Everyone loves photos of dogs and babies–even the judges of one of the UK’s most prestigious photography prizes. Fashion photographer David Titlow has just won the Taylor Wessing Portrait Photography Prize–an award of £12,000, or about $19,000– for “Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow,” an image of his infant son being introduced to dog.
The photograph, which Titlow took the morning after a huge midsummer party in Rataryd, Sweden, is drenched in gauzy, almost mystical-looking light. The composition bears vague resemblance to that of Michelangelo’s “The Creation of Adam“–except God is replaced by a dog. “Everyone was a bit hazy from the previous day’s excess,” Titlow said in a statement. “My girlfriend passed our son to the subdued revellers on the sofa–the composition and back light was so perfect I had to capture the moment.” Titlow, 51, born in Suffolk, took up photography in 1991 after working as a musician, and has since worked on advertising and fashion shoots for the likes of Vanity Fair, Vice, and The Guardian.
Titlow’s photograph will be the centerpiece of an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery featuring 59 winning entries to the competition, selected from 4,193 submissions entered by 1,793 photographers. The $4,742 second prize went to Jessica Fuller-Dobson for “Skate Girl,” a photograph of a 7-year-old Afghani girl posing in a blue hijab and sandals with a skateboard, taken at the Skateistan project, a skate school for children in Kabul.
The third prize went to Birgit Püve for “Braian and Ryan,” a photograph of 9-year-old Estonian identical twin boys in matching clothes, crouching in the dirt by their grandmother’s country house, holding a chicken. Blerin Racaj took the fourth prize for a somber black-and-white shot of a group of teens in Kosovo.
Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is on view at the National Portrait Gallery in London from November 13 to February 22.