We went to see the Taylor Wessing Photography Awards last month at the National Portrait Gallery. A brilliant exhibition of portraits as ever, I felt this year was one of the best recent years with a return to the more traditional definition of ‘portraiture’. A discussion AJ and I have every year as we walk round is; “What constitutes a portrait?”
My favourite, for it’s stunning use of natural light and negative space, was Linda Brownlee’s portrait of the author Zadie Smith, shot for the Telegraph. I love the lighting on her face as she gazes whisfully out of the window!
©Linda Brownlee http://www.lindabrownlee.com
I also love the portrait of the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan by Anoush Abrar. A stunning black & white portrait with a great tonal range.
Interesting that in both my favourite images from the exhibition, neither sitter is looking at the camera!
Wandering around looking at the portraits on display I began to wonder. I have now shot literally hundreds of different people. If I could pick one portrait that I have taken to enter into this competition, which one would it be…?
Here are some of my favourites
The oldest man in the village
This is the ‘oldest man in the village’ of Valea Rece in Romania. He is many people’s Grandfather and takes up a position outside his house to watch the world go by. I love that the neighbouring city is reflected in the mud-splattered windows of his house!
My Beautiful Niece
My beautiful niece at nine months old, so composed!
The Cheese man
One of a series of portraits shot of market traders in Borough Market, London, before the redevelopment works saw many of their stalls closed or relocated.
Shot as part of a documentary project photographing behind the scenes at Wimbledon Theatre. Al spends every show, by himself, high above the stage ‘flying in’ scenery by a series of ropes and pullies.
I’m always so inspired by this exhibition to pick up my camera and start shooting creative portraits!
Maybe this year, rather than just thinking about it, I should enter something I shoot in 2014! Any volunteers to pose for me!
What do you think? Which of my shortlist would you enter?