Portrait Competition

This month LensCulture is running a portrait photography competition. There are only a few ‘pay to play’ photo competitions I will participate in, but LensCulture is one of the best. At $35 for 5 photo entries, I thought it would be worth delving into the archives and selecting my strongest images. For a photo to be a winner, it really needs to be a little quirky and have that something extra. Today I am going to share the images I shall be entering, and discuss a little of the back story behind each photograph.

The Cobbler

This image was taken in Hongzhen Lu, Shanghai. The area has now been demolished, and with it a way of life has vanished forever. This cheerful chap could always be found in the same space and was happy to have his photo taken. Many Street Photographers frown when it comes to subjects smiling, but I think it works in this image as he is not smiling at the camera, and instead looks like he is enjoying his labour.

Face Tattoo

This image was taken in Khlong Toei, Bangkok. Khlong Toei is not the safest neighbourhood for photography, and I was told to stick to the main roads and get out before dark. As you can imagine, I was slightly nervous asking this guy for his portrait. I’m glad I did, and his soft expression contrasts with his prison-style face tattoos. This man was with his young son at the time, so as an opener I asked to take a photo of them together. One technique I will often employ is to take an image the subject would want first, often of their children, then I will take the photo I really want.

School Boy

I like the colour and the hidden triangles in this image. This photo was taken in a small rural school outside of Beijing. The student was aware that I was taking his photo, but remained lost in his own thoughts. Seconds ofter this image was captured he burst into a grin and ran off with his school-friends.


What was the lady in this photo trying to do? There was miles of rubble caused by the demolition of an entire village, and the site does not look like it can be fixed with an old broom. This was an area next to the Huangpu River, on the Pudong side of Shanghai.


Diane is a local transgender woman, who will feature in an upcoming photo-book, ‘The Bangalorian‘. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to meet her and witness Diane’s morning routine. The rest of the day was spent following her as she blessed the local community. The Hijra (eunuchs) of India are believed to have the power to bless or curse others due to the gods removing their manly parts!

A Winning Formula?

The LensCulture competition is one I would very much like to win! One option offered is to receive feedback on your work, and this is something I have done in the past. Critical feedback is a sure-fire way to improve your photography. If you would like to view my past LensCulture feedback, it can be viewed using the links below.

My LensCulture feedback

More LensCulture feedback

That’s all for today folks. Keep Clicking,


4 Comments on “Portrait Competition

  1. Some great shots there alright, I do like the Tattooed Guy and the Schoolboy best, I’ve got a few good ones from a Punk Festival I attended last year with my friend and fellow photographer. All these people with Mohicans. Spiked hair, Spiked anything for that matter. They were the nicest bunch of people I’ve ever met, not one person said no to us and one young lad couldn’t believe we picked him out of the hundreds that were about ( his words, as there were actually thousands ), we didn’t have the heart to tell him he was actually a lucky find and our last shots on the way back to the car. I gave him a card, this was last September but about a month ago he contacted me on Instagram that he’d just found the card in his jacket and loved the photos. He had big bushy really ginger hair, now he’s shaved it all off.
    Anyway, sorry I got off track and went on too much, I meant to say I wish I could spare the money to enter but alas I can’t.
    Good Luck
    No I’m not a Punk


      • Yes i get their emails and sometimes watch their YouTube videos


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s