The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize presents the very best in contemporary portrait photography, showcasing the work of talented young photographers and gifted amateurs alongside that of established professionals and photography students.
Through editorial, advertising and fine art images, entrants have explored a range of themes, styles and approaches to the contemporary photographic portrait, from formal commissioned portraits to more spontaneous and intimate moments capturing friends and family.
This year the competition attracted 5,340 submissions by over 2,350 photographers from around the world. The selected sixty works for the exhibition, many of which are on display for the first time, include the four shortlisted images and the winner of the first John Kobal New Work Award. This is the best place to see the shortlisted artists as well as the others selected for exhibition
The Ventriloquists: two of Alma Haser’s friends from south London ©Alma Haser
Maria Teichroeb, by Jordi Ruiz Cirera: Maria is a member of a community of Mennonites in Bolivia ©Jordi Ruiz Cirera
Lynne Brighton, shot by Jennifer Pattison in the bedroom of a derelict house ©Jennifer Pattison
Mark Rylance, by Spencer Murphy ©Spencer Murphy
There are more images from the exhibition in The Guardian here
And also in The Guardian an interesting article by the excellent Sean O’Hagan about being asked to be a judge having been anything but complimentary about last years competition. Last November, I wrote a not altogether positive review of the 2011 Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize headlined Another animal, another girl with red hair. It described my bafflement at the judging process and the general “dullness of the selection”. It was a surprise, then, to be asked to be one of this year’s judges. I jumped at the chance. I think Sean echoed many peoples’ views on the Taylor Wessing Awards. He goes on Last year, I was critical of the Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize. This year I helped judge it – and now realise how tough it is to pick a winner. Read what he has to say about judging this year here
The winner will be announced on 5 November, ahead of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, which organised the prize, from 8 November-17 February.
So what do you think, dull lifeless, blank stares, odd looking people or vibrant cutting edge creative photography?