This sensitive, artful series of portraits was selected as a student spotlight in the Magnum Photography Awards 2016. Discover more inspiring work from all 44 of the winners, finalists, jurors’ picks and student spotlights.

Over the past six months, I have been photographing male escorts who work in London’s sex industry. As old and extensive as this industry is, its existence is largely hidden away from society. Through my images, I wanted to raise awareness about the men who work within it, especially since they tend to be less visible than their female and transgender counterparts.

I am collaborating with the National Ugly Mugs charity which aims to support the industry’s workers by improving their safety, ending violence against sex workers and fighting stigma.

I began this work as my final project for university but I intend to carry on with the idea for as long as possible. Thus, this is an ongoing series which I hope will grow and evolve over time. I know that I continue to feel inspired by the lifestyle, environment and, most importantly, the men whom I photograph.

—Jessica Kelly