Today I shot the Lisa King Carnaby Store Opening event for Sane Communications
Lovely comment about my “Inheritance Project” work in the Telegraph Today.
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Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014, review: ‘consistently accomplished’
A fine swansong for outgoing director Sandy Nairne, delivering portraits that are variously elegant, jubilant and unsettling, says Christian House.
8:01PM GMT 11 Nov 2014
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize tends to draw a vocal crowd. This year more than 4,000 submissions have been whittled down to 60 exhibits, plenty capable of eliciting an “awesome” or an “awful”. However, as the last prize to be hosted by the outgoing director Sandy Nairne, there is little doubt that this is a fine swansong, delivering portraits that are variously elegant, jubilant and unsettling from a consistently accomplished selection.
Tongues will still wag. Not least because many will consider that the winning image, David Titlow’s Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow, is not a portrait at all. If you photograph a bowl of fruit, you’d be hard pressed to call it a landscape. Likewise, I’m not sure you can describe as a portrait a composition in which three adults, a baby and a dog vie for prominence (if anything the dog wins) and which focuses on the moment rather than the subjects. It’s a strong image, resonant of the Golden Age of Dutch painting (more of which later). But is it a portrait?
The prize likes to tinker with the definition, sometimes to great effect, other times slipping off-piste: this year Tom Jamieson’s image of two Ukrainian protestors deals with character while Zed Nelson’s photograph of Hackney hoodies (hoods up) veers into reportage. And yet again the prize flirts with its old amours: woodland scenes, red-headed youth, scars, twins, tattoos, twins with tattoos. Only the last is absent.
Thankfully, there’s plenty of original material. We see Lenny Henry and Silvio Berlusconi cast in new light, the former in reflective mood, the latter chillingly up-close and personal. And photography’s fascination with the Old Masters continues apace with both Ben Stockley’s Ángel Nieto and Laura Pannack’s Chayla in Shul (which wins the John Kobal award for a work by a photographer under 30) drawing inspiration from Vermeer.
Of the more traditional sittings, Justin Sutcliffe’s portrait of a Congolese official is a masterpiece of microscopic depth of field and Michele Aboud’s Stella charms like a 1940s film still. The judges have adopted a more joyous approach than last year: works celebrate rather than commiserate with their subjects. In particular, Laurence Cartwright’s Dog and Boy made me laugh out loud and - my personal favourite - Jamila as her mum, Olivia by Hayley Benoit will light up anyone’s day. I’d advise you to go, view, smile and tut-tut and then discuss.
- Boy vs dog: portraits of 2014 11 Nov 2014
- National Portrait Gallery director Sandy Nairne to step down in February 12 Jun 2014
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is at the National Portrait Gallery until February 22, 2015
Portrait shot by me Hayley Benoit of Jamila as her mum Olivia featured on the National Portrait Gallery Website, for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014.
Archie @ Bookings
Dan @ Bookings
Denzel @ Bookings
Jacopo @ Bookings
Pavel @ Bookings
Willow @ Bookings
Today I shot the Sane Communications SS15 Press Day for Sane PR
Hayley Shoots, Nixon London Carnaby Store Opening - October 14