A SALTAIRE photographer has won international recognition for her sensitive portrait of a young girl from Bingley.

Carolyn Mendelsohn has been awarded a gold medal for her picture of 11-year-old Alice Ackroyd in the Royal Photographic Society’s international print exhibition – the longest-running competition of its kind in the world.

The print was chosen from more than 5,500 entries from 57 countries and is one of only 100 selected to go on show. It will be exhibited alongside another of her portraits, Caitlin.

Both are from her ongoing series Being Inbetween – a photographic study of ten to 12-year-old girls.

Two other portraits from the collection were also shortlisted for the exhibition.

The winning image shows Beckfoot School student Alice in her own choice of clothing, looking directly at the camera.

Ms Mendelsohn, who works from her studio above the Butterfly Rooms, said she had been struck by Alice’s stillness and self-composure. “There is something extraordinarily timeless about her,” she said.

“Girls of this age are bombarded with advertising and marketing and I feel it is important that this doesn’t define them.

“I wanted to explore this by taking beautiful, real portraits of these girls – honest ones where they are given the chance to be themselves.

“It’s when they are neither young children nor teenagers, but at that moment of transition.

“My aim is to celebrate these girls just as they are, without any artifice.

“They are photographed just as they choose to dress.”

Alice is overjoyed by the success, said mum Sarah Fearnley-Ackroyd: “Alice has told me she thinks it’s such a beautiful picture.”

The RPS exhibition opens at London’s Photomonth International Photography Festival today, before touring the UK.