Since the beginning of photography, people have made portraits. It has always been fascinating to capture a person in a particular moment as a memory of a certain stage of one's life. What's so interesting about portrait photography is that a photographer does not only capture the physical features of a person, but also their essence, a time period, or a culture.
Indian Portrait Festival (IPF) Portrait Prize 2021 encourages photographers from the Indian subcontinent (India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Myanmar) to demonstrate their talents and showcase extraordinary portraits. The festival's artistic director Aquin Mathews expressed his excitement about the competition: "every edition we are totally moved by the images. We are happy to see a lot of portraits staying away from the conventional method of shooting people."
The portrait prize winners and finalists have been already announced and we are very excited to show you the beautiful and touching photographs!
Winner: "Catrin" By Sujata Setia
""I’ve never been photographed like this before… with all of my scars, I mean." Catrin said to me.
It left us both thinking of what is the limit on scars? How much can we see? Are we all becoming a part of the world where scars need to look “pretty” too? Just enough, so we can use them to remind ourselves that our lives are better? But not too much… so we can bear looking at them?
Catrin was returning from a ski trip in the French Alps when the coach’s brakes failed and the crash happened.
96% of her body suffered third-degree burns leaving her with a 1 in a 1000 chance for survival. Following three months in a coma, 200 surgical procedures and 4 years of rehab, Catrin defied destiny.
To the prying eyes that meet her every time she steps out of the house, she looks back at them with tenderness and empathy.
"If my scars make you feel better about yours then I am happy for you. I understand you. And that’s what I expect from you as well. Empathy, not sympathy. My scars make me special… unique… differently beautiful. They are life’s brush strokes… and I am in love with this painting."
Scar… not Scary!"
Finalist: "A Portrait Of A Man Carrying A Child" By Arun Sharma/Pti
"A portrait of man carrying a child as people who were stranded in crisis-hit Afghanistan arrive by a special repatriation flight of IAF at the Hendon Air Force Station, Ghaziabad. UP. Aug. 22, 2021."
Finalist: "The Soul Behind The Mirror" By Akash Ghosh
Finalist: "Family Crossing" By Shibasish Saha
"An image of a family crossing the land which was flooded due to heavy monsoon in the rural areas of West Bengal."
Finalist: "Mother And Child" By Sandip Dey
"Mother and Child portrayed through a window in Sinquerim, Goa. The photograph depicts an everyday moment of love and innocence in the lives of the subjects."
Finalist: "Nothing In Disguise" By Somnath Mullick
"A happy-go-hawker with his selling stuff overhead posed for my click. Staying happy is an art, obviously, and earning a livelihood is better to blame."
Honorable Mention: "Shakti" By Raggeshre Das
Finalist: "We In Unison" By Aditya Sharma
"This photo is of parade rehearsals 2021, the time just after the first wave of Covid. ‘We’ is the first word of our constitution. To me, this photo represents our solidarity."
Finalist: Akshay Nagpal
"Bhavan Kumar, a driver of one of the cranes in the Bandhwari plant, Gurgaon. Living inside the plant they somehow survive on rainy days when the dirty water from the garbage drains into their homes."
Finalist: Unnati Sharma
"We are living in the world where we are all being judged by skin color complexion but at the same time, people look at skin problem as a scar or judge them by their Karma but nature never judges."
Finalist: "Devotees Busy Celebrating Chhath Puja" By Mili Paul
"Devotees busy celebrating Chhath Puja in so-called sacred Yamuna, which is rather full of froth and toxic industrial waste, Delhi."
Honorable Mention: "The God’s Word" By Disha Gupta
"The subject dressed in Amish just depicts how they covered themselves from everything touched by modernity, they live in simple living, plain dress, Christian pacifism, and slowness."
Finalist: "Song" By Devaraj Devan
Third Prize: "Layers Of The Mind" By Ritagnik Bhattacharya
Finalist: "Focused Conversation" By Veeresh Babu Rama
Finalist: "Indian Traditional Sport" By Jayesh Sharma
"I am trying to show all aspects of Indian traditional sport through my journalism, this picture is of one such traditional wrestler who is preparing himself before the battle."