My Year for A Portrait Prize?

02 July 13

Posted at 10:47

Every year around this time I get excited and enthused as it's time to submit entries to the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize for that 100/1 chance of getting exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery. I say 100/1 as mathematically that's the odds when there are iro 6000 entries each year with just 60 being exhibited. If I am honest my odds must be a lot longer than that! Never the less I pays my fees and give it a shot. As they say "you can't win the lottery if you don't have a ticket".

This year I have entered images from two recent projects.


This first - called 'Missing" is a candid portrait of a Mother who visited the site of the Rana Plaza Disaster every day searching for news of her missing daughters. I took this photograph three weeks after the disaster and two days after the rescue operation was formally ended - yet still the crowds gathered.


My second image is also from the Rana Plaza series. This one is called 'Bereaved'. Nineteen year old Shuli holds her young baby. Her 26 year old husband was killed in the Rana Plaza Tragedy.


My third entry is from my Mothers and Orphans series. I visited Motlovpur a village in the Kishorgong District three hours out of Dhaka. I was the first Westerner to visit the village so I generated a lot of interest. I was there to photograph orphans and their Mothers for a project for a charity, the Al Mustafa Welfare Trust. This is Khodeza who is ten years old. Khodeza's father died of kidney failure just six weeks earlier.


My final entry is also from the Mothers and Orphans series and depicts asaya and her sons Mefdi and Arman. Their father died of jaundice a year ago.

Next week I will make my annual pilgrimage to the LCC with my prints. I will then forget about the competition until September when I receive an email advising me that my prints are awaiting collection as unfortuantely they were not selected for exhibition. The standards were very high! Then back up to the LCC to collect them. But you never know - perhaps this year the September email will have a different message. I'll let you know!