The role of the photography is to showcase people, create interest in their work and their achievements. We also need photography to document our events. Photos are not used to make abstract illustrations or artwork. We have a set of visual illustrations (A–E) and the photography shouldn’t compete with that visual style.

We want to use photography that feels sincere and portrays people in an authentic way.

We are confident that the advancements in technology are an opportunity to solve problems we are facing now and in the future. We want to emphasize hope in the times to come.

For the winners the event is joyous, one of their life’s high points.

The event is festive – yet relaxed, approachable and informal. Very serious and staged photography would convey a wrong kind of image.

In addition to communicating the scientific accomplishment, we want to highlight the people behind the achievements. We want to portray the people in a positive light and communicate what makes them exceptional, in a respectful way.

The background in the pictures is important and adds good interest. We don’t want a studio setting, with a solid color backdrop or any similarly flat surface. The focus point should be on the person which ensures they are the center of the attention. The background should be blurred with depth of field which enables to use e.g. text over the picture.

Ideally the place should be of importance to the person being photographed. If that is not possible, almost any space (outside or inside) will most certainly work fine and add to the value of the photo.

The lighting should resemble natural light – we understand that at times this might be achieved best by using artificial lights, too. There shouldn’t be stark cast shadows on the face.

The prize is awarded every two years, since 2004. The new and previous winners are strongly present in all our communication. The persons awarded are indisputable in their excellence, so we think there’s no need to accentuate their status with pompous style. Less in the style of Vanity Fair, more National Geographic.

The dress style could be similar to a situation, when the person is giving a lecture to their colleagues or peers. All the style choices should feel comfortable for the person being photographed. The clothing, hairstyle and jewellery are part of our self-expression and we like how they communicate about the person and their culture. The media is interested in the person behind the achievements.

To ensure good quality, one should avoid…
a) all black clothing, since they can create problems in detail definition with different production methods
b) elaborate patterns, since they can cause “moiré pattern” in some production methods, or difficulties in compression of digital images.

We need two different types of person pictures: a portrait picture and one in a style of visual journalism:

A portrait picture (5:7)
These pictures should be vertical and the style should be of a portrait. The posture can be dynamic and relaxed. The persons should be seen in their entirety from waist up. These pictures are often used together with other similar portraits. No part of head, arms or torso should be cropped out. This ensures that the person can be matted (clipped from their background). Easy matting should be taken into account when choosing the clothing, hairstyle, background and lighting.

A photo in the style of visual journalism (16:9)
Pictures that are more wide than they are high are often better for web – since they take less space vertically. The style of these photos is visual journalism. The cropping in these pictures can be tighter, the person and their outline doesn’t need to be fully visible. It’s sufficient that the person is easily recognizable.

These pictures can be more expressive than the portraits. One should avoid overly practiced smiles and postures. Photographs like these feel useful for the media, which helps us in our communication practices.

Aim for a moment, when the person isn’t aware of the photographer and their lense.

The person being photographed can look straight at the lense, or just gaze into the distance.

Please avoid typical conventions about how to portray person’s gender with posture, picture composition or lighting.

You can ask the person being photographed to tell how it felt hearing about getting awarded, or how does it feel when they understand they have found something new and important.

Try to capture the person behind the expertise.

We would love if the person looks relaxed and amused. Tip: if the mouth is slightly open, the person looks a bit more approachable!

Focal length
When photographing people, often the focal lengths of 75–135 mm work best (notice: in 35 mm format).

We use the photographs mainly in colour (sRGB). Sometimes the pictures are converted to grayscale.

For portraits 5:7 and for visual journalistic photos 16:9.

The photographer can make unnoticeable retouching and corrections in post-production. The skin should not be smoothened or blurreb by removing the small irregularities which would create a plasticky appearance. E.g. using a plugin “Portrait Pro” for skin corrections is not recommended.

Colour and tonal range correction
The final photos should have very neutral colour correction – try to achieve a colour balance that looks very natural and doesn’t attract attention. Please make sure the skin colour looks right.There should be tones found throughout the tonal range from shadows to light, with no tonal clipping. The photo files we get from the photographer should be ready for all use.

The files
1) Sizes: longer side of the picture should be 3508 px in minimum, shorter side 2480 px in minimum. Preferably the pictures are larger than this. In addition to this please send us versions of the same pictures in two smaller sizes: 50 % and 25 % of the full size. 2) Colour: sRGB. 3) Filetypes: JPG compressed (max 80/100). 4) Transfer: the files should be sent using WeTransfer or any equivalent service (as a precaution there should be a possibility to obtain the images from the photographer once again without extra charge, if necessary)