Portrait photography can cover a range of types and styles, from traditional “head and shoulders” shots to lifestyle and surroundings, candid and street, glamour, boudoir, maternity shoots and more. Moreover. Check out some of the eye-catching portraits and photos that stopped us in our tracks this week, all winners of the 2022 WPPI Prize in WPPI’s annual 16×20 Print, Scrapbook and Filmmaking Competition.
Atlanta wedding photographer Andre Brown says he conceptualized and booked this shoot while seated at a table at the 2021 WPPI Awards. a group maternity shoot in early 2020 and then COVID rolled in. At that point I thought it would be hell trying to get a group of mothers together during such difficult times as a pandemic. But the idea for this image was really born during the WPPI Awards 2021 ceremony.”
As for the judges’ scores, Brown adds, the only real criticisms for the image were that the flower on the box of apples was too bright. “I really appreciated one of the judges fighting for that image to be higher. I really don’t think people understand what’s going on in something like that, especially since there’s four children (twotoddlers and two babies) who wanted to breastfeed at a different time than when I wanted them to breastfeed.
As for the title, “Foremothers,” Brown says the photo is meant to embody many facets of motherhood – “carrying, nurturing and comforting.” I chose an analogous color scheme to signify harmony.
Tatiana Lumiere says when COVID started, she closed her studio and put away her gear, leaving only one two-tone Westcott Solix LED lamp with barn doors. “I used this light to sing on the Smule app which kept me afloat during the pandemic and my dad’s death. Singing in the basement, where my studio is, until 3 a.m. and beyond with only the Westcott light on helped me get through those tough times.
In December 2021, Lumière decided to reopen its studio. “After almost 2 years, I felt like I was starting over again,” she says. “I was craving creative flow again. I needed that light and love in my life. This shoot satisfied a craving. I scrambled all the material I could find: reflectors, a Yongnuo YN560-III speedlite flash with wireless controller, my trusty Westcott Solix with variable color temperature and a red scarf (used instead of gels…just couldn’t find them).I wanted to pass on the start of something new, a story of being touched by life energy and wanted to use red and gold.
I had gold makeup paint around and it just felt right to do body paint with it. The speedlite, covered with a red scarf, sped through a golden reflector. Instead of singing that night, I filmed until 4 a.m., feeling more alive than I had felt for many months.
WPPI judge Kristi Elias wrote, “There is a beautiful warmth to this portrait that you not only see but feel. There is both strength and vulnerability in her pose and expression. This portrait is very different from anything we normally see in the boudoir category. The manufacturer has pushed creativity into this category.
Anthony Lemoine says this image was taken during Christelle and Gonzague’s wedding in Belgium at Chateau Bayard.
“I like the balance of this image and the alignment of the couple with the rowboats which creates a rhythm in the image”, explains Lemoine. “I wanted to create a romantic image and take advantage of the two small boats that could represent the path the bride and groom have traveled before being together.
Lemoine says the judges liked the composition, the softness, the romance, the colors and the simplicity of the image.
Erum Rizvi says this image, titled Sarikais the result of balancing obligatory coverage with an everlasting vision to capture moments that can become powerful wedding day memories.
“Indeed, when we seek out those special shots that bring art and craft together, we can create images that become almost iconic for the family,” says Rizvu. “Think about it, how many photographs does any given family hold in their memory? In this case, my couple needed to honor both their religions and their cultures. In just one day, they had a ceremony catholic, a hindu ceremony and a reception.With very little time available to create portraits through two separate ceremonies, I seized the opportunity to take this photo almost by accident.
Rizvi says Sarika, the bride, was getting her hair done in a Hollywood wave. “As Sarika bent down to look at her phone, her hair moved forward and covered one side of her face. I realized then that there was an opportunity here and asked everyone to take a break so I could prepare my shot. The look I saw reminded me of a Vidal Sassoon ad campaign, or something you’d see in a Toni & Guy look book while waiting for your hair appointment.
The lighting source, Rizvi adds, is daylight from a window to the left of the camera. “I closed the curtains just enough to allow a very controlled light source to illuminate the bride’s face.
Said WPPI Judge Jugbir Dhillon of the image: “The significance of the actions of the perpetrator needs to be addressed. It’s not easy to stop the hairdresser and the make-up artist to do a portrait. This is a NO ENTRY area to move hair midway through the wedding day to create a portrait. The image was beautifully retouched and the choice of paper was perfect.
Martina Warenfeldt likes this image because her client had the vision to combine a romantic feeling but with a touch of fashion. “I think we succeeded,” says Warenfeldt. “Her husband threw the fabric and we managed to get this awesome move in one shot. I love how she looks so proud and happy and so fabulous. The fact that it’s a real customer shoot makes me very happy.
Warenfeldt continues, “The WPPI judges liked that it was a different maternity photo, with that fashion feel, and also how it was done in one take and not a composite and I also got great reviews on printing on matte paper and that all the details were there.
Dive into our recent Photo of the Day archive for even more compelling and eye-catching portraits and creative images of 2022 WPPI Award winners.