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    Slideshow: Winners of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year awards

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    Recently, winners and finalists were announced for the inaugural International Portrait Photographer of the Year (IPPOTY) competition. Brought to you by the same organizers that put on the International Landscape Photographer of the Year competition, IPPOTY received 948 submissions from portrait photographers around the world.

    ‘Who are the world’s leading contemporary portrait photographers? The aim of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year awards is to invite photographers from around the world to present their best work. In turn, we engage six acclaimed portrait photographers – this year David Burnett, Charmaine Heyer, Rocco Ancora, Martina Wärenfeldt, Sanjay Jogia and Sarah Ferrara – to assess and deliberate, curating a body of work that is not only representative of the portrait art in 2021, but is inspirational for us all,’ says Peter Eastway, Chairman of Judges.

    Australian photographer Forough Yavari was the overall winner, placed first in Portrait Story and second in the Character Study category, respectively. She received a $3,000 prize while each category first place amounted to $1,000, while second place winners received $500 and third got $250 each – for a grand total of $10,000 in cash prizes awarded.

    Winners and finalists, along with the top 101 photos selected by a panel of judges, will be featured in an Awards Book. Winners, finalists, and the top 101 photos can be viewed here.

    Take a look at these incredible images from the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards

    a close up of an engine: Tribal Identity by Zay Yar Lin -

    © Provided by The Independent

    Tribal Identity by Zay Yar Lin-

    Portraiture is quite different to almost any other form of photography. Capturing the essence of a person in freezeframe poses a unique set of challenges, not least the complex, ever-changing nature of your subjects. The inaugural International Portrait Photography Awards showcase the best of this difficult discipline, pitting amateur and professional portraitists around the world against each other for a $10,000 prize pool.

    These are our favourite entries from the awards, from French fashion shoots to the tribes of Ethiopia…

    People of the River – Jatenipat Ketpradit, Thailand

    a couple of people that are standing in the dirt: 26133_Jatenipat_Ketpradit_Famil_People of The River

    © Provided by The Independent 26133_Jatenipat_Ketpradit_Famil_People of The River

    A portrait of a family of the Karo tribe, including father, mother, two brothers and two sisters. The tribe live along the Omo River in Ethiopia, and place a heavy emphasis on ornate body art and headdresses.

    Portrait of my Grandmother – Md Saud Faisal, Bangladesh

    26084_Md Saud_Faisal_Famil_Portrait of my Grandmother

    © Provided by The Independent 26084_Md Saud_Faisal_Famil_Portrait of my Grandmother

    This hard-hitting shot depicts the photographer’s grandmother holding up a portrait of her younger self, shortly before her death during the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Task At Hand – Jarrod Vero, Australia 

    a lot of smoke around it: 26081_Jarrod_Vero_Envir_Task At Hand

    © Provided by The Independent 26081_Jarrod_Vero_Envir_Task At Hand

    A fisherman struggles against the swell and his reel on a stormy day on the New South Wales coastline in Australia.

    A Golden Moment – Kari Dahlstrom, United States

    a bird flying in the sky: 25990_Kari_Dahlstrom_Envir_A Golden Moment

    © Provided by The Independent 25990_Kari_Dahlstrom_Envir_A Golden Moment

    A portrait of a traditional Kazakh eagle hunter at the Eagle Festival in Western Mongolia. For generations, these horsemen have trained falcons to hunt hares, foxes and other small mammals.

    Classic Beauty – Maria Presser, Argentina

    a young girl wearing a hat: 25966_Maria_Presser_Chara_Classic beauty

    © Provided by The Independent 25966_Maria_Presser_Chara_Classic beauty

    Taken in her studio in Buenos Aires, photographer Maria Presser set up this shot to imitate the classic oil paintings often found in art galleries.

    Shibari Pond – Charlotte Bories, France

    a person wearing a costume: 25817_Charlotte_Bories_Envir_Shibari pond

    © Provided by The Independent 25817_Charlotte_Bories_Envir_Shibari pond

    Just one photo from a fashion shoot conducted in a fish pond in France this image takes its inspiration from the Japanese erotic art of shibari.

    The Mundari Cattle Herder – Josef Burgi, Switzerland

    a deer with antlers looking at the camera: 25719_Josef_Burgi_Envir_The Mundari Cattle Herder

    © Provided by The Independent 25719_Josef_Burgi_Envir_The Mundari Cattle Herder

    This image shows a poor cattle herder looking over his flock in the fledgling nation of South Sudan.

    Temple Visitors – John Powers, United States

    a pink door: 25506_John_Powers_Envir_Temple Visitors

    © Provided by The Independent 25506_John_Powers_Envir_Temple Visitors

    John Powers captured this image as two novice monks wandered the corridors of their temple one sunny afternoon in Myanmar.

    Red Chili Picker – Sujon Adhikary, Bangladesh

    25299_Sujon_Adhikary_Envir_Red chili picker

    © Provided by The Independent 25299_Sujon_Adhikary_Envir_Red chili picker

    Women root through thousands of chilies to ruin any rotten ones before sending the crop to market. The radio is playing religious songs to keep them occupied while they work.

    Wait, Let Me Take A Selfie – Nancy Flammea, Australia

    a person sitting on a bed: 25144_Nancy_Flammea_Portr_Wait, let me take a selfie

    © Provided by The Independent 25144_Nancy_Flammea_Portr_Wait, let me take a selfie

    This heavily stylised photo argues that the self-indulgence of social media has always existed, simply in different forms for different generations.

    Tribal Identity – Zay Yar Lin, Myanmar

    A young Suri boy in Ethiopia paints his face with white clay, surrounded by the braceleted hands of women.

    Kebabiyana – Debdatta Chakraborty, India

    a man riding a wave on top of a fire: 25082_Debdatta_Chakraborty_Envir_Kebabiyana

    © Provided by The Independent 25082_Debdatta_Chakraborty_Envir_Kebabiyana

    Taken in a small alleyway in the Kashmiri capital of Srinagar, this photo shows a street vendor slow-cooking kebabs over a charcoal fire, as the town comes alive in the early evening.

    Praying With Fire – Azim Khan Ronnie, Bangladesh

    a group of people standing around a fire: 25024_Azim Khan_Ronnie_Portr_Praying with fire

    © Provided by The Independent 25024_Azim Khan_Ronnie_Portr_Praying with fire

    Devotees pray with oil lamps and burning incense during the Rakher Upobash festival at the Shri Shri Lokenath Brahmachari Ashram Temple in Narayanganj in Bangladesh

    The Man Of Golden Fibers – Azim Khan Ronnie, Bangladesh

    25022_Azim Khan_Ronnie_Envir_The man of golden fibers

    © Provided by The Independent 25022_Azim Khan_Ronnie_Envir_The man of golden fibers

    This Bangladeshi worker isn’t wearing a giant, golden wig. He’s carrying around 50 kilograms of jute – a heavy, flax-like fibre often used to manufacture high-end rugs, and other products that require tough, weighty thread.

    The Mystical Stare – Sanjay Patil, India

    a person wearing a costume: 24840_SANJAY_PATIL_Portr_Theyyam festival is the ritualistic performance

    © Provided by The Independent 24840_SANJAY_PATIL_Portr_Theyyam festival is the ritualistic performance

    A lavishly decorated dancer performs as part of the Theyyam festival in the Malabar region of Kerala in Southern India.

    Stunning and evocative images celebrated in new global portrait photo contest

    Never heard of the International Portrait Photographer of the Year? Well that’s not too surprising. Because 2021 is the inaugural year for this new competition, based in Sydney, Australia and open to photographers around the world. 

    The IPPOTY invites both professional and amateur photographers the chance to share in a prize pool of US$10,000 cash, and be among the top 101 images published in an accompanying Awards Book. 

    It’s just announced the winners of the 2021 competition, which were judged by Charmaine Heyer, David Burnett, Martina Wärenfeldt, Rocco Ancora, Sanjay Jogia and Sarah Ferrara. The overall winner was Australian photographer Forough Yavari for Solitude, a panoramic multiple-exposure shot shown below.

    Solitude by Forough Yavari was the overall winner and first place in the Portrait Story category.  (Image credit: Forough Yavari)

    Other images were awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd prizes in the following categories: Environmental Portrait, Portrait Story and Character Study.

    First-prize winner in the Environmental Portrait category was Swiss photographer Josef Bürgi for this image of a cattle herder, shot in South Sudan. 

    Traditional African man herding cattle

    The Mundari cattle herder: Mother, always the watchful care-giver, together with Father, built a life. And towards the end of his, her greatest strength was called upon. This image, days before my Father died, typifies their devotion: ever present. They once said “till death do us part” and they stayed together until it did. (Image credit: Josef Bürgi)

    First-prize winner in the Character Study category, meanwhile, went to Zay Yar Lin for Tribal Identity, shown below. It features members of the Suri tribe in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley. 

    Multiple hands surrounding child in a circle

    Tribal Identity: A young Suri boy paints his face with white clay, surrounded by Suri women decorating their hands with bronze bracelets. Suri tribe in the Omo Valley. Ethiopia maintains important symbols of tribal identity, such as face and body painting.The shapes and colors convey a strong bond and meaning amongst them. (Image credit: Zay Yar Lin)

    Zay Yar Lin also won first in the Family Sitting category, for this image of a 25-year-old maiden of the Suri tribe.

    African woman lying on ground surrounded by bare feet of many others

    Maiden of the Suri tribe: She is 25 years old, not yet married, and still guarded by her family. She is still waiting for her husband. A man in the Suri Tribe can only marry a girl when he has sixty cattle which are presented to the girl’s family as the price of marriage. (Image credit: Zay Yar Lin)

    The second- and third-prize winners are featured below. Meanwhile, for full details of the Awards and details how to enter next year’s competition, visit the International Portrait Photographer of the Year’s website.

    Dishevelled man stood on porch outside house

    Second place in the Environmental category went to Ern, Cat and Verandah: Ern Hendry lives in Point Turton on Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. (Image credit: Karen Waller)

    Portrait of woman

    Second place in the Character Study category went to this untitled portrait  (Image credit: Forough Yavari)

    Shrouded of woman in mourning

    Second place in the Portrait Story category went to The Loneliness of Grief (Image credit: Forough Yavari)

    Woman looking thoughtful

    Third place in the Character Study category went to Bonn Mariee: Asking the Question. Bonn Mariee was born just over a couple of decades ago with an innate curiosity, red hair and freckles. A moment in a friend’s studio shed. Bonn actually shut up asking questions for long enough to get some images made that portrayed her ‘red head’ character. (Image credit: Brian Cassey)

    Woman sitting on chair with naked child

    Third place in the Family Sitting category went to Little Lord Fauntleroy: a character from the children’s classic novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett Little Lord Fauntleroy written in 1886 (Image credit: Nancy Flammea)

    Man's face emerging from a pile of twine

    Third place in the Environmental Portrait category went to The Man of Golden Fibers: Workers appear to be wearing large golden wigs as they carry a heavy bundle of jute fiber. Their bodies are enveloped with the heavy natural fibers, with only their faces visible as they each carry around 50kg of jute on their shoulders. (Image credit: Azim Khan)

    Portrait of young boxer

    Third place in the Portrait Story category (Image credit: Nancy Flammea)

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