“We celebrate our ability to create machines that move as man, yet we take for granted the miracle that is the human body.” – David Alejandro Fearnhead

We’re delighted to present the results of the third theme of Life Framer Edition VI, judged by celebrated documentary photographer and winner of the Visa D’Or and World Press Photo, Joachim Ladefoged.

As the quote above poetically describes – the body is a remarkable thing, something that unites us all while making each of us unique. It is no surprise that this mesmerizing selection celebrates such diversity – capturing the many shapes and sizes of the human body – while challenging our concepts around beauty, normality, and even what the future might hold.

Congratulations to the selected photographers, and thank you to everyone else who submitted. Enjoy!

Join the discussion on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and thank you to everyone who submitted their work.


“A very strong and eye-catching portrait with an important story. It walks a fine line between fashion, portrait and documentary photography, but it does it incredibly well.” – Joachim Ladefoged

“Through the intimacy of the bedroom setting and the soft pink light, Mary creates a remarkable portrait that reveals so much. Taken from a series that examines fat-shaming in Russia, it is not this idea that first draws us in – instead it’s the color, their vulnerability and tender embrace, and her distinctive tattoos. However the narrative gently unfolds in their expressions – him distant and withdrawn, her holding the viewer’s gaze with a weary air. While the discomfort is apparent in both, it is her who remains absolutely aware of the viewer – that she is on display, that she is being judged. That her outward appearance affects so many of her interactions. Her make-up seems emblematic – small red hearts that sit on her cheeks like tears. It is a wonderfully powerful and considered portrait scene.” – Life Framer


“A strong portrait with beautiful light and an important story. At first you think of make-up, or a Photoshop composite and only later do you realise it’s a disease that makes the dark skin light.” – Joachim Ladefoged

“This is an extraordinary portrait of Mercedes, a Cuban lady with a rare condition called Vitiligo – a chronic disorder characterized by patches of skin losing their pigment. She lays prone, bearing herself for Rosa’s camera in an act interwoven with both vulnerability and strength. The rays of light pouring in from above echo this dichotomy – perhaps heavenly, perhaps as if in a prison cell – and she leans towards it in deep contemplation. The patterns on her skin juxtapose against the blanket she lays on, and the complementary colors of red and blue pop – catching the viewer’s eye before they absorb the image further. It’s an evocative and elegant portrayal of a remarkable subject.” – Life Framer


“Channelling the way in which artists such as Arno Rafael Minkkinen integrate their bodies into the natural landscape, Eli finds wonder in a simple scene, where these bony, dirtied feet echo tree roots clawing out of the foliage and rising upwards. Captured in stark black and white, it feels visceral and real – a reminder of our interconnection with the natural world, delivered in a playful, effortless way.” – Life Framer


“In her accompanying statement Justine describes her subject – Amber, 13 years old, who lives with the rare condition of Progeria through which the body ages rapidly. With exquisite technique she treats her subject with the grandeur and sombre reverence of a royal – a formal sitting that channels the tones and postures of historical portraiture. Justine knowingly subverts this historical precedent – an honour reserved only for the rich and powerful, here given to someone far less so. To celebrate uniqueness and diversity rather than wealth, and to challenge our ideals of beauty. By capturing her subject in a timeless manner, Justine asks us to question the ephemerality of life, no more so than for Amber whose body ages so quickly.” – Life Framer


“Taken from a long-form passion project in which he tells the stories of young American travelers who choose to forgo societal convention for a life of adventure on the road, Michael presents a powerful portrait of ‘Brillo the Clown’ in Brooklyn. Taken against a neutral background to focus all attention on his subject, we see a body marked with symbols – tattoos, piercings, brooches – outwards descriptors of character and personality. With a sombre expression at odds with his playful, slanted clown hat, Brillo embodies so much of what one can imagine a young outsider experiences – a defiance alongside a vulnerability, loneliness, resolve. We imagine a life led with spontaneity and passion. It’s the kind of portrait that stays with you.” – Life Framer


“Captured in a gorgeous muted palette, Milena channels well-worn visual tropes – the sea as a place of reflection, the naked body as signal of vulnerability and intimacy – but does so in a way that feels fresh and poetic, that is infused with the memories and sensations of a specific time and place. Contrasting vulnerable bodies with harsh concrete and a foreboding sky the image has a raw tactility, but despite this the scene evokes something comforting and free.” – Life Framer


“Captured with the raw tactility of Ilford Delta film, Przemyslaw positions his subject in an empty, dilapidated room, and bathes her in a soft, natural light. He creates an image of contrasts – of strength and vulnerability, presence and absence, fleetingness and longevity – and at the centre of it is this captivating woman; pain and defiance carried clearly across her body and in her expression. It’s an extremely powerful portrait.” – Life Framer


“While the human body is a dynamic machine, the majority of submitted images – and certainly in the winning selection – focused on still poses and moments of quietude. There can be a beauty in motion though, and it’s something Misha captures imaginatively and effectively through a combination of multi-exposures and wet-plate collodion processes. Fusing old techniques with new creates something arresting – an image that celebrates the body in flight, in a strange and haunting way. It feels ghostly and supernatural, a glimpse into an unsettling narrative. Misha uses creative techniques that add up to more than the sum of their parts.” – Life Framer


“Learning to swim is a defining moment in growing up – overcoming fear and asking your body to move in unfamiliar ways. With a limited color palette and a tight composition of the young boy cutting a diagonal across the frame, László finds a tender beauty in this experience, all focus on the subject as he is supported by anonymous hands. It’s intimate and evocative, eliciting feelings we’ve all felt as we grow into our bodies.” – Life Framer


“Federico provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of the human body, draped in the context of the past. In this grand and austere setting we see a woman, or a technological approximation of one, drawing with pen and paper – the wires and polished metal limbs at odds with the wooden panelling and simple dress in which she’s clothed. Cast in a natural light we witness something anything but, as the lines between the real and the artificial continue to blur.” – Life Framer


“An understated moment, caught with a poetic eye. Wiesje finds a quiet beauty in the way ripples of water warp and distort the human form. It feels both familiar and magical.” – Life Framer


“In Stephie’s eerie composite image she combines five real faces to create something uncanny – a subject that is at once beautiful and unsettling. With a technique that is part seamless, part glitchy, the resulting woman appears to be made from wax, pressed up against glass. It feels like a provocative comment on superficiality, on the ideals of beauty and the versions of ourselves that we might feel pressurized to present online.” – Life Framer


“With the mainstream media dominated by a narrow ideal for what is beautiful and physically acceptable, things nonetheless seem to be slowly changing, and an increasing number of artists are pushing at the boundaries. Kat’s work is one such example – an empowering portrait of a woman who does not fit that conventional ideal, here laying prone, unapologetic and at ease. It asks us to question the paradigm, to consider the sexualization of the female form, and to reflect on a woman’s right to feel acceptance when she does not fit it.” – Life Framer


“Not only a lateral, unexpected response to the theme, but a wonderfully realised image. Patrick captures light and shadow superbly, the chiaroscuro and the way the figures huddle around the body reminiscent of Enlightenment era paintings such as An Experiment on a Bird in the Air Pump by Joseph Wright of Derby.” – Life Framer


“Gloria Leonard famously said that the difference between pornography and erotica is lighting. While witty, the truth is probably more about perception – While pornography shows, erotica suggests. Sophie’s work straddles a fascinating line between the two – following a well-known pornography director on set, she explores the edges of the events unfolding before her, going behind the curtain to show us the inner workings of a lucrative industry. We see a pillow to protect the knees, and a third intimate partner with cables from their camera wrapped around their foot, all cleverly cropped to suggest, rather than show. It’s a fascinating, droll image that while taking a neutral stance on the morality of pornography, asks us to question the lines between reality and fantasy.” – Life Framer


“Monica presents a gorgeous, meditative image of a fisherman pulling his boat into the waters of the Irrawaddy in Burma. There’s a beauty in the sparseness, leaving the viewer to explore the textures of his muscular back and the rippling water that stretches out beyond him. It has a pure tranquillity that Monica captures gracefully.” – Life Framer


“Like a magic eye puzzle, the elements of Ricardo’s image take a moment to reveal themselves. A man appears, obscured by a layer of charcoal dust, resting awkwardly against a log pile. The whites of his eyes and teeth contrasting with the black soot highlight a pained, grimaced expression, which is deeply unsettling. There’s a palpable dread in the scene – the horror of exploiting the body in such unnatural and dangerous ways. Of the human toil the goes into extracting the materials that make the modern world run. In an era where the importance of environmental issues is growing in the public and political spheres, it’s a powerful indictment of the very real impacts that fossil fuels have on individuals, as well as the climate at large.” – Life Framer


“This image does not make for comfortable viewing – the raw sight of a battered and bruised body in decay, bony and wrought, painted in strange, clinical artificial light and against polished metal as if to challenge our conceptions that this is flesh and blood. It raises questions – who is this? And what happened to them? Did they suffer? – but equally it highlights the fragility and ephemerality of life, the inevitability of suffering as our bodies wither and shut down with age. It forces us to question what happens thereafter when a body becomes an empty vessel.” – Life Framer


“With the sparse bedroom setting and clean white color palette, this image feels meditative – a quiet, simple moment in a life that we imagine can be complex. As she looks pensively and with a level of clarity towards the light, we are encouraged to question how Sofie – a girl with Down syndrome – experiences the world.” – Life Framer


“Referencing the Japanese art of kintsugi, where broken porcelain is repaired with a lacquer mixed with gold powder in an effort to celebrate rather than hide its history and flaws, Charles produces a delicate close-up of the human body. In tight, square framing we see scars of past trauma covered in a gold leaf that glistens in the soft, natural light, even as it begins to peel away. A tactile memento of physical and mental suffering etched into the body, they here remind us of a beauty in vulnerability.” – Life Framer

A prestigious jury, 4 international exhibitions and $24000 in cash prizes.

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