Incredible images from the International Portrait Photographer of the Year Awards

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Incredible Images From The International Portrait Photographer Of The Year Awards
Tribal Identity by Zay Yar Lin – one of the entries in the International Portrait Photographer of the Year award
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By Luke Rix-Standing, PA

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 (€8,370) 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

(Jatenipat Ketpradit/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Md Saud Faisal/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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 

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(Jarrod Vero/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Kari Dahlstrom/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Maria Presser/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Charlotte Bories/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Josef Burgi/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

Temple Visitors – John Powers, United States

(John Powers/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Sujon Adhikary/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Nancy Flammea/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Zay Yar Lin/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

Kebabiyana – Debdatta Chakraborty, India

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(Debdatta Chakraborty/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Azim Khan Ronnie/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Azim Khan Ronnie/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

(Sanjay Patil/International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2021/PA)

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

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