Jens Marott, who won silver in the series category, tells us about the images which won him second prize.
"The story behind the images started in late 2009. I have always been fascinated by artists studios: the light, location and use of space. Sometimes the space tells you more about the person than the person themselves. I wanted to open their doors and document the world artists work in.
"So I decided to start a project about artists in their spaces," he explains, "asking for an hour of each artist's time in return for a disc with the images on. The response has been overwhelming: I have been approached by many different artists, from new faces to established artists. The images show these individuals in their creative space. Some have studios whilst some work from home or even on a house boat, but the important thing is that they stick to their art, even in these difficult times when all grants and funding is being cut. Creative people find a way to survive because they care about their art and can't live without it, and through history we know that some of the best art is created in hard times.
"The result is some very moving images of a world we don't really know about, and brings to our attention all those artists who might not make a living from their art but still seem to have this urge to express themselves through different mediums."
Jens has entered Let's Face It before, but felt this personal work should be seen. "The LPA is an organisation who cares about photography, so I had no doubt about entering Let's Face it," he says.
Jens tells us what he loves about portraiture photography. "It's capturing the moment when you know you have shared something special, when the hair on the back of your neck stands up," he says, "that's what I'm about. I was given a camera by a wonderful photographer I was assisting at the time, and was told to go out and have an opinion about the world. Since then I have been shooting for advertising agencies, design agencies, magazines, all kinds of different clients and have tried to do as many personal projects as time has allowed.
"Of course in this current economic climate, finding work is half the job. It has become increasingly harder to get meetings with new clients. I have been fortunate enough to have met some wonderful clients, but it's not always been like that. My agent takes my portfolio out and sets up meetings but it's up to the individual photographer to do the ground work. I think it's important to build relationships with clients. I'm always looking for new work and challenges."
Jens tells us about his most interesting commission. "A few years ago, the government wanted me to document travellers sites around England to show how they cope in modern society. It was an exciting project and I met some wonderful people. I was attacked and bitten by a dog that looked like a wolf at one site and chased away by some blokes at another, but mostly people were open and friendly. They have just had too much bad press over the years."
Jens is seeking funding to go around England or Europe and take pictures of more artists. "That would be a dream project," he says, "but it's a question of finding someone who is prepared to jump onboard with me to fund it. After that...well, my notebook is full of ideas, but you will have to wait and see!"
London Photographic Association Portraiture Awards Book 2011