Going for picture perfect portrait

Copyright National Partrait Gallery. David Knight.
Copyright National Partrait Gallery. David Knight.

A FORMER Lord Williams’s pupil has been shortlisted for a national prize in photography.

David Knight’s picture of 15-year-old Andie Poetschka, who has cerebral palsy, is one of the finalists in the National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

David, who currently lives in Sydney, took the picture of Andie in Arouba, New South Wales, Australia. He is one of five on the shortlist for the prestigious £12,000 international award.

This is the third year running that Knight’s pictures have featured in the competition. In 2009, a study of his wife’s friend Alyssa was selected for exhibition, followed last year by a portrait of model and actress Catharina.

“Both women possess a unique, unconventional beauty,” says Knight.

“I am always drawn to slightly melancholy faces.”

David said: “I wanted the portraits to be positive and to convey the kids in an uplifting way. You don’t immediately notice Andie is in a wheelchair; you just see this beautiful young woman.

“It’s quietly powerful. Andie struck me as unassuming yet self-assured.

“I am looking constantly to refine my technique to its simplest form in terms of composition and background.

“I am not always interested in trying to capture the true self of the sitter.”