Judge: Jessica Jones
A photograph of a person or persons that may range from a head study to full body length - includes candid photographs and formal portraits.

A photograph of a person or persons that may range from a head study to full body length. This section includes candid photographs and formal portraits. Street photography images are permitted but should not be a violation to an individual’s privacy. Portraits of animals are allowed.

Portrait images should have been taken if subject agreeable. A ‘model release’ should be gained if image is taken in a studio setting under controlled lighting conditions, backdrops and poses – in a public or private setting. If you are photographing children under the age of 18 years, it would be advisable to get a parents permission.

All in-camera, on-camera and post-processing techniques can be used. This includes combining multiple images and elements in a final image.

Some helpful hints to look at in portrait photography

  • Pick The Perfect Background For Your Subject. ...
  • Prepare Your Portrait Subject For The Shoot. ...
  • Pose Your Portrait Subject Like A Pro. ...
  • Ensure Your Subject Is Well Lit. ...
  • Use A Flattering Focal Length. ...
  • Blur The Background Using Aperture Priority Mode. ...
  • Expose For The Subject's Face. ...
  • Focus On The Eyes.



Set Subject


Cyclist    Accepted     
What a fun portrait!  Is that him in the picture behind?  Great use of colour, story and humour.  I would like to see better focus on his face, and if there was a way to have his hands in the frame it may make it a more powerful shot as well.  

Determination    Accepted     
A striking picture (pun intended!)  The young lady has a strong pose and expression, I’m not sure I’d like to give her any trouble!  Great character!  You’ve lost detail in the darks of her hair and the light seems to be coming in quite low, see how the catchlights are in the middle/lower hemisphere of the eye?  This may have been intentional though, as it does make her feel a little more dangerous!

Eva    Accepted     
This one made me giggle!  What a cutie!  I love how she’s got her hands in her boots and how her eyebrows tell such a story!  I feel like the space on her left doesn’t add anything to the picture, and the line of trees leads your eye out of the frame.  Perhaps try a vertical crop?

Flower Girl    Accepted     
What a wee belle!  She’s clearly at ease with the photographer, which is one of the most important things to get right with this kind of shot.  I’d love to see a more pulled back version, as the crop on her hand feels uncomfortable, I’d also lighten it a smidge.  

Gauchos, Estancia las Rosas    Accepted     
Look at the expressions on these two guys!  You’ve obviously caught a story or conversation unfolding, well spotted!  My eye keeps wanting to see the missing horse though, so I can’t linger on the story for long.  Photographing moving subjects can be tricky, when in doubt leave a little bit of extra room so they don’t leave the shot before you’ve taken it!

Happy Memories    Accepted     
What an interesting use of light!  The use of your focus point means you are controlling the viewer’s gaze perfectly.  There’s nothing that makes your eye want to leave the frame, well done!  The crop is a little on the tight side though, I’d either crop above her mouth, or below.

Henry    Accepted     
What a gorgeous doggo!  You’ve got to wonder what’s making him feel a bit humbug.  The colour and details are beautiful.  I’d love to see more of the dog though, I feel like his back is just a little too cropped in.

Ina    Accepted     
What a pretty, friendly looking lady.  You’ve captured her looking relaxed, and the light on her hair is gorgeous!  I’m distracted by the sepia filter that’s been used, I think this particular effect would be better used on something a little more ye-old-timey?  The dates on her jersey contradict the effect used, and to be honest, I don’t think she needs it!

Jackson    Accepted     
This little guy looks like he’s thinking up something cheeky to do!  Beautiful use of light on his face, but I’d tend to hold back on the darkening of the edges.  Vignetting is best used carefully, a good rule of thumb is if you notice it when you look at a picture, it’s too much.  This little guy is plenty cute without it!

Jac's    Accepted     
Great use of open shade to put your subject in!  She looks friendly and approachable, a look that can be hard to achieve when someone is taking your photo, so she must be comfortable with you!  Love the wind in her hair.  The crop is a little off for me, as the space above her head doesn’t add to the image, crop off that top third and you’ll have a much more powerful image.

Master Hadley    Accepted     
This is such an engaging portrait!  Focus, expression and light are gorgeous.  I’d just like to see a little more of him.


Peek a Barrel    Accepted     
Well done getting such a tight crop to work!  You can tell she’s smiling by her cheeks and eyes, which means it’s a real smile.  I’m missing her pinky finger on the right, I didn’t realise I counted fingers until just now!  Lovely wee capture.
The Hands of a South American Winemaker    Accepted     
What a lovely image in black and white!  Well done with the shadows and highlights, the grapes look amazing.  I love how the shape of the grapes is echoed at the ends of the fingers.  I feel like the crop at the bottom is just one smoosh too tight though.  
This season's garlic crop    Accepted     Garlic!  I can almost smell that lovely fresh garlic smell!  Love the texture of the sack under the bulbs.  I wonder if a lower angle would have made these bulbs a little more majestic?


Father daughter moments        Accepted    
I love the times when my kids have been interested enough to look at old photo albums!  This is a special moment captured.  I think the focus should be on the girl instead of the father which would also help a little with being able to see the photos she’s looking at.

Fun at the beach    Accepted    
How delighted the little one is to be there!  You can see it on his face!  Beautiful use of eye contact from both subjects, and the light and colour are just glorious!  This image would feel a little more natural if the woman was more relaxed and either sitting in the water, or a little further back sitting on the sand.  I’m feeling the burn in my own thighs just watching the squat!

Moroccan market seller        Accepted     
Great use of light and closeness for visual impact!  This guy looks like he could tell a story or two!  There’s a tiny white hair/speck between his lips that keeps distracting my eyes, a simple clone tool, if you have it, would deal to that pretty quickly.

Sheepdog Trials        Accepted     
I love the intensity in this dog’s face, waiting for the word from his owner.  Great use of tension!  The toning to the image is really lovely too.  I’d like to see more of the owner’s face, and a little less vignette for a really striking image.

Whose driving?    Accepted     
I love this little guy’s face, and how it’s framed on the car window frame with his beard hanging over and his engaging eye contact!  I’m not a fan of spot colour, personally, so my judgement may be skewed towards ‘less is more’ in that regard.  I simply don’t think the image needs the effect, it’s lovely enough without it.  


Coastal pine trees    Accepted     
This is such an interesting capture!  Something as firmly grounded as trees somehow have movement and speed!  Well done.  

Mt Ruapehu    Accepted     
What a beautiful, clear, crisp image!  I love the use of the horizon on the third and the way the shadows carve out the form of the hills.  


A Good Keen Man        Accepted    
I love the use of colour in this!  I’d like to see more of his eyes to see if I can get an idea of what he’s thinking.  The use of vignette is a little harsh on his red jersey.

Baby May        Accepted    
What a cutie!  Look at how her eyes sparkle!  Great light direction using some pretty window light (see the catchlights in the upper hemisphere of her eyes?)  I’d love to see more of the person she’s cuddling, even if they were leaning over her just a tiny bit, we’d get a bit of a side profile and it may give the image more context.

Collecting Autumns' Leaves    Accepted     
Autumn is the BEST for light and colour in Marlborough!  Just when you think you can’t take any more of Summer’s harsh midday light, Autumn comes along with a lovely reassuring sparkle.  This wee girl is the cutest thing!  Look at her pretty smile!  Having the basket with leaves in front of her gives more context to the story than just a cropped head and shoulders.  I might have been tempted to lean her forward and slightly towards the light, as my eye gets distracted by the bright basket handle and her arm.

Fijian Village Cutie    Accepted     
Look at those beautiful eyes!  Well done defining them so well, they’re the first thing you see (well, after the fingers!!)  My imagination keeps reconstructing the arm that’s leaving frame and wondering what it’s doing, which is probably not what the photographer intended!  It can be so tricky to know what to do with limbs in an image!  Whenever there’s an option, bend the joints and leave them in frame.

Forest Elf    Accepted     
Oh what a cool elf!  That’s such an interesting image, and the subject has such great eye contact!  I love the use of the split lighting too!  I do wonder if maybe she were put on the left of the frame it would feel more comfortable to look at?  The elf stick doesn’t have very much room, and it keeps tempting my eye to leave the frame.  

Grace    Accepted     
What a gorgeous dog.  Perfectly framed with enough room around her, her ears are forward and relaxed meaning she’s not worried at all.  The light hitting her might be a smidge too harsh as the white fur on her leg has blown out.

Luca    Accepted     
What a great capture of a handsome young man!  I like how you’ve allowed room around his face so he doesn’t feel too cropped in.  I’d like to have seen a little more of his eyes, and some catchlights

The Fan Dancer    Accepted     
What a fabulous fan, and I’m sure a very lovely lady, except I can’t see enough of her to either be engaged by eye contact or be able to see more of her face.  The focus is entirely on the hand and fan and not on the lady behind it.

Time with Great Grandma    Accepted     
What a precious moment between a girl and her great grandma!  This image will be treasured for a lifetime, I’m quite sure of that.  Your vignette is too heavy and distracting and takes away from a beautiful soft moment.

Tom    Accepted     
Tom looks like quite a character!  Well done getting such great engaging eye contact!  It looks like your focus is bang on the side of his head, and you’ve missed his eyes – which is pretty important for this type of portrait.  
Waiting for the train    Accepted     Oh look at her waiting for her ride!  I love her posture and eye contact!  I love how you’ve used the leading lines to bring your eye to the subject!  


Colours of Spring    Accepted     
Gorgeous flowers!  I love how you can almost feel the texture in the petals of those front two flowers!  I feel like if they are the heros of the image, so should take up more of the scene, and perhaps taking this in more diffused light would be a little softer as well?  Gorgeous details in the petals and stalks!

Late Summer Rose    Accepted     T
his almost has a painterly feel to it!  I don’t know what to look at though, or which flower is the hero?  The light seems a little bit harsh for such a delicate subject too.



A game of Two Faces    Accepted     
What a great use of lighting!  I’m not sure this young lady needs the flowers, as they keep drawing my eye away from her beautiful eyes!  Lovely clear print that could do with a little warming up and brightening to really make this print ‘sing’.

Taylor    Accepted     Lovely print with great tones.  Great control with your darks and lights.  I love the story telling aspect of this image, although I’m left wondering if he’s happy to have his picture taken or not!  I’d love to see more of his surroundings, but maybe that’s just because I’m being a bit nosey.

The Man in the Window    Accepted     
What a great character, well spotted!  I’m not sure if he was truly happy you were taking his picture though, which makes this even more interesting to look at!  It may have been better in a white mat to match the frame of the window.  He doesn’t appear to be totally in focus which is a bit of a pity.


Morning calm    Accepted     
Lovely calm image with beautiful colours and reflections.  Well done keeping the details in your brighter areas and sky.  Very well balanced.
Craig        Accepted     
This is an interesting print and character study.  The darks may be just a little too dark and you’ve lost some of the detail in there.

Gaye    Accepted     
This is a striking close up image that gives the viewer an immediate emotional response, is she sad or reflective?  The background is entirely blown out on the print, which I feel lets it down somewhat.  Still, a great emotive image.

The Keyboard Player    Accepted     
Lovely clear portrait with an almost painterly affect.  Beautiful handling of your lights and darks.  I’d tend to pull back a little so we can see a little below the shoulders.

Lindis Pass    Merit    
What a great tone and use of light in this image!  Beautifully printed.  The shape and light on the hills keep my gaze within the frame.  Well done.

Locked Inside    Honours    
What an outstanding print!  Look at the engagement of his eyes and the placement of his hands – fabulously intriguing.  The water on the glass feels like it should be on the print itself!  I just love the way the window pane frames flow effortlessly into the outside of the print.  The black and  white might be a little punchy, but this image can handle that.  Really great work.

Maureen        Accepted     
I love the soft wistfulness of this image.  You’ve given the subject plenty of frame space to look into, and great use of separation from the background.  I’d like to see what her hands are doing, keeping them within frame will usually give you a more striking portrait.


Golden Hour Photograher        Accepted     
Beautifully printed on this gorgeous paper!  What a fun twist on golden hour to turn the camera on the photographer!  The colours are a little too saturated for my liking, particularly on his skin tone, maybe taking this down just a smoosh would be slightly easier on the eye.  Also keep a look out on your horizon line, as it’s going straight through his head.  Raising or lowering your camera would have been a quick fix.  

Prickly, But Beautiful        Accepted     
I love how this image was matted – a square print in a rectangular mat!  Well done getting such great separation from the background, and such rich colours.  I do wonder if this would be a more striking image if it was cropped ever so slightly differently, maybe moving it a little to the left?

The Matriarchs        Accepted     
I love the colour and story in this print!  Great expressions!  My eye travels from the faces of these women down to their feet, and as I look at their footwear I get to the lady on the left and feel disappointed that her toes didn’t quite make it in the frame!  Great story telling image.