In May 2019, the online magazine ‘The Independent Photographer’ organized its monthly contest around the theme ‘Portrait Photography’. On this occasion, the renowned British photojournalist Jimmy Nelson, recognized for his portraits of indigenous and tribal peoples, was a judge of the competition.

Over the years of professional experience, Jimmy’s work has been exhibited in international museums and in the world’s largest photographic art galleries.

Through portraits of iconic characters or ordinary people, we discover a deep interest for others. As the great portraitist Richard Avedon used to say, “the moment when an emotion is transformed into a photograph, it is no longer a fact, but an opinion”.

After receiving and sorting photos from more than 60 different countries, this award aimed to discover the strongest and most captivating images of today’s portrait photography.

Congratulations to the Winners & Finalists!

More info:

Maarten Schröder – 1st Prize

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$1000 Prize: Maarten Schroder

“A truly classic composition posing light, but within that classicness the choice of face features, the aesthetic and skills at making what could be perceived as ugly in it’s androgenicity is extremely beautiful in it’s authenticity.” – Jimmy Nelson

Alexander Klang – 2nd Prize

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$600 Prize: Alexander Klang

“Extremely simple flat lighting, a very graphic but clean composition; Rarely does a portrait have so much power and intensity. Ultimately the boy’s stare shows a true connection between the photographer and the subject.” – Jimmy Nelson

Justin Keene – 3rd Prize

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$400 Reward: Justin Keene

“The still must tease with the promise of a story the viewer of it itches to be told” once said Cindy Sherman. This is the immediate feeling we experience in front of Justin’s portrait. Deceptively simple at first glance, the viewer quickly discovers a perfectly composed and carefully balanced image. Slowly making our way up, guided by the soft and warm light of what appears to be a desolated coastal land, to reach the center of the image and the slightly daring gaze of our protagonist curiously dressed. A beautiful portrait, inspiring and poetic.”
– The Independent Photographer Editors

David Chao – Finalist

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‘Middle School Baseball Duo’, Mihara, Japan 2019

Two middle school players from the Sera team in a three team round robin tournament held in Mihara, Hiroshima.

Gavin Wallace – Finalist

Felicia is a 65 Year old Mental Health nurse originally from Cape town, South Africa, and had been living in the UK for the last 20 years. – From series ‘Place Where We Dwell’

Maarten Schröder – Finalist

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‘Sterre & Meerle’

Mark Elzey – Finalist


Michael DeLaere – Finalist

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‘Black Looks Blue in Moonlight’

MK McGehee – Finalist

‘She is’

Stefano Croari – Finalist

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‘Recycle’ – Haridwar, India.