And because photography is such a generous medium (as Lee Friedlander once famously put it) every aspect of a great portrait contributes to its success — the level of intimacy, the direct or indirect gaze, the environment and surroundings, the light (of course), the level of honesty and trust, and the degree to which a psychological mask is in place, or dropped, to reveal something true and real.
The 38 winners, jurors’ picks and finalists presented here represent a wonderful range of styles and approaches to the art of portrait photography. The members of the international jury met for multiple hours (via video) to discuss these photographers and many others. At times the discussions were quite passionate, and with this final selection, we believe these photographers all capture and convey something true about their subjects.
Here you will discover several variations on self-portraiture (indeed, all three of the top winners in the singles category this year are self-portraits made by female photographers). Other portraits are conceptual, trying to deliver social messages about groups of people or cultures while depicting specific individuals. Some are formal, staged photos, while others have been captured in wonderfully fresh candid moments.
These winners and finalists hail from 19 countries on five continents, and depict people coming from diverse sets of circumstance. In all of these wonderful examples, a profound sense of humanity comes through. We hope you will take the time to savor each of these to find some personal connections and inspiration.”
— Jim Casper, on behalf of the jury and the whole team at LensCulture
DOCTORS AND NURSES OF THE INTENSIVE CARE HOSPITAL, FIGHTING COVID-19 EMERGENCY IN PESARO - ITALY. THEY ARE PORTRAITED AT THE END OF THEIR LONG WORKSHIFT. 12 HOURS WITH NO DRINK AND NO TOILETBREAK, DUE TO THE PROTECTIVE SUIT THEY WEAR. THE SIGNS ON THEIR FACE ARE CAUSED BY THE MASKS THEY HAVE TO WEAR TO PROTECT THEMSELFES FROM COVID VIRUS. IN THE PICTURE
Margherita Lambertini, First Aid Surgeon Doctor. San Salvatore Covid Hospital
© Alberto Giuliani