Master Photographers International / Monday, February 12, 2024 / Categories: MPI NEWS

Passing on the Title with 8th Annual Portrait POY - Jane Engs

Jane Engs speaks on her inspiration to create her winning images.

Passing on the Title with 8th Annual Portrait POY - Jane Engs, USA

The 8th Annual IIC Awards witnessed a fierce competition among top international photographers. 

The MPI International Imaging Competition, a source of inspiration and educational platform for photographers, continues to foster talent globally. Master Photographers International, established in 2013, launched its first annual award in 2015, offering one of the finest photographic competition and programs.

The MPI and IIC founders sought to enrich the photographic community by establishing one of the most respected competition programs in the industry. Now celebrating its 9th year, the International Imaging Competition has drawn entrants from over 140 countries, clearly reflecting its global appeal.

Each year, the IIC winners share insights into their photography journey through interviews, passing on the title to the next set of winners. Jane Eng, the International Portrait Photographer of the year, made her mark at the 8th Annual Awards.

The IIC annually recognizes six Photographers of the Year, one in each category—Commercial, Digital Art, Fine Art, Nature, Portrait, and Wedding.

Jane Engs earned the following accolades 

Portrait Photographer of the Year
First Place in Portrait Category - P7 Fine Art Portrait-Virtuoso  

Q1 -Jane can you tell us a bit about your vision on your winning images, how you created your winning images and your thought process on selecting them for entry into the MPI Annual Awards? (If you can speak on each image, that would be great).

Virtuoso and The Ambassador
The portraits of "Virtuoso" and "The Ambassador" were a collaborative effort between myself and the hair and makeup artist, Oliver Hildebrandt from Germany. Our creative projects unfold when he's able to travel to the US. The overall idea was to portray individuals from diverse ethnic backgrounds adorned in royal and regal attire, challenging social class norms of those times. Unfortunately, the project faced a two-year delay due to the onset of the Covid pandemic shortly after its initiation.

During this hiatus, the popular show "Bridgerton" emerged, presenting a similar concept to ours. This parallel development added an interesting layer to our original idea. These entries are some of my favorite work to date. Despite the setbacks of the pandemic and the emergence of similar concepts, our project remains unique and holds its own significance.

"Virtuoso was integrated into our royal series, with a thoughtfully selected costume that added to the regal ambiance. The hair and makeup was given a more avant-garde flair, expanding the creative boundaries. The inclusion of the violin served to enrich the narrative, adding depth and storytelling to the overall composition.

"The conception of 'The Ambassador' was an integral part of our royal series, with meticulous attention given to selecting the perfect costume. The chosen model proved to be exceptional, skillfully capturing the desired expressions and fully embodying the character we aimed to portray."

Holy Mary
The vision behind “Holy Mary” developed during a portrait session. The senior I was photographing possessed striking features with beautiful, long, curling hair, reminiscent of a renaissance aesthetic. As we progressed, time allowed the client and me to engage in a conversation with her mother about our mutual appreciation for Renaissance style fine art portrayed in period movies and shows. Inspired by our discussion, I retrieved some Renaissance-style gowns that I had available at the studio. The senior and her mother were particularly drawn to a stunning red gown. Towards the end of the session, I proposed the idea of incorporating the gown into the photographs. In a spontaneous moment, I asked the senior to put on the red dress, and the results were extraordinary. However, I felt that something was missing to truly capture the essence of the Renaissance era. That's when I introduced a gold crown, completing the look. The combination of the red gown and gold crown, along with the senior's impeccable posing and expression, resulted in this photograph that perfectly embodied the timeless elegance of the Renaissance. Virtuoso

Song Of Time The "Song of Time" portrait was brought to life through the inspiration of a stunning handmade dress I had crafted by a local seamstress. Having photographed the beautiful model previously, I envisioned her as the perfect fit to add to the series of Renaissance-inspired fine art portraits. To enhance the visual narrative, I collaborated with a skilled hair and makeup artist, who expertly styled the model's long, black, silky hair and highlighted her beautiful face. The musical instrument was incorporated to tell a richer story and add to the narrative.

Q2 – Your portrait images are stunning, what inspired you on this portfolio of images. How long did it take you to develop your photographic skills in creating this style of portraits?

I believe that my style has evolved over the years through taking classes, attending workshops, and practicing extensively. When I first started entering print competitions, I quickly realized that I had a lot to learn in order to compete at a top level.

Q3 – Have you been entering competitions for a long time? If the IIC was your first year entering, this is such an amazing accomplishment for a first-time entrant. Tell us how you found the process of entering the International Imaging Competition for the first time.

I have been participating in print competitions for 5 years. I found the process of entering international imaging competitions to be quite easy and clear in terms of the rules and process.

Q4 – How did you feel when you found out that you had won the Photographer of the Year Title in Portrait Photography?

I received the news through a congratulatory text from a friend. I rushed to the website to confirm the information. I was overjoyed to have achieved this accomplishment.

Q5 - How do you feel about the IIC and how it is judged with the feedback received?

I was very pleased with how (IIC) was judged and the helpful feedback provided.

Q6 – What advice would you give new entrants entering the International Imaging Competition?

Carefully read the rules for the competition and follow the submission guidelines. Choose your best work to submit. Look at previous winning entries to understand the quality judges appreciate. Attending print competitions is a great way to learn. Getting image critiques from judges after entering images is a valuable source in learning how to improve your art. Use each competition as an opportunity to learn and grow your craft.

Q7 - Were you happy to receive your Crystal Awards?

I was overjoyed with the exquisite awards I received. They stand out as the most stunning and high quality I have ever seen in any print competition.

Q8 - What is your vision for your photographic path going forward? Would you change what you have been doing or continue your current path?

Looking ahead on my photographic journey, my vision is to consistently elevate my craft. My pursuit to improve remains constant, exploring new techniques and acquiring more knowledge. Recently, I've embarked on mentoring and teaching aspiring photographers—a rewarding endeavor that allows me to contribute to the photography community.

Q9 - What do you use for equipment and software to create and process your images?

Cameras- Sony ar7V and Fuji Gfx100s, Profoto lighting. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Wacom tablet and pen

Q10 – Looking back, what professional Photographers have influenced you and your work?

Eric Caparas, William Branson, Chris Knight, David Edmonson, Joseph, and Louise Simone

Q11- Finally, is there anything else you would like to include or share with us?

I express my sincere gratitude to Tula and MPI for organizing and hosting an international print competition. Having a platform like this is truly invaluable, providing an opportunity for photographers to not only compete but also share their deep passion for photography on a global scale.

View more about Jane at

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2 comments on article "Passing on the Title with 8th Annual Portrait POY - Jane Engs"

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Tula Edmunds

Congratulations Jane and thank you for the speaking on your work and experience. Your vision in portraits is quite amazing!

Tula Edmunds

MPI Co-Founder

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Lori Lavette

The calibre of work in the IIC is of such high quality. I entered this year, but more for the judges feedback. I hope I can reach the level of work I see entered one day.

Congratulations Jane, your work is amazing!

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