sam ferris sydney photographer headshot


I’m not a professional photographer; I’m a failed academic who now works as a high school teacher but in every spare, waking moment I have, I am making photographs or thinking about them. In my sleep, I’m dreaming them.

In 2008 I moved to Sydney to take up a position at a university. I didn’t know anyone who lived there, but jumped at the chance to escape from stifling industrial suburbia of western Melbourne that I had lived in all my life. I walked most places hoping to gain a sense of place and found that in Sydney I felt incredibly alone as it’s pace and vastness were overwhelming. This was further intensified by the phenomenon of the light in this setting.

After I began to use photography as a way of exploring and making sense of my  place within Sydney,  I began to see that the light that originally made me feel exposed while walking through the city was now able to reflect my perceptions of the beauty, struggle and strangeness of everyday life.


2017 - OBSERVATIONS Festival,  'Down by the River' exhibition and competition finalist. Iserlohn, Germany. 

2017 & 2016 - San Francisco Street Photography Festival, finalist and 3rd Prize Winner (2016). 

2016 - All the lonely people group exhibition featured at 2016 hEAdOn international photography festival, Black Eye Gallery. 

2016 - Brussels Street Photography Festival, finalist. Exhibition held at Galerie Ravenstein.

2015 -  Miami International Street Photography Festival, finalist exhibition at History Miami museum.

2015 - Art and About Sydney, ‘Australian Life’ finalist, Hyde Park, Sydney.

2014 - Urban Picnic International Street Photography Competition finalist, Third Floor gallery, London.


100 Great Street Photographs, 2017, Edited by David Gibson, Published by Prestel Publishing.

Photography as a Social Research Method, 2017, Sten Langmann, Springer Publishing, Singapore.


Lens Culture Editor's feature on In visible light.

Interview with Dani Oshi for BSPF (Brussels Street Photography Festival).

Interview with InQuadra collective.

'Breaking the Rules' collaboration with Canadian photographer Tatum Wulff for UPSP (Urban Picnic Street Photography).