Mobile Photography Awards Grand Prize Winner 2014


When we look at the work of mobile photographer Sheldon Serkin one of the first things we notice is empathy. His work never sensationalizes his subjects, he presents people as they are, without artifice or gloss. He brings us characters in their context without coming off as a voyeur, and that’s not an easy task.

We could describe his work as “Street Photography” but it delves deeper than genre work. His images consistently bring us to an emotional precipice that transcends time and place, shadows and light, or merely people crossing the street. It’s the human element. It’s an honesty about people that separates Serkin’s work from the ordinary.

MPA jury member Finn Beales says Serkin’s work encompasses “…solid observational photography. Great use of colour, light and texture.” Beales is right, of course, there’s much to admire about Serkin’s command of his craft. His eye is sharp. His compositions are clean and well-designed. His use of tones are always creative and serve the image.

And yet…something truly great must cut deeper, must be held to a higher standard. Serkin’s greatness resides in the enviable, unteachable skill to set aside technical mastery as an end-in-itself and reach deep into the heart of the human condition. He rips out the truth, wherever he finds it, and kicks it around for a while. Gently. His work has the gift of being both funny and sad, simple and grand, complex and straight-forward. That’s what makes his images stand out. Truth. Honesty. Empathy. His work ultimately brings us closer to who we are as people.

When you combine technical prowess with psychological depth you approach what is sometimes called…art. Sheldon Serkin is that rare talent: an artist. We are thrilled to reward him with our highest praise.

Daniel Berman – Founder of the Mobile Photography Awards.

We are honored to award our prestigious MPA Mobile Photographer of the Year Grand Prize to Sheldon Serkin.

Here is a sampling of the work of Sheldon Serkin.