Awards

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The Portraitist

The Portraitist

We create portraits because we want to say something about a person and make a connection. The best portraits bring a subject’s expressions to life in a single snapshot, capturing their most authentic mood and emotion. Whether your portraits are made with or without your subject's awareness, you showed us how you capture the moment when a person's character shines through.

Mateus Lustosa

Gear: Canon 5D Mark III
Location: Belo Horizonte, Brazil

This portrait was taken during a fashion shoot for an independent magazine called PROUD. The crew is a group of fashion students from UNA, a college from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, which was created as a university project. The publication talks about the pride of being part of LGBTQ+ community, "Proud to be who we are."
The project is a fashion editorial called "Trash x Lux", which brings ordinary people (let's say people from minorities and out of the standard of conventional beauty) modelling with fancy and original clothes from Gucci and other brands.

Eduard Korniyenko

Gear: Canon EOS 5D MarkII
Location: Novomaryevskaya village in Stavropol region, Russia

This photo is part of the story of military-patriotic education in schools in modern Russia. Early in the morning, I went with the Cadets of the General Yermolov School to shoot parachute jumps to the airfield of the village of Novomarievskoe. When we drove up to the airfield, I noticed a light on the faces of sleepy cadets. He became a movable force of the picture.

Yana Vasilyeva

Gear: NIKON D750
Location: At the kitchen table in my home in Krasnodar, Russia.

"Dusha" is the Russian word for soul. Rich with romance and quietude, this work is a part of the series as a glimpse into the Russian soul on the example of my mother and her inner world. Using photography as the means of portraying her individuality, the process became like a therapy for both of us. My mom is a rare, incredible woman with her own unconquerable romanticism and heightened sensitivity of perception.
The "Dusha" project is a dialogue between mother and daughter with immersion in each other's inner worlds; it deals with intuition and subconscious of human essence, against emotional self-alienation, social isolation and sensory deprivation.

Misael Sine

Gear: Olympus MJU-II
Location: Mariankatu, Helsinki

Potrait of Bax in Vice themed photoshoot.

Sarah W Miller

Gear: Nikon D850
Location: Pool of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, Catonsville, MD

This image is a part of a series of images I'm working on about my complex relationship with my mother. I have found that photography allows me to explore the nuances of our mother-daughter bond and pushes me to view her as a woman outside of her identity of "mother."  In 2017 she was diagnosed with obstructive cardiomyopathy and had to have a pacemaker put in. She's struggled with keeping up with regular exercise since the operation but when she gets in the pool, she's able to swim laps for days. This photo was taken after a workout in the pool, one of the places I see her feel most confident.

Lasha Fox

Gear: Sony a900
Location: Tbilisi, Georgia

The photo is my Self-portrait. Georgia, the country I'm from and live is a very traditional, religious country where it is not easy to be different. All my childhood I have been bullied as being a red-head in very brunette society. Growing up was not easy, I always wanted to be "normal." I'm also gay, and that was even harder. When you are nothing close to the norm, there is no one who tells you about yourself, no sexual education, no family support, no friends at all, you have to find ways to protect yourself and be strong and secure. There were not many ways to stay safe in Tbilisi. I made myself stronger, I made myself a fighter, a fighter against everybody, it was hard. The hardest thing is to start trusting people. 

This photo is a representation of myself, of how one's insecurity can lead to very solitary situation. It's a representation of my vulnerability along with strength. I often take photos of myself as I am the only person who understands me and my feelings. Those photos are the most honest, I think and honesty is why I am a photographer after all.

Laura Schleder

Gear: Hasselblad 500 c/m
Location: Nudism Hotel "Vera Playa", Almeria, Spain

Nudism and FKK were always a part of my childhood and I spent several summers in the hotel where my recent project is located. Because of this, being naked in public in all of its facets appeared to be a common thing to me. Still, growing up in a comparably conservative setting, I realized that this approach wasn't shared by the majority of people surrounding me. Nevertheless, it remained a topic I was interested in particularly. The first time I had made nudism a central aspect of my photographic work had been five years ago at the very beginning of my studies of photography. Whereas numerous sub-cultures served as an inspiration for the works I realized in the meantime, it's the banality of my first project that grasps my interest again. What is it that makes some feeling the urge to undress in public? And where is this undrawn line in between innocent nudity and sexualized erotic. The displayed portray is an excerpt of a photo series in which I try to negotiate this questions.

Maximilian Schulz

Gear: Canon 5D Mark III
Location: Essen, Germany.

Miguel Mavatiko is a performance artist based in Düsseldorf. I met him while we were both involved in a video and photo shoot for the bachelor project of our mutual friend Cate Lartey, which deals with the role of textiles in African culture throughout history. For my personal work, I really enjoy photographing other creatives so I asked him for a portrait after he had finished his dance performance for the video.

Ihar Paulau

Gear: Nikon 610
Location: Brest, Belarus

The portrait of a teenager by the name of Leonid. He is 16 years old. He experiments with the his body and recently he dyed his hair red. I saw him on Instagram and invited him to be photographed. This picture was taken during our first meeting. He was a little serious, but is open to communication. I wanted to show his mood and bright identity in this photo.

Carl Wilson

Gear: Nikon D610
Location: London, UK

This is an image of Camden's last rock star. Danial has played in bars in Camden for years, I was asked to follow him around to document a day in his life. He lives his life making people happy playing on the trains and tubes and then plays in bars in Camden. I had a blast with Danial and feel I got to really see how he lives and was lucky to document this day.

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