Taylor Wessing photographic portrait prize review – the unflinching gaze of a worthy winner

Erica the android drew the headlines, but the human drama of haunting family scenes, gun-toting teenagers and – ultimately – a refugee plucked from the sea was this year’s compelling story

A handful of politicians, several refugees, various awkward adolescents, two skinheads, the inevitable young girl holding a furry animal and, breaking with tradition, an android – it’s the Taylor Wessing time of year again. This year’s photographic portrait prize, the first to allow digital submissions as well as prints, draws 59 images from 5,717 entries. As a show, it hangs together pretty well, not always the case in the past. The overall standard seems higher, there are fewer celebrities – always a good thing – and most of the portraits of refugees and asylum-seekers tend towards the intimate rather than the concerned.

Related: Image of determined 16-year-old migrant wins major portrait award

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