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GuruShots: winning photographs from the Unique Portraits contest

GuruShots
#12 (Image credit: Julie Thomas - Australia)

Billed as the world's greatest photo game, GuruShots is an online platform that provides a fun, structured way to showcase your images while gaining global exposure for your work. 

By competing in epic challenges against millions of photographers, you can get instant feedback from over three billion monthly votes and increase your ranking from Newbie to achieve the ultimate status (and bragging rights) of Guru. 

GuruShots' challenges are voted on by the platform's Gurus and the wider community, and there’s a fresh challenge every day. Winners can receive prizes from GuruShots' sponsors such as Adorama, Kodak, Lowepro and Lensbaby. 

The 'Unique Portraits' contest offered entrants the opportunity to put forward their finest close-up people pictures. While portraiture might seem like a narrow category, there was an incredible amount of diversity among the entrants. 

Ron Richardson and Mogyorosi Stefan both stood out with their highly creative and conceptual shots, while Elena Kruijt and Javad Assaad made use of shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh to create impact. And where Michel Willems and Gabriel Fox mono explored dark, contrasty chiaroscuro, Steve De Jongh went the opposite direction with a high key editorial entry. 

The 20 highest ranked images were published in Photography Week , and we're pleased to showcase these images below, along with the rest of the top 500 featured photographs in the gallery that follows.

Top Photographer (Image credit: Wolfgang Jansen - Germany)

Top Photo (Image credit: Paolo Mureddu - Italy)

Guru's Top Pick (Image credit: Mogyorosi Stefan, Romania)

#4 (Image credit: Ron Richardson - United Kingdom)

#5 (Image credit: Petar Dimitrov - Bulgaria)

#6 (Image credit: Hannu Iso-Oja - Finland)

#7 (Image credit: Gil Shmueli - Israel)

#8 (Image credit: Stefan Surugiu - Romania)

#9 (Image credit: Nikolay Tatarchuk - Israel)

#10 (Image credit: Christy Anderson Bernstein - United States)

#11 (Image credit: Heidi - Canada)

#12 (Image credit: Julie Thomas - Australia)

#13 (Image credit: Michel Willems - Belgium)

#14 (Image credit: Elena Kruijt - Romania)

#15 (Image credit: Konrad K. - Poland)

#16 (Image credit: Claudia Mori - Brazil)

#17 (Image credit: Ryan King - United States)

#18 (Image credit: Michelle Kennedy - Australia)

#19 (Image credit: Romain Lieury - France)

#20 (Image credit: Gabriel Fox - Brazil)

#21 (Image credit: Javad Assaad - Turkey)

#22 (Image credit: Seby Palumbo - Italy)

#23 (Image credit: Steve De Jongh - Belgium)

Here are the remaining images from the top 500 entries in GuruShots' 'Unique Portraits' contest – simply click on the arrows to scroll through the full gallery of photos. 

To find out more, and to sign up and take part in the next challenge, visit www.gurushots.com.