“Behold” is about with my fascination with the public image, particularly expectations and confirmation.

Exceptionally talented people in their twenties are the subject of my series. I photographed them in their home or in a favorite place of their choosing. My goal is to invite the viewer to think about the personality of the portrayed. Like a still from a non-existing movie that triggers your curiosity about the ending.

—Peter Van Der Heyden

Editors’ note: This project was singled out for distinction in our 2015 Portrait Awards by juror Alexa Becker. Each of the jury members selected one photographer from the entrants to be awarded a special $1,000 grant. This is what Becker had to say:

Peter van der Heyden’s portraits of extraordinarily gifted young people simply impressed me. They look individual in their mise en scène and personal stance, yet they are linked to each other by the photographer’s orchestration. They are enigmatic and immediate.”