Tag Archives: Portrait Photographers

Minor Characters: Paolo Morales, Ana Lerma, and Emily Holzknecht

I thought I’d celebrate some terrific thesis portrait work that recently opened in Boston. Paolo Morales, Ana Lerma, and Emily Holzknecht all explore their own interior relationships as they search for a photographic relationship with strangers. Inconsequential characters take on leading roles in their exhibition, Minor Characters.

Minor Characters is a BFA thesis exhibition on view at the Art Institute of Boston Gallery at University Hall in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Ana, Emily and Paolo are three portrait photographers in search of connections. Lerma’s photographs strangers on the streets of Boston and New York in search of a reflection of a photographic encounter. Holzknecht’s portraits of strangers as well as those close to her explore a relationship between the photographer and the photographed. Morales’ pictures of acquaintances physically interacting explore relationships of struggle and power. The exhibition is on view from March 20-24, 2012.

Paolo Morales is a photographer and BFA candidate at the Art Institute of Boston. He has exhibited work at the Detroit Center for Contemporary Photography, Kings Highway Library, C Street Gallery, Trevor Day School and Gallery 44, among others. His editorial work has appeared on the cover of College Magazine. In 2010, he curated a show entitled Select Gender at the Farmani Gallery in Brooklyn. He lives in New York and Boston.

Emily Holzknecht was born and raised in northern New Jersey and is currently a BFA candidate at The Art Institute of Boston. Her interest in humanity and narrative lead her to develop a strong interest in the photographic portrait and its power to simultaneously reveal and obfuscate. Her work has been exhibited at the Photographic Resource Center and Laconia Gallery in Boston.

Ana Lerma is a contemporary photographer. Raised in the suburbs of Las Vegas, NV she moved to Boston to pursue a photography degree at The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

Re Runs: Gilda Davidian

This was first posted in 2009…

I’ve been meaning to write about Los Angeles photographer, Gilda Davidian for sometime. Gilda knows how to take a Portrait (with a capital “P”) and her website and flickr pages are full of wonderful imagery of her friends and Armenian family members, taken with a an artist’s eye. “(I am) interested in using photography to explore ideas involving home, familial relationships, and the process of forming identity through the act of portraiture.”

Gilda graduated from Cal Arts with a BFA in 2006 and soon after helped start the Los Angeles photo collective, From Here to There, which allows fellow Cal Arts graduates to create exhibition possibilites as a group. J. Wesley Brown has an interesting interview about the collective with Gilda on We Can Shoot Too.

Two series are featured below: Portraits and Portrait Studio. In her portrait series, Gilda manages to tell a story within each image, where the setting, the clothing, the color, and the person combine to provide the viewer with significant insights into the sitter.

Images from Portraits

One of my favorite series, Portrait Studio, is a wonderful look at those behind the camera. The fact that these Armenian portrait photographers, mostly from Glendale or Pasadena, spend day after day in small, unassuming studios, working to create memories, has a sad poignancy as they pose next to faded images of by gone days.

Images from Portrait Studio

Portrait Salon shows a selection of National Portrait Gallery 2011 Portrait prize rejections tonight

© Nick Dolding

© Paul Statham

It’s time to get your fill of portraits – and not just colour but black and white too – courtesy of a screening by Portrait Salon where a projection of 75 unselected entries from the National Portrait Gallery Photographic Prize 2011 will be on show tonight at the Roxy Bar and Screen in London from 7-11pm.

Devised by two portrait photographers, who are both based in London and are professionally involved in the cityʼs photographic community, Portrait Salon made a call for submissions from the 5,973 unselected entries and retrieved over 600 images from which it then made its selection.

© Zed Nelson, British Shipbuilders (Part of the series Disappearing Britain)

© Martin Usborne, Frank Bruno

The projection will be accompanied by a publication showcasing all the selected works, with an essay by Wayne Ford and a Q&A I did with the dynamic duo. This will be on sale at the screening.

As I say in the press release: “Looking through the rejected entries has been an eye opener – it was a rare chance to see some of the images that are discarded, to ponder the question of portraiture in the 21st century, and to discover some top-notch portraits to boot. The National Portrait Gallery Photographic Portrait Prize 2011 is a prestigious international prize, however, there is a lack of feedback given to entrants and it was surprising to find that there is some confusion as to what constitutes a portrait – many images simply didnʼt fit the criteria. Portrait Salon is a new venture and should be viewed as a positive addition to the photo competition arena as all entrants are being given another chance to get their work seen on screen and in print at no extra cost.”

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: london, Martin Usborne, Nick Dolding, Paul Statham, Portrait Salon, Potraiture, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, The Roxy bar and screen, Zed Nelson

Photo Portrait News – Portrait Salon de Refusés calls for portrait prize images, Alan Powdrill’s Pipe Up portraits and What’s in a Face?

“All portraits reveal something of the sitter, the photographer and also of us as viewers, but none reveal a whole and complete being. This is part of the enduring fascination with the photographic portrait which purports to be an exact likeness but operates more accurately as a metaphor for the self and how that self might exist in the world at a particular point in time.” – Judy Annear, senior curator photographs, Art Gallery of NSW from the press release for What’s in a Face: aspects of portrait photography

Alan Powdrill, Glow from the Pipe Up series

My grandpa, photographer unknown

Alan Powdrill, Amy from Pipe Up series

It’s a photo portrait post, with a pipe-theme, today – that’s one hell of a lot of Ps for a sentence.

Today there’s a call for “unselected entries to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011″ by Portrait Salon, which considering that only 60 images are selected for the international Taylor Wessing Prize, is a fun and positive way to promote portrait photography through trying to retrieve as many of the “discarded” images as possible. Also, some quirky images of women with some amazing pipes (but are they really pipe smokers, I wonder?) courtesy of photographer Alan Powdrill who also has a blog with a Picture a Day, plus an upcoming photo portrait exhibition What’s in a Face? opening on 24 September in Sydney, Australia and running until 5 Feb.

Portrait Salon aims to show the best of the unselected entries from the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011. The organisers – two portrait photographers, who are both based in London and are professionally involved in the city’s photographic community – believe that, “out of the 5,973 rejected entries, there must be some good quality portraits which deserve to be shown”. To this effect, the organisers have anonymously (at least at this stage), set up a Salon des Refusés, “which has a long tradition as a fringe way of showcasing artists’ work that may otherwise go unseen”. See Wayne Ford’s blog for more  on the origins of the Salon des Refusés.

This will be a projection of works rejected from a juried art show.  So, if you submitted work to the Taylor Wessing photo portrait prize 2011 and got rejected, then you have another chance to get your work seen and shown.

Simply, email a Jpeg only, at 1000 pixels on the longest edge, of your “refused” submission to: [email protected]

See over for more…

Sure, there may be the possibility that your work will not be selected for a second time, but then, unless you give it a go, how will you know? Also, as the organisers say: “We will show a much higher percentage of work than at the National Gallery” this is also because they will be projecting work so will not be as constrained, in terms of numbers of works that can be shown.  “The venue, date and time, is yet to be confirmed. In order to maintain a high standard of imagery, the projection will be curated, so a selection of the submissions will be shown.”

I’ve agreed to help on the judging panel, which will be announced soon, so send your unselected entries in. After all, you’ve already done the work and it won’t cost you anything, except a little of your time. And if you didn’t enter but know someone who did, then pass the details on. Can’t wait to see some of the “refusés”, so look out for some of them in future posts.


Left: Edward Weston (USA 1886-1956) Guadalupe de Rivera, Mexico 1924, printed later gelatin silver photograph, 20.7 × 17.8 cm. Gift of Patsy W. Asch 2000 © Centre for Creative Photography, Arizona Board of Regents. Right: Loretta Lux (Germany b1969) The waiting girl 2006, Ilfochrome photograph, 38 × 53 cm. Purchased with funds provided by the Photography Collection Benefactors’ Program 2007 © Loretta Lux/Bild-Kunst. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney

With portraiture in mind, the Art Gallery of New South Wales has a show What’s in a Face? aspects of portrait photography which is “an exhibition of 45 photographs from its collection. The exhibition focuses on crucial points in the history of photographic depictions of the human face ranging from studio portraiture in the late 19th century to contemporary practices today. Works by Australian photographers, such as Paul Foelsche, Olive Cotton, Max Dupain, Carol Jerrems, Destiny Deacon, Patrina Hicks, Darren Sylvester and others, are placed in an international context, represented by Man Ray, Edward Weston, Iwao Yamawaki, Nan Goldin, Ben Cauchi and Loretta Lux, amongst others.”

If I am anywhere near the Antipodes before then, and you never know what life can bring, then I will swing along, if not I’ll have to make do with virtual enjoyment. I leave you with these thoughts about portraiture from the press release:

“Using photography to depict the face and figure was initially a time-consuming and expensive business. However, the drive to document all things in the world, and rapid technological advances, meant that by the 1880s most people, willing or not and regardless of the photographer’s or their own desires, were documented in some way.

“Spurious 19th century ideas to do with what a face could represent exploded in the early 20th century when identity came to be seen as a psychological rather than social phenomenon. Theatricality and performing for the camera, which had existed in photography since its inception, also became much more evident in this period.

“In the post-WWII era representations of the face and the body quickly acquired a political and socially aware edge. More recently the face has tended to stand less as an expression of personal experience and more a statement that may signify a set of ideas, whether about the individual, the group or the society at large. Many of these highly constructed images acknowledge and play upon the problematics of the photographic portrait.”

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Alan Powdrill, Art Gallery of NSW, Derek Bevis, photo portraits, Pipe Up, Portrait Salon, portraits, Salon des Refusés, Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, What’s in a Face?

Photo competitions – Calls for entries to Taylor Wessing Portrait Photographic Prize, Peaches & Cream, Photomonth and Photography Book Now

It’s another Bank Holiday in Londinium and time for a photo competitions round up. Here are details of four photo competitions that are sending out calls to photographers, amateurs and professionals alike; one of which, from blurb, is for self-published photo books – a growth area with the development on digital technologies.

Deadlines are varied, from end of June, July and August, and all incur some entry fee, though there is no set amount and this varies wildly from competition to competition. For those below, this ranged from £10/entry to £23/entry. The photomonth open is, however, free to enter.

The National Portrait Gallery is calling for entries for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011. The competition aims to provide “an important platform for portrait photographers including gifted amateurs, students and professionals of all ages”. Last year the competition attracted nearly 6,000 entries – stiff competition, as they say – and it was won by David Chancellor, for his portrait Huntress with Buck.

See over, for more details…

Applications must be received in advance, either online or by post, by 23.59 on Thursday 7 July 2011. Entry forms will not be accepted on the day when prints are delivered.

£23.00 per photograph entered.

Follow this photo prize link and complete the online application form or send a stamped addressed A4 envelope for a hard copy form to: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011, National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place, London, WC2H OHE.

Around 60 photographers will be selected for the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, and the winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011 will receive £12,000. In addition the judges, at their discretion, will award one or more cash prizes to the shortlisted photographers.

The exhibition will run at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 10 November 2011 until 12 February 2012.

For the third year running ELLE magazine will commission a photographer selected for the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize exhibition to shoot a feature story for the magazine. Clare Shilland won the second ELLE Commission in 2010 for her portrait Merel.

Millennium Images has launched a new photographic competition – Peaches and Cream – in conjunction with Milim Gallery and Crane Kalman Brighton. The competition “offers established professionals, graduates and all other photographers alike the opportunity to join forces with Millennium Images picture library”.

There are two categories:

Peaches: Open to every photographer
Cream:  Aimed at graduates.

5 August.

Entry costs £10/submission before 29 July.

Peaches: £500 + 3 year Milim Gallery contract
Cream: £100 + 3 year Milim Gallery contract

Each winner gets a three year contract, cash prize, and the chance to see their photographs published on the cover of a best selling novel. Five photographers will exhibit their work in central London in October 2011. The showcased images will be for sale.

A series of 3-10 images on any theme.
Images can be in any style, for example, documentary, fine art, travel etc and of any subject but should be suitable for hanging on a gallery wall.

The winners will be chosen by Richard Kalman of Crane Kalman Brighton, Richard Evans of Atlantic Books, Jason Shenai of Millennium Images and Milim Gallery, and others from within the photographic and publishing industries.

PHOTOMONTH – EAST LONDON International Photography
Call for entries to the open photography show to be held at the Rich Mix Gallery in Shoreditch. The aim is “to exhibit a wide range of subjects and approaches and give photographers more opportunity to participate in photomonth and exhibit their work to the public, press, publishers, curators and collectors”.

All entries will be continuously screened at the PHOTO-OPEN EXHIBITION and a number of images will be selected for printing, mounting and hanging in the gallery space.


“Open to all kinds of photographers, professional and non-professional, students and young people from all over the UK and the rest of the world. There are no restrictions on subject matter or numbers of entries made per photographer. All entries will be shown on screen or in print in the gallery.”

Submit a CD in jpeg format at 72dpi. File names must follow the convention: initial_surname01jpeg, initial_surname02jpeg etc. Please submit all your entries on one CD. Please make sure your CD is clearly marked with your name.

The Photo-Open Entry Form should be submitted with your CD stating total number of entries together with your entry fees. Also enclose a correctly stamped and self addressed envelope if you wish your CD to be returned.

30 June.

Blurb is calling for entries for its Photography Book Now (PBN) competition 2011. For the first time, the competition will also celebrate up-and-coming talent with a Student category to add to the established Fine Art, Documentary and Travel categories. Photography Book Now  is an international-juried book competition that “celebrates the most creative and innovative self-published photography books, and the people behind them.

“Creating a beautifully produced photography book while retaining complete control of the creative process is what every artist craves,” said Eileen Gittins, founder and CEO, Blurb.

“We also have heard from past winners of Photography Book Now that having their work recognised by such distinguished jurors as well as featured at international photography events around the world has opened new doors for them professionally. We are deeply committed to celebrating the medium of photography books and are proud to present Photography Book Now for its fourth year.”

Submission fee:

USD $35
UK £20
EUR €27.50
CAD $35
AUD $35

You can enter as many books as you’d like in any of our four competition categories, but you must pay a separate submission fee for each entry. Submission fees are non-refundable

This competition is not for books published by traditional publishers or offset printers, or handmade books. However, if you’ve used a print-on-demand service other than Blurb to make your book, you are welcome to enter it.

To submit your entry, download and fill out the hard copy submission form. Send the completed entry form along with one hard copy of your book for judging purposes. For more info, see the rules regarding hard copy submissions.

3:00 pm PDT (10pm GMT) on 14 July 14, 2011


  • Markus Schaden, Publisher and Curator
  • Larissa Leclair, Founder, Indie Photobook Library
  • Gerry Badger, Photographer
  • Jon Levy, Founder and Director, FOTO8
  • Chris Boot, Executive Director, Aperture Foundation
  • Matt Eich, Photographer, LUCEO
  • Steven McCurry, Photographer, Magnum
  • Whitney Lawson, Photo Editor, Travel + Leisure
  • Claudia Hinterseer, Founder, NOOR
  • Larry Fink, Photographer
  • Henry Horenstein, Educator and Photographer
  • Laura Brunow Miner, Founder, Pictory

The finalists’ books in each category will become part of the permanent collections at the International Center of Photography, the Indie Photobook Library and the George Eastman House.

Filed under: Photographers, Photography Awards & Competitions, Photography Books, Photography Shows Tagged: Blurb, Crane Kalman Brighton, london, Milim Gallery, Millennium Images, National Portrait Gallery, Peaches and Cream, photo competition, Photography Book Now, Photogrpahy Book Now competition, photomonth, Rich Mix Gallery, self-published photo books, Shoreditch., Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize