Winners & Finalists of The ‘Indian Photo Festival’ Portrait Prize 2020

The ‘Indian Photo Festival’ Portrait Prize 2020 is a portrait competition open to the photographers from the Indian subcontinent. Photographers have been making portraits for centuries and what’s so interesting about portraiture is its ability to capture the essence of a person, a time-period, or a culture. Running stratight for the past 4 years, this award aims at discovering the compelling portraits and extra-ordinary talents.

1st Prize – Vipin Singh

“Devoted in her prayer, she was not distracted by her surroundings which was full of foam. Industrial waste of Delhi enters Yamuna River and makes it toxic. At some spots these big chunks of foam get formed and float around. During festivals people pray in River water but sometimes all of them don’t get water now.”

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2nd Prize – Joydeep Mukherjee

“The Brave Girl.”

3rd Prize – Vikesh Kapoor

“Our Childhood Swimming Pool, 2016 — My father had just finished raking the leaves out when I made this portrait of him in the childhood swimming pool. He still tends to it even though it’s no longer used. Here it lives in a continuous state of decay. This pool is where he taught me how to swim when I was one and a half years old. This is the pool where so many home videos were made: him chasing me around the pool with the hose, eating lunch with aunties that were visiting from India, and from times even before I was born. This is the state of the pool now, and has been for years. I made this portrait after not seeing him for 8 months. I try to visit as often as I can.”

Finalist – Abdul Munaff

“Innocence.” (Muharram Mournings, Hyderabad)

Finalist – Abhijeet Gurjar

“Portrait of Climate change, The entire world is facing problem of climate change. It was heaviest monsoon in the last twenty five years in 2019. More than 1600 people died and a million people were displaced between June to October 2019. Kolhapur district of Maharashtra, western states of India was one of the worst affected. A home from Holondi village, Hatkanagale taluka, Kolhapur District village lost everything, devastated home with hanging portraits of their beloved family members.”

Finalist – Apu Das

“It happens when you least expect it. You look into the mirror just as you’ve done every other day.My Mother in the Mirror .She must love herself. her face glows when she thought about she-loving herself. She’s about to always give the best to herself. Good outfit, decent manner, positive mental and thought, good taste of music and read, appropriate footwear, and proper skincare. She looks beautiful. She smile.”

Finalist – Deepak Kapur

“World within you.”

Finalist – Rohit Iyer

Ramakant Pandey, aged 84 year old is a migrant from U.P works as a watchman in the central suburbs of Mumbai. During nationwide lockdown, I started documenting portraits of migrant workers. An insensitive decision towards the marginalised community, health crisis got escalted into humanitarian crisis. Millions like Pandeyji, had no choice but to get out and work everyday during the lockdown or head back to their village; either smuggled in trucks or by walking. He said “Fearing my family might die of hunger, I come to work everyday. I have to, I have no choice.”

Finalist – Mohit Khetrapal

“A father with his months old child after taking a holy dip in River Ganges. It is believed that mother Ganges showers her blessings if one takes a dip in the holy river. She blesses one with a healthy life and washes away all sins. Ironically the water is extremely polluted and can cause life threatening diseases like Hepatitis, Typhoid, Cholera etc. People have blind faith in this tradition and ritual.”

Finalist – Navneet Chahal

“Emulating Kali.”

Finalist – Nayeem Siddiquee

“Every window has some story.”

Finalist – Pattabi Raman

“A Transwoman admires an aquarium at a lodge in Villupuram, a small town in Tamilnadu. She was on her way to a fashion pageant, a significant part of the annual Transgender festivity that takes place in Villupuram and the adjoining sleepy town koovagam during summer. Almost 50,000 Transgenders and Transvestites gather during the mid summer at Koovagam for this transgender marriage festivity.First, transwomen assemble for a beauty pageant where Miss Koovagam is crowned. The second phase involves the ceremonious marriage lasting all through the night inside the Koothandavar Temple where the temple priests marry the visiting transwomen by tying a mangalsutra around their neck. The last and final phase is observing widowhood.Transgender women from across the country gather for this festival which gives them a platform to be a part of an event of mythic proportions and to express their sexual identities publicly.”

Finalist – Ragini Nath

“Wuthering Dreams.”

Finalist – Ritankar Mazumder

“Annakut is celebrated on the fourth day of Diwali. The fourth day of Diwali is also the first day of the new year in the Vikram Samvat calendar. Therefore, the rituals surrounding Annakut are closely linked with the rituals of the five days of Diwali. While the first three days of Diwali are days of prayer to sanctify wealth and invite greater wealth into the devotee’s life, the annakut day is a day of offering gratitude for Krishna beneficence.”

Finalist – Satyanarayana Gola


Finalist – Umar para

“7-month-old Fatima who has Pneumonia in her mother’s lape. Five patients were tested positive in this District, one on Tuesday . and four on Wednesday.”

Finalist – Venkata Sunder Rao Pampana

“Uplifting Awareness.”

Finalist – Viraj Nayar

“A portrait of Urmila Devi, leader of the Benares sector of The Green Gang. The Green Gang is a group of vigilante women, who fight against alcoholism, gambling, and domestic violence in rural areas of India. Their relentless raids over the past few years have created positive change in the socio-cultural landscape of villages in UP. Men are now slower to raise their hands against women, and to squander the family earnings on liquor and card games.”

Finalist – Sutapa Roy

“This image is from my long time project – “In search of a better life”, which is revolving around brick factories in India. Women and children are trapped there by the socio-economic system of unorganized working sector, exploited and abused by the social structure or the higher authorities. Heavy work can easily be dispensed on women in return of low wages as they are unskilled and considered to have lesser stamina. They are petrified, dominated under virile power. Children are not only deprived from love and care, but also have to lend their hand in field or housework as merely small helps are necessary. This is Amrita, who lost her father at a very early age. Her mother started to work in brick factories for their living where she started to help her mother in field work as well as in household. Recalling her past, Amrita shares her dream of becoming an officer in a big company, which remained unfulfilled. Nevertheless, she is not ready to give up on her dream and wants her sister live up to on her behalf.”

Finalist – Vaisakh Shabu

“Man and Nature – Finding the way back to our roots.”

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