When the call for entries went out for Let’s Face It 7, an annual portraiture competition produced by the London Photographic Association, the guidelines were simple: “We encourage photographers to interpret the brief in the widest sense, portraying your subjects with emphasis on their identity as individuals.”
The competition winners – preserved for posterity in LPA Portraiture Awards – do an amazing job of it, and also bring forth the individualism of the photographers in striking variety.
Photos were judged in two categories. In the Single Image category, Gold Prize winner Luca Sage captures the competitive defiance of a youth soccer team from Ivory Coast. Several of the boys are barefoot; their equipment is ragged, but their faces dare you to meet them on their dusty soccer pitch.
In the Series category, Polish photographer Michal Giedrojc transposes his subjects to surrealist black-and-white dreamscapes: endless bleak fields where they stand alone and uncomfortable, with one prop each to ground them.
The runners-up in each category are also marvelous, displaying a broad range of emotion and viewpoint with unwavering creativity and skill.