Some of the today's best photographic portraits come from lesser known artists and photographers. In order to highlight these worthy portraitists, the National Portrait Gallery has partnered with Taylor Wessing to recognize the best images in this field. These are the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Winners. (WARNING: This post contains NUDITY).
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is an international competition sponsored by law firm Taylor Wessing and curated by the National Portrait Gallery. The competition welcomes all classes of photographic portraiture from fine art prints to editorial and advertising images. Taylor Wessing hopes to explore "...a range of themes, styles and approaches to portraiture, from formal commissioned images of public figures to more spontaneous and intimate moments capturing friends and family".
The First Prize winner receives a cash prize of £12,000 with the other shortlist winners receiving varying cash prizes. Commissions and other distinctions are also awarded, depending on the different sponsors for that year (aside from Taylor Wessing).
Photojournalist David Chancellor won the 2010 First Prize with his image "Huntress with Buck" (the header photo above). In his winning image, Chancellor wanted to frame the tranquility of the location, the beauty of the young hunter, and the stillness of the dead buck, all intertwined in the complex relationship between humans and animals.
The Second Prize went to Panayiotis Lamprou for his somewhat controversial "Portrait of my British wife" showing his spouse naked from the waist down. Jeffrey Stockbridge won Third Prize for "Tic Tac and Tootsie (twin sisters Carroll and Shelly McKean", a double portrait of two sisters forced into prostitution because of their drug addiction. "Untitled 2" from the Abbie Trayler-Smith's series Childhood Obesity won Fourth Prize. The ELLE Commission, sponsored by ELLE magazine, went to Clare Shilland for her image "Merel".
The 2011 First Prize went to Jooney Woodward for her image, "Harriet and Gentleman Jack". Taken at the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show, the young redheaded girl placidly carrying a red coated guinea pig struck Woodward as somewhat eerie.
Second Prize was awarded to Jill Wooster for her portrait "Of Lili" showing an androgynous older woman in a not-so-relaxed pose. Dona Schwartz won Third Prize for her image "Christina and Mark, 14 months", a middle-aged couple in their son's old bedroom. The Fourth Prize and ELLE Commission went to Jasper Clarke for "Wen", one of her images from her series on artists and musicians. David Knight's "Andie" won the Fifth Prize and depicts a seemingly ordinary 15-year old who has Cerebral Palsy.
The full gallery of winning images can be found in the past Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait pages. The current page details the requirements for this year's competition. The winners and other worthy entries are included in the annual publications: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011, 2010 (Interviews by Richard McClure) and 2009.