|Jordi Ruiz Cirera, Margarita Teichroeb|
Read an article by one of the judges, Sean O'Hagan.
The exhibition of works selected for the competition will be at The National Portrait Gallery until 17 February 2013. (All text, below, is from the NPG website.)
Born in Spain in 1984, Jordi Ruiz Cirera studied Design at Elisava College, Barcelona before moving to the UK and gaining an MA in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography at the London College of Communication. His shortlisted portrait of Margarita, a Mennonite from the Swift Current Colony in Bolivia, is part of his long term project portraying the daily life of this community.
He says, ‘Almost all of the houses have tables in front of their windows giving fantastic light to the scene. Sitting in front of the camera was not easy for Margarita, photography is forbidden for Mennonites and having her direct portrait taken was quite difficult so I could only take two frames of her. Even though we were enjoying the situation, Margarita posed with this sort of awkward expression.’
Second prize was awarded to Jennifer Pattison for Lynne, Brighton.
Pattison says, ‘There is an interesting shift in the consciousness of the sitter during the slow process of making these portraits; a moment in the quiet where they become unaware that they are naked. I capture them as they drift to another place. With no direction Lynne adopted this straightforward pose, bare and undaunted, looking straight down the lens and beyond.’
Third prize was awarded to Spencer Murphy for Mark Rylance.
Murphy says, ‘I’ve always enjoyed working with actors as there’s no awkwardness or discomfort in front of the camera and they are able to understand direction and react to it very easily. Mark was no exception.’
Fourth prize was awarded to Alma Haser for The Ventriloquist.
She says, ‘I asked them to sit on a tiny, wobbly coffee table, forcing them to almost cling onto each other. Ultimately I wanted to turn their verbal banter into a visual image. The title is designed to help viewers make up their own stories about what is going on.’
Other shortlisted pictures include: