Whether they’re our own children or someone else’s, kids make great photography subjects. These award-winning photos from our 2022 Photography competition showcase that no matter the age, there’s something about youth that’s incredibly photogenic.
What happens when a school provides a self-described “child at heart” with the opportunity to capture the world through a child’s eyes? Michael Schoenfeld takes complete creative freedom in his photo “Recess at Private School” (above) to embrace the space between art and play.
Schoenfeld frequently captures more serious subjects, working for clients in healthcare, humanitarian efforts, and everything in between. Over anything else, however, he labels his local private school, Challenger School, as his “dream client,” often collaborating with them to create both perfect advertisement material and works of art all in one shot. This photo from Schoenfeld’s series centers on a young student in bright red clothing who sits inside a contrastingly-colored blue tunnel (presumably a component of school play equipment). Light pokes through holes in the tunnel, reflecting off the shiny metal and dotting the subject with an odd pattern. The subject smiles slightly, although the filtered lighting obscures the details of their facial features.
Schoenfeld wields bright colors and playful lighting to evoke warmth and nostalgia. Viewers might glimpse their own fond memories of childhood through this snapshot of a child at play. With this photo and the many others he captures for his ongoing work with Challenger School, Schoenfeld provides a photo that inspires and delights: a component for the school to use practically and a standalone piece that endorses Schoenfeld’s own artistic merit.
Pantuso features his own daughter, professional dancer Viola Bella Pantuso, as both a model and consultant on this project. When she modeled for this photo, Viola Pantuso was a senior student at the renowned, London-based Royal Ballet School. She has since graduated and officially joined the Royal Ballet Company, where she regularly performs and competes. She also regularly models for both her father’s photography and other, primarily dance-related projects.
An interview with French watercolor painter Françoise Gilot inspired Michael and Viola Pantuso to shoot in The Royal Botanic Gardens KEW, which Gilot describes as her favorite place in London. Michael Pantuso incorporates stylistic elements from Gilot’s work alongside one of her favorite locations; a beautiful homage to her talent, character, and history. Within the photo itself, Viola sits on a bench in the gardens dressed in full ballet garb, elegant and poised. The Gardens’ alluring architecture rises to frame the dancer at its center. Rigid geometry accompanies the dancer’s gracefully flowing organic shape; delicate touches of pale lavender accent an otherwise austere, monochrome setting.
To see more Photography Annual 2022 winners, visit graphis.com. To enter our 2023 Photography competition, click here.