This is our fifth Photography Annual, a showcase of the finest images of the year in commercial photography. I’d like to thank our judges: Maurice Van De Ven, creative director of StrawberryFrog, who judged the Personal and Non-Published and Design categories; Claudia Donaldson, commissioning editor, NOWNESS.com, who judged Editorial and Choi Liu, art buyer at M&C Saatchi, who judged the Advertising and Conceptual categories.
My congratulations go to all the photographers whose work was chosen this year and in particular to our Best in Book selection. Thank you to everybody who entered.
Patrick Burgoyne, editor, Creative Review
Best In Book
Title of work
Sarah After Vermeer
Since 2003 Richard Bailey has been curating and photographing for an ongoing body of work called Shifting Perspectives, concerned with creating positive imagery of people with Down’s Syndrome.
“Each year I’ve looked at different aspects of Down’s Syndrome,” says Bailey, “and this year, after meeting the actress Sarah Gordy, we got together and looked at images of Johannes Vermeer’s paintings, recreating them with a hint to the modern. Sarah has Down’s Syndrome, but this hasn’t stopped her from forging a successful career on the stage and in television. In all of the images that I take for this work, I am asking the viewer to look at the person and not the condition. As we live in an image saturated culture, where appearance holds such high currency, I hope these images question mainstream representations of those considered beautiful and indeed valuable.”
Shifting Perspectives is contributed to by a group of photographers, most of whom have a child with Down’s Syndrome, and has worked closely with the Down’s Syndrome Association in the UK.
Title of work
Where Children Sleep
Where Children Sleep looks at the bedrooms of children from a range of different backgrounds
James Mollison’s book Where Children Sleep was conceived while the photographer was at Fabrica, Benetton’s communications studio and research centre.
From a studio brief to create a project on the subject of children’s rights, Mollison began to reflect on the role that having his own space had on his own child-hood development.
In the book, Mollison refers to the bedroom he had in his parent’s house as his own “personal kingdom”. He decided to address some of the social issues that affect children by looking at the kinds of spaces that they called their own.
Mollison also took a photograph of each child on a neutral background, placing the image next to the one of their bedroom. “My thinking was that the bedroom pictures would be inscribed with the children’s material and cultural circumstances,” says Mollison, “while the children themselves would appear in the set of portraits as individuals, as equals.”
Mollison hopes that the book will appeal as much to children as to adults, and help them to think about the profound differences between societies around the world. Where Children Sleep is published by Chris Boot in November.
Title of work
These images of a Puli (a Hungarian herding dog) were shot by Tim Flach, specially for inclusion in his forthcoming book Dogs Gods, due to be published by Abrams on October 1.
“The book explores questions around the diversification of that species by man,” says Flach of the self-initiated book project. “The dog was a grey wolf until we got our hands on it.”
These particular images were shot in Denver, which is where Flach finally tracked down a white Puli that had a dreadlocked show coat and was capable of jumping. He had previously spent some time in France tracking down another white Puli, only to find that the dog in question had ‘retired’ and could no longer make any leaps.
It is the image of the mop-like, airborne, Denver-based puli leaping towards the viewer that will grace the front cover of Dogs Gods. The only way to get the shot, Flach tells us, was to position his camera between the legs of the owner – towards whom the dog is leaping.
Title of work
British Fashion Council
Ben Stockley was commissioned by the British Fashion Council to create a body of work that provided an overview of London Fashion Week. A selection of images from the series is shown here. “It needed to include the people, places and special otherworldly atmosphere that each of the shows held,” explains Stockley, “from the small new designers to the biggest international collections.
“I wanted to convey the energy and atmosphere but also a more contemplative side to the shows and the industry in general,” he continues. “I wanted to catch the anticipation of the subject – the backstage split seconds before a show, and the anticipation of the waiting crowd, the moments that get missed in the noise.”
Stockley mixed digital photography and film on the shoot and used various photographic techniques to create the heightened ambience of the images. “For each environment I wanted to portray the atmosphere and unique experience as I saw and felt it,” he says. “I decided to overlay images, using multi exposures to create a play where the cast, lighting and back-grounds convey differ-ent chapters of a production.”
Title of work
Shot in the Mediterr-anean and in an underwater studio in Paris, this series is for the Surfrider Foundation, a charity formed by a group of surfers in California in 1984 that is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the world’s oceans. The campaign aims to emphasise the adage that in the sea there is no such thing as a little bit of rubbish. Ben Stockley used the way that objects are magnified under water to reiterate this point.
The images feature objects that were washed up on seashores across France. Stockley shot the seascapes separately, taking a wide range of photographs in order to show the varying conditions of the ocean. He then added the objects into the scenes at a later date.
“We wanted to give the impression of the different regions of the world’s seas and oceans using different weather conditions, water composition, wave heights, mist and stillness in these large expanses of water,” he explains. “Following the creation of the seascapes I then chose to relocate to a specialist underwater studio in Paris, where we could have total control of how each object would look when placed into a specific seascape.”