Dan O'Day » Australian Wedding Photographer

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2010 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize

These last few days have been surreal to say the least.  A couple of months ago I entered one image into the 2010 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize, not only the richest contemporary art prize in Australia but the world, receiving 238,000 entry’s this year across both the photography and painting category’s (so obviously I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best). About one month ago I received an email saying I had been selected as one of the 40 finalists in the Photography category. At 7:30pm on Friday night I received a call from Renee Ward of Moran Prizes asking me if I could be available to attend the media launch to be held in Sydney on the following Tuesday (just gone). The only information I received from Renee was that I had been one of the five photographers short-listed for the $80,000 first prize.

I can’t really find the words to explain how big a deal this was to me, but in short this was to me as big as anything that has happened to me in my career to date – if not biggest. Prize money aside, to put it in perspective it is the equivalent in terms of an achievement for contemporary photography, as being shortlisted in Australia’s renowned painting award – the Archibald Prize. The judge for this year was world-renowned documentary photographer Stephen Dupont – a photographer that I have looked up to and held in extremely high regard for many years. To have Mr Dupont not only select my work as a finalist image in this years prize, but to award it a Highly Commended is a huge honour.

At the media announcement he explained what it was that drew him to my work. Listening to him articulate to the press his reasoning for his selection was the most rewarding thing I’ve heard since the theme song to the Never Ending Story. I would also like to throw a shout out to my home girl and right hand wing-woman Christine who was selected as one of the 40 a finalists, also to another local legend Vikky who also received a Highly Commended! (Go Canberra!)

In 2009 I was also fortunate enough to have judge Andrew Quilty select my image, ‘Perfect’, to be one of the finalists in this same Moran Prize category.

The talent from the finalists on show is unbelievable and well worth a look. The exhibition of the finalists selected for both the Photographic and Painting category’s will be on exhibition at the NSW State Library, Sydney until 5 September 2010 before commencing its 12 month tour of Australia. More on the Moran Prizes winers here and here. The image that was awarded a Highly Commended in this years Moran Prize entitled ‘This Way’ is directly below (silhouettes). My 2009 finalist image, ‘Perfect’ (pink ribbon) is beneath.

Both shot with film.

This is a high that I am going to ride for as long as I possibly can

Dan ODan O

KIp - Kudos Dan. Huge.

Tim - That is some very BIG wow! Excellent and congrats.

Michelle Moore - Congrats Dan! What an AMAZING honor!!! I LOVE that first image – the story is beautiful. Well deserved :)

Samm - your awesome :)

Mark - Congrats on your great success, Dan!

Katie - So happy for you Dan! x

Kristen Cook - You deserve every bit of it and more Dan. Enjoy the high x

J Shoda - Congrats! Those are some beautiful images.

julie harmsen - Congrats Dan. I keep getting lost in that first one especially. :)

Alicia Kennison - Fantastic achievement for your stunning work. Congratulations, very well done. :)

Kelly Tunney - You already know my words Daniel…. I have the highest praise & respect for you. I always have xx

Stewart Leishman - Well done! It’s my favourite of all the entries. It reminds me of the show “Six Feet Under”

Jenny J - Crazy proud of you, little fukker!!

Jenny J - oh, and thanks for my new soundtrack for the evening (Neverending Story)

Caspix@mac.com - Oh my goodness that is HUGE! What an incredible journey… I love dupont, saw him talk once and have been an avid follower of his work since. Congrats dan

Gemma Carr - Ride the wave Dan, such a wonderful achievement. The image is stunning.

kylie - Congrats Dan. So well deserved !

michelle - Congratulations Dan!!! So totally deserved xx

John Benavente - killin’ them dude!

Chris Morrison - Congrats mate! That is awesome news – keeping kicking ass and putting yourself, and Canberra, on the world photography map :)

Alan Woo - Awesome stuff mate, totally deserved!

Tina Wagga Wagga - Congratulations Dan, beautiful and well deserved

Kristen - Look at you! Big guy on campus! I am so proud.

Christine Pobke - dizzle face. i’m so proud that i got to watch you accept your award that night. i can haz so many photoz from that blurry nite! hehehe. so happy that the industry recognizes talent when they see it. xoxox love you mucho.

Susan Stayer - Congratulations to you, Dan! I’m a huge fan of your photography. You kick ass!

mary scurrah - Congrats Dan, well done and most of all well deserved!!

scotty - whoa. congrats dude.

Bek - WOW wow wow!!!! Truly awesome stuff Dano :)

Hannalee Photography - Both such stunning images. Congratulations, well deserved!

[Mo]hammed Khaled - I went to the State Library the other day, and I have to say, this photo was my favorite. The theme, framing, and mood just clicked!
Keep us updated on any future exhibitions you have.

Mark - Dan, You’re on fire man. Congratulations well deserved. Thanks for the info you sent back to me last month. I just received a small time award and I was happy as Larry I can’t image how you would be feeling with all your accolades of late. Well done. Thanks for inspiring me and many others.