Glasgow-based photographer Margaret Mitchell took the Gold Award in The Royal Photographic Society’s (RPS) International Photography Exhibition with four images from her series In This Place.
The photo project focuses on photographs of her late sister’s children, and their children, across three decades.
Originally beginning in 1994, Ms Mitchell updates the project every few years as part of a wider story spanning around 30 photographs.
She told Amateur Photographer: “I wanted to go back and look at how their lives had turned out for them. Looking at how opportunities and environment have shaped how they’ve ended up.”
“I talk about it being a place and for them it’s very much about the place physically where they’ve ended up. For them that’s within these housing estates in Stirling in Central Scotland and where they were as children,” she added.
Ms Mitchell describes these estates as ‘pockets that are yet to be touched by regeneration.’
Her photographs have also struck a chord with wider reaching audiences than the competition, such as this photograph of her great-niece Leah which was chosen to be exhibited at the National Galleries of Scotland ‘When We Were Young’ exhibition.
One of the most striking elements about the winning set of images are how emotional and personal they are. While this is something that Ms Mitchell tries to capture in her portrait photography, even she was shocked by the poignancy of these photos.
“Standing back myself and looking at it, it feels much more emotional than even I was realising when I was doing it,” she said. “I think I’m photographing my connection to my family when I’m doing it but also I think I’m photographing about their loss because their mum died, and their grandmother.
“It’s probably also a little about my loss because it was my sister. So, it’s quite a personal project in that way.”
Her photographs are full of stories, like this image of her nephew Steven, which was taken in January 2017 when he was homeless.
She said: “It’s about us going for a walk and he showed me around all these different places and he showed me where his mum, who was my sister, used to stay but the flats have all been torn down. We did that walk and then I photographed him.
“So there’s quite of lot of emotion within it as well for me to then end up photographing him.”
Ms Mitchell graduated in 1994, and has since established her work across both film and digital cameras. For three of her images here she used a Mamiya 6 film camera while the fourth was taken with a digital camera. More images can be seen on her website.
The RPS Under 30s Gold Medal was awarded to London-based photographer Owen Harvey for his series on the US Lowriding culture. See some of the other winning images below.
The photos will form part of a RPS touring exhibition of 100 selected images, opening at The Old Truman Brewery, London, on October 13. They will exhibited again at be theprintspace gallery, London, in 2018.