by Gemma Padley
You may remember the image: a girl looks apprehensively at the camera, her fingers covering her mouth as stray strands of hair fall across her face. She is dressed simply – in a patterned dress – and sits in sparse surroundings. This portrait of a young Mennonite woman – Margarita Teichroeb – won the 2012 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize (and made the cover of BJP). The judges praised the use of muted colours, the image’s “otherworldly feel”, and its timeless quality. Indeed, it is an image that could have been taken many decades ago; there is little to suggest this is a contemporary portrait.