Metro was thrilled to hear the news that Spanish photographer and Metro client Jordi Ruiz Cirera was yesterday announced as the winner of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2012. We reported in our news story last month that Metro printed the entry for Jordi Ruiz Cirera and that he was shortlisted as one of the four finalists and are of course delighted by his success.
Along with the much coveted title Jordi also wins prize money of £12,000 which he believes will help him develop his work. "This project on the Mennonites was self-funded, and it was not easy to spend so much time and money without knowing whether I would be able to get it back." he commented. Now the young photographer is planning to update his equipment and spend the rest working on personal, long-term projects, "without having to think much about whether it's profitable or not."
The winning portrait of Maria Teichroeb was taken as part of Jordi's project about the Mennonites in Bolivia, portraying the life of an extremely closed and traditional religious society in which photography is forbidden. The direct portrait was very difficult for Maria and only two frames were taken of her, and despite the fact both of them were enjoying the situation, Margarita posed with this sort of awkward expression.
This year over 2,350 photographers from around the world made 5,340 submissions to the awards, with sixty images selected for the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue.