The National Portrait Gallery received 6,000 submissions from 2,506 photographers – some amateur, some professional, and some just graduated from art school – for the 2011 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait prize. Somehow, the judges managed to whittle down that list to 60 photos for exhibition and five shortlisted for the £12,000 prize.
Which is your favourite?
Wen, by Jasper Clarke
Clarke was born in 1978. He left school without any qualifications in 1991 and began taking pictures with a camera given to him by his father. He graduated from Edinburgh’s Napier University and moved to London to assist the likes of Nadav Kander and Liz Collins. His shortlisted portrait, taken in hipster-tastic Hackney, is of Wen Wu, a Chinese artist. It’s from a personal project depicting artists, musicians, and other creative types who live where they work.
Andie, by David Knight
Although he now lives in Australia, Knight was born in Oxford. This portrait was commissioned by Loud for the Cerebral Palsy Alliance to raise awareness of the condition throughout Australia. Knight commented: ‘I wanted the portraits to be positive and to convey the kids in an uplifting way. You don’t immediately notice Andie is in a wheelchair; you just see a beautiful young woman.’
Christina and Mark, 14 months, by Dona Schwartz
Dona Schwartz is an American photographer based in Minnesota. This image is from her current series, On the Nest, which documents those moments when parents’ lives change. This one shows a parents in their child’s empty bedroom, after he’s flown the nest.
Harriet and Gentleman Jack, by Jooney Woodward
This photo by Jooney Woodward, a London-born and educated, but Dorset-raised photographer, shows 13 year old Harriet Power who was a steward at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, in the guinea pig judging enclosure. I didn’t even know guinea pigs were judged at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show!
Of Lili, by Jill Wooster
Born in Connecticut, Wooster now lives in London. The portrait is part of a series portraying women in their forties and fifties at pivotal stages of their lives. Lili, says Wooster, ‘Is a complicated character. I like the way her androgyny makes her appearance seem both guarded and relaxed at the same time, capturing both her confidence and vulnerability.’
If you want to see the photographs yourself, you can do so at the National Portrait Gallery (St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE) from Thursday 10 November until 12 February 2012.
(All images are, of course, copyright their photographers and used with permission.)