Portraiture is one of the oldest existing art forms, with some painted portraits dating back as far as 5,000 years to Ancient Egypt. To sit for a portrait was a symbol of wealth and it was only until the inception of photography that the genre became readily affordable. When we think of some of the most memorable photographs, a notable number of portraits make the list – just take the Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry and Dorothea Lange's Migrant Mother as examples.
Many excellent portraits have been rewarded since the Sony World Photography Awards started 16 years ago and we reckon, after looking at the quality of images entered into the 2023 edition, that this year will see some of the best portraits yet. For this week's Pick of the pics we celebrate these entries by showcasing some of the best images of people submitted to the Open competition so far.