonphotoblog.com

Helen Whittle

Helen Whittle is a fine-art photographer specialising in child portraiture who is inspired by dramatic and natural light. With a style consisting of mainly black and white, she produces simple, emotive and authentic images.

She is a proud member of ClickPro, and has many awards to her name. She received Overall Winner Australian Photographer of the Year in 2016 in Australian Photography magazine, and Runner up Emerging Portrait Photographer of the Year 2019 in Capture Magazine and overall winner in the international competition Black and White Child Photo Competition in 2019.

Helen has been a judge in many international photography competitions and has been teaching child portraiture since 2018. She regularly speaks locally and internationally on this subject. She loves to share her enthusiasm and passion and inspire others.

Anthony McKee

Anthony McKee is a Melbourne-based writer and social documentary photographer. In 2014 he was named AIPP 2014 Australian Documentary Photographer of the Year. He has also won awards for his landscape photography. He has judged professional and amateur photography awards on both sides of the Tasman and in 2013 was made an Honorary Fellow of the NZIPP for his services to photography. He is a regular contributor to Australian Photography magazine.

Lisa Michele Burns

Lisa Michele Burns is a travel, landscape and underwater photographer who seeks to capture the world with an alternative perspective. Whether it’s through her series ‘The World from The Water’ or with the use of artistic reflections, her work showcases destinations with an ethereal, pastel tone.

Preferring to shoot extreme climates and natural, Lisa got her start in photography whilst working as a journalist for Lonely Planet back in 2007. She now publishes The Wandering Lens, a travel guide for photographers listing photogenic destinations and experiences alongside creative tips. Each year, Lisa, an Olympus Visionary, also hosts travel photography tours in places like Japan, Iceland and France.

Shannon Wild

Australian-born Shannon Wild is an award-winning wildlife photographer and cinematographer and a passionate wildlife lover and conservationist. Since 2004, she has worked for clients such as National Geographic, NatGeo Wild and the United Nations as well as various wildlife NGO's and non-profits such as Wild Tomorrow Fund, The Perfect World Foundation and Wildaid.
In 2017, she founded ‘Wild In Africa® - Bracelets For Wildlife' as a way to directly give back to various wildlife conservation organisations. She has published 3 books to date and is an accomplished international speaker including for the NatGeo Live series.
Shannon is active on instagram (@shannon__wild), where she posts regularly and includes photo tips, camera settings and behind the scenes.

Mark Galer
Mark Galer is a seasoned professional photographer, educator and author. He has written thirty books for the International publisher Focal Press, has served as a Senior Lecturer and Program Director of the BA Photography course at RMIT University in Melbourne, and is the Sony Imaging Ambassador for Australia.

Mark’s learning resources can be accessed via his website markgaler.com or his YouTube channel.
Sally Brownbill

A trained photographer, through The Brownbill Effect, Sally Brownbill connects creative talent from all corners of the industry. She provides career leadership and advice and also consults on the design and editing of photography portfolios and websites. This enables creatives at all levels to present themselves as the very best they can be. She's the go-to person for those looking for or seeking to fill a freelance or permanent role in the industry.

Over the years Sal has built a reputation based on an unrivalled level of experience and the ability to inspire and connect all creatives. This is the result of a strong desire to help people, as well as a love for creativity of all kinds. 

Sal is also a mentor, judge and guest lecturer across a variety of educational institutions, an Adjunct Industry Fellow within the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University and a member of several course Advisory Boards.

Petra Leary

Petra Leary is an award winning New Zealand born aerial photographer. Her ability to capture her subjects from unique perspectives is striking and groundbreaking. 

She has an innate design sensibility, reflected in her unique process all the way from conception to post-production. An intrepid world traveller, she hunts out unusual landscapes, captures them from unforeseen angles such as her signature bird’s eye angle from above, and manipulates and accentuates colours in post-production to create her final work. 

Her work is simple yet bold in arrangement and composition. Belying this effortlessness are deeply honed technical skills, and a knowing iconoclastic eye for pop culture. Among many other awards, she is the Webstar Magazine Media Awards 2019 Best Photographer, and a finalist in the New Zealand Photographer of the Year 2018 Aerial Category.

Tanya Stollznow

Australian based wildlife photographer Tanya Stollznow spends several months of the year capturing images of the natural world in Africa, Asia and Australia. Tanya is skilled in capturing emotive, compelling images that allow the viewer to identify and connect to the subject. Through her imagery Tanya promotes interest and support for the conservation and protection of wildlife and their habitats, in particular the conservation of rare and endangered species in South Africa.

Tanya’s work has featured in various magazines, conservation assignments and commercial projects in Africa, USA and Australia. Her clients include advertising agencies, publishing companies, universities and zoos.

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