Deadline: June 29, 2019
Entry fee: £28 per image
Prizes: winner – £15,000, 2 and 3 prize – £3,000 and £2,000, John Kobal Award – £5,000
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is the leading international photographic portrait competition, celebrating and promoting the very best in contemporary portrait photography.
The Prize has established a reputation for creativity and excellence, with works submitted by a range of photographers, from leading professionals to talented amateurs and the most exciting emerging artists.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 Winners
On 1 August 2016, more than one hundred people were rescued from the Mediterranean Sea, twenty nautical miles from the Libyan coast. On board the rescue vessel, photojournalist César Dezfuli was documenting the plight of migrants as they tried to escape war, persecution and poverty. The portrait shows Amadou Sumaila, a sixteen-year-old from Mali, who was later transferred to a reception centre in Italy. ‘I think Amadou’s portrait stands out because of the emotions it transmits,’ says Dezfuli. ‘He had just been rescued by a European vessel, apparently fulfilling his dream. However, his look and his attitude show fear, mistrust and uncertainty, as well as determination and strength.’
This portrait by documentary photographer Abbie Trayler-Smith was made outside the Hasan Sham camp for internally displaced people in northern Iraq during an assignment for Oxfam. A convoy of buses had just arrived, bringing people to safety from the intense fighting in Mosul. She says, ‘I remember seeing the shock and bewilderment in the woman’s face as she looked out at the camp from the window. It made me shudder to imagine what living under ISIS must have been like.’
The winner of the £2,000 Third Prize and the John Kobal New Work Award for a photographer under 35, is Maija Tammi from Finlandfor her portrait of a Japanese android called Erica. Erica is a highly advanced robot, programmed by her creator, Hiroshi Ishiguro, to understand and respond to a range of questions and is able to express different emotions via dozens of pneumatic actuators embedded beneath her silicone skin. Tammi wanted the judges to consider the advancements made in artificial intelligence and the rapidly blurring lines between man and machine. ‘I wanted to question what it is to be human and what it is to be alive,’ says Tammi.