Photography: Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012

It seems that when I come to London, I have to visit as many exhibitions as possible - there is just so much to see! Yesterday, I had an hour to kill so I mooched along the Strand and up to the National Portrait Gallery. I hadn't seen the 2012 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, so nipped in to have a look.

The annual competition is open to photographers from around the world aged eighteen or over, and awards four prizes and a New Work award. For me, there is nothing more vivid than a photographic portrait. Photography captures a moment – perhaps a swift glance or part of an intense gaze – with true honesty. But also with impenetrable mystery.

Each portrait had an enlightening story behind it, but I preferred to stare at the photograph before finding out if I had interpreted it 'correctly'. Often, the mystery of the photo is enhanced by an unexpected context.

FIRST PRIZE: Margarita Teichroeb | Jordi Ruiz Cirera

SECOND PRIZE: Lynne, Brighton | Jennifer Pattison

THIRD PRIZE: Mark Rylance | Spencer Murphy

FORTH PRIZE: The Ventriloquist | Alma Haser


Davita, Sitali and Paul | Gandee Vasan


Silence | Elizabeth Haust

Christopher and Harriet | Laura Cooper

PC David Rathband | Justin Sutcliffe

Julie Hill | Peer Lindgreen

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012 will be exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, London until Sunday. Visit: npg.org.uk



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