Raphaela Rosella (1988) is an Australian photographer working in the tradition of long-form documentary storytelling. Her work explores the lived experience of several young women facing social disadvantage in Australia.

Blending the conventions of documentary and art, Raphaela has spent over 8 years documenting women in her life as they grapple with the complexities of motherhood, violence, bureaucracy and turbulent relationships. Raphaela is committed to telling these stories in the hope that audiences begin to consider the complex and cyclical nature of social disadvantage, and acknowledge the resilience of young women who share this lived experience.

In addition to her personal work, Raphaela works as a community artist and youth mentor with non-profit community arts and cultural development organisation Beyond Empathy. BE uses art to influence change in the lives of young people and communities experiencing recurring hardship.

Raphaela has exhibited extensively including: Photoquai (France), Noorderlicht Photofestival (Netherlands) and Photo Ireland (Ireland). In 2014 she was one of 12 photographers selected worldwide to attend World Press Photo’s prestigious Joop Swart Masterclass held in Amsterdam. Furthermore, her work has received many distinctions including: First Prize (Portrait Singles Category) World Press Photo Contest (2015) and Australian Photobook of the Year (Momentro Pro) (2015).

Raphaela holds a bachelor of Photography with first class honours from the Queensland College of Art (2012), a diploma of Community Services (Case Management) (2014) and is represented by Australian photo collective Oculi and throughout Europe by Agence Vu.





Diploma of Community Services (Case Management), Community Training Australia, Byron Bay, Australia.


Bachelor of Photography with First Class Honours, Griffith University, Queensland College of Art, Brisbane, Australia.


Certificate IV in Photoimaging, The Centre for Creative Photography, Adelaide, Australia. 


Selected Achievements & Awards



Top 30 Finalist, Moran Photographic Prize.


Awarded First Prize, Singles Portrait Category, World Press Photo Contest.

Awarded Australian Photo Book of the Year, Momento Pro, Photobook Melbourne. 



World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass participant.



Top 50 Finalists, Realise Your Dream Grant, British Council.

Runner-Up, Sydney Morning Herald Emerging Documentary Photographer Scholarship.

Guest Speaker, Women Documenting: The Experiences of Emerging and Accomplished Documentary Female Photographers, Reportage Festival.

Guest Speaker, Oculi Panel Discussion: Objective/Subjective, Semi-Permanent.

Guest Speaker, Triple J: Hack, Discussion on young women and pregnancy in regional Australia.



Awarded Queensland Centre of Photography’s Youngbloods Edition.

Finalist UNCOVER Award, Perth Centre of Photography.

Awarded SOYA Photographic Award.

Australia’s Top Emerging Documentary Photographer, Capture Magazine.

Finalist, Head On Portrait Prize.

Honorable Mention, FotoVisura Spotlight Grant.

Invited to join Oculi, Australia’s leading documentary photo collective.

Traveled to France to attend photography festival Les Rencontres D’Arles, courtesy of Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA).

Attended photography workshop with Magnum Photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti during Les Rencontres D’Arles.

Granted a one year mentorship with Australian Photographer Polly Borland, courtesy of Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA).

Assigned Issue Editor of The Australian PhotoJournalist.



FujiFilm Photographic Award, a scholarship presented to a body of work that documents aspects of the human condition.

ACMP Documentary Student Photographer of the Year.

Godfrey Rivers Medal for Outstanding Achievement in the field of Photography, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.

2x Semi Finalist Moran Photographic Prize.

Griffith Award for Academic Excellence, Griffith University.

Assigned Picture/Co Editor of The Australian PhotoJournalist.



Griffith Award for Academic Excellence, Griffith University.



Griffith Award for Academic Excellence, Griffith University.



Secondary Finalist Moran Photographic Prize.



Granted a Disadvantaged Youth Scholarship from Youth Off The Streets to further my career in Photography. 





Livable Cities, UN Habitat lll Conference (Ecuador)

Belonging, Obscura Festival of Photography (Malaysia).

You’ll know it when you feel it, Head On Photography Festival (Sydney, Australia).

Home, New England Regional Art Museum (Armidale, Australia).



We Are Family, Photoquai, (France).

Island – Australia, ACP, PhotoIreland (Ireland).

World Press Photo 2015, De Nieuwe Kerk, (Netherlands).



Admire, Festival of the Brolga, Yaama Ganu Gallery (Moree, Australia). 



20/20 A World of Photography, Noorderlicht Photofestival (Netherlands).

Contemporary Documentary Photography from Oceania, Projections, Obscura Festival (Malaysia).

Reportage Censored, Reportage Festival, Hyde Park, (Sydney, Australia).

You didn’t take away my future, you gave me a new one, Queensland Centre for Photography, (Brisbane, Australia).

Four Stories, Darling Quarter, Reportage Festival (Sydney, Australia).

Projections, Customs House, Reportage Festival (Sydney, Australia).

Oculi: Home, Cleland Bond, Reportage Festival in partnership with BLURB Books (Sydney, Australia).

Gunthaburri, Logan Gallery (Logan, Australia).

Australian Photography, Chobi Mela Festival (Bangladesh).



Up Start, Queensland College of Art (Brisbane, Australia).

We Met A Little Early, But I Get To Love You Longer, Gallery On The Lane (Southport, Australia).

ET AL. Photo Group Exhibition, Airport Gallery (Sydney, Australia).

Hatched, The Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Perth, Australia).



ET AL. Photo Launch, Jugglers Art Space (Brisbane, Australia).

Departure, Foundation Studio (QCA) (Brisbane, Australia).



Local Eyes, Brisbane Powerhouse (Brisbane, Australia).

Visual Voices, UN Secretariat Building (USA).

Transpositions, Chifley Tower (Sydney, Australia).

Gula Gama-li Embrace, NG Gallery (Moree, Australia).



Postcodes From The Edge, NERAM (Armidale, Australia).