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Moving portrait photography grabs top spot at Wellcome Photography Prize

Wellcome Photography Prize
(Image credit: Jameisha Prescod)

The Wellcome Photography Prize 2021 has recently announced the winners and finalists of this year's contest. Announced in a YouTube Live event on 28 July, Jameisha Prescod and Yoppy Pieter were both announced as the winners, with Prescod taking home the single image prize for her photograph 'Untangling' and Pieter winning the series image prize for his series 'Trans Woman: Between Color and Voice'. 

Both photographers received a prize of £10,000, plus an additional £1,000 for their category win. Meanwhile, four other category finalists, each winning £1,000, were also announced as well. 

• Read more: Best camera for portraits

The Wellcome Photography Prize is currently in its third year and is designed to bring stories about the health challenges of our time to light. The 2021 prize covers three topics of interest that "reflect Wellcome's three worldwide health challenge areas – mental health, global heating and infectious disease". 

Jameisha Prescod won the single image prize and the Managing Mental Health single image category for her photograph 'Untangling'. As a London-based filmmaker and journalist, Prescod's work focuses on "exploring the social and cultural intersections of the chronic illness experience". 

Her winning image is a self-portrait that shows how the forced isolation of lockdown exacerbated her depression and confined her to her room. "It's where I work a full-time job, eat, sleep, catch up with friends and most importantly cry," she says. In order to help find a sense of escape, Prescod turned to knitting, which helped to put "everything else on pause" for a while. 

Meanwhile, Yoppy Pieter won the series image prize and the Fighting Infections series category for 'Trans Woman: Between Color and Voice'. Based in Jakarta, Indonesia, Pieter's series shows the different obstacles that trans women face in the country. Between difficulty gaining employment to being able to access healthcare, Pieter's series shows how their difficulties have been made harder by the impact of the pandemic.

For more information on the prize, visit the official Wellcome website. In the meantime, check out some of the winning and finalist images below.

Wellcome Photography Prize

(Image credit: Yoppy Pieter)

Wellcome Photography Prize

(Image credit: Hashem Shakeri)

Wellcome Photography Prize

(Image credit: Morteza Niknahad)

Wellcome Photography Prize

(Image credit: Zakir Hossain Chowdhury)

Wellcome Photography Prize

(Image credit: Aly Song)

Wellcome Photography Prize

(Image credit: Yoppy Pieter)

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.