Cultural and creative life

Australian Life: people’s choice winner

A clear winner has taken out the people’s choice award for 2023

Public telephone booth near me

A candid shot of a Sydney couple sharing a moment of intimacy at a public phone booth was voted the people’s choice at this year’s Australian Life competition.

Jaiver Alexis Rendon Diaz’s Public Telephone Booth Near Me received just over 30% of the 2,200 votes cast during the exhibition – almost 4 times the number of votes received for second place.

The image, taken in Millers Point, depicts a young couple sharing a light-hearted moment while one makes a call on a public phone.

Diaz said while public phones were once prominent, they are fast disappearing from public life.

“It's kind of special that someone uses a phone booth. I believe this photo speaks for itself,” the photographer said.

“I let the viewers look deep to connect with the couple's chemistry.”

Jaiver Alexis Rendon Diaz’s winning photo at Customs House. Photo: Chris Southwood
Jaiver Alexis Rendon Diaz’s winning photo at Customs House. Photo: Chris Southwood

Diaz will receive an OM System professional pack valued at over $2,300 after winning the competition.

The amateur photographer started taking pictures after seeing the portfolios of street photographers on Instagram in 2017.

Remarkably the image he submitted was the first time he’s taken part in a photography competition.

“When I started to get involved in photography, I never thought to send my photographs to be part of a competition but just to go out and capture a good photo,” he said.

Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore AO said the win showcased the inclusive nature of the competition.

“One of the wonderful things about Australian Life is that anyone can enter. Images from professional photographers are exhibited alongside work from talented amateurs.”

The winning people’s choice image was one of 28 photographs on display at Customs House Square in Circular Quay for the Australian Life exhibition.

The exhibition wraps up on Sunday 8 October.

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Published 6 October 2023