Forough Yavari is an Australian photographer who has won the prestigious International Portrait Photographer of the Year 2023 award. She received this honor for her remarkable portraits that combine her skills as a painter and a photographer. Yavari was born in Iran during the Iranian Revolution and moved to Australia in 2011. She has a background in painting and discovered her passion for photography while modeling for a photography student. She uses her artistic vision and technical expertise to create captivating images that explore the themes of identity, culture, and femininity.
The International Portrait Photographer of the Year Competition
The International Portrait Photographer of the Year is an annual competition that celebrates the best portrait photography from around the world. The competition is open to all photographers, both amateur and professional, and accepts entries in various categories, such as family, environmental, editorial, and fine art. The competition awards a total of $10,000 in cash prizes to the winners and runners-up of each category, as well as the overall winner of the title. The competition also publishes a book featuring the top 101 portraits of the year.
Yavari’s Winning Portraits
Yavari submitted three portraits to the competition, which were all selected as finalists in different categories. Her portrait “Salvation” won the Fine Art category and was also chosen as the overall winner of the competition. The portrait shows a woman wearing a veil and holding a birdcage, symbolizing freedom and hope. Yavari said that she was inspired by her experience as a Middle Eastern woman and wanted to portray the strength and resilience of women in oppressive situations.
Her other two portraits were “Vanity” and “Eternal Icons”. “Vanity” was a finalist in the Editorial category and shows a woman surrounded by mirrors, reflecting her obsession with beauty and self-image. “Eternal Icons” was a finalist in the Creative category and shows a woman wearing a crown of flowers, resembling a painting by Frida Kahlo. Yavari said that she was influenced by famous painters like Rembrandt, Delacroix, Goya, and Kahlo, and wanted to pay tribute to their style and legacy.
Yavari’s Post-Production Process
Yavari said that she uses Capture One and Photoshop for her post-production process. She said that post-production is like the final touch, enhancing the story, adding the atmosphere, or making a composite where it is not possible to take the image in one shot. She said that she learned that good technique is as necessary as having creativity in her work. She said that knowing her camera and mastering the gear she works with, especially lighting, is a foundation for a good image when combined with her creativity.
Yavari’s Previous Awards and Achievements
Yavari is not new to winning awards and recognition for her photography. In 2018, she won the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP) Master of Photography title. In 2019, she won the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) Master of Photography title, and in 2020, she won the Double Master of Photography title from WPPI. In 2021, she received her Master of Photography with Distinction from the New Zealand Institute of Professional Photography (NZIPP). She has also exhibited her work in Iran and Australia.