This is a first time Gallery Elite grand-prize for Nylora Bruleigh, a women and children portraiture and fine art photographer. The judges described her winning portrait, which depicts a young woman dressed in fantasy princess garb surrounded by walls of ice, as an “original application of composite techniques and adventurous storytelling” that “transports the viewer to another world.”
For Nylora, photography is about storytelling. The story isn’t completed with a single image, that’s often just the beginning. Through a combination of imagination and creativity, she builds her stories by adding other images and effects to create composite portraits that she designs digitally. Her unique approach is outlined in her new book: “Fine Art Portrait Photography: Lighting, Posing & Postproduction from Concept to Completion.”
When Jim LaSala was asked to document the aftermath of the Haiti earthquake in 2010, he didn’t realize that the country and its people would become an ongoing personal passion, resulting in seven trips to the Caribbean nation. His winning image, “Blind Faith” captures an elderly blind woman in a moment of rest in Grande Vincent, Haiti. The photo was applauded for its “striking dimension and detail in black and white, use of natural light and emotional impact”.
For Jim, his love of photographing people is about telling stories and capturing abstract landscapes. His view is that there is more than just capturing the image. “Getting the photo into the hands of the people whose stories I’m telling is incredible meaningful.”
Kris Doman, a children and family portrait photographer, believes there is something extraordinary that happens when a child puts on a costume. It allows them to internalize the strengths that the character represents and something she captures with a camera. Her winning photo features a young girl sitting along a rock wall looking regal in elegant attire. Judges praised Kris’ photo for it’s beautiful skin tones, classic style and her amazing storytelling ability.
For Kris, ensuring her clients have a printed image is a necessity. “Having a printed, framed canvas portrait is expensive, and having it hang on your wall reflects back to the child's self worth, and makes them feel worthy of always being seen. I believe a printed portrait will last longer than a digital image, and I want my hard work to be around for a long time.”
While attending a wedding, fine art photographer David Jeffery decided to take a walk down to the water to get some fresh air. He saw a stunning group of clouds spilling over crystal clear waters and a forest of sailboat masts. Never without his camera and tripod, David captured the scene via a 180-degree panorama made up of bracketed shots five wide and three deep. The judges described the results as: “having great texture, beautiful soft tones and excellent use of effects.”
For David, his love of photography is about sculpting what people see. “Photography is my way of carving sculptures, using a medium of multiple exposures to capture numerous tones of light. My presentations aim to carry the viewer into my vision, hopefully inspiring and delighting them with a fresh consciousness.”