Saltaire-based artist Carolyn Mendelsohn took the image of Alice Ackroyd as part of a photographic study of 10 pre-teen girls.
The picture of Alice staring directly into the lens impressed judges in the Royal Photography Society’s print exhibition, who awarded the entry gold.
More than 5,500 images from 57 countries were submitted into the world’s longest-running photography competition of its kind.
The photo will be one of 100 chosen to go on display, alongside another in Mendelsohn’s series, of Caitlin Williams, 12, from Hull.
The artist chose Alice as a subject because of her stillness and self-composure.
“There is something extraordinarily timeless about her,” said Ms Mendelsohn.
“Girls of this age are bombarded with advertising and marketing aimed at tweens 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 and celebrating who they are at this point in their lives.”
This year marked the first time in the competition’s history that female artists won all four top prizes. The exhibition opens in London before touring the UK, with a Yorkshire date at the Civic, Barnsley, from April 22-June 3 next year.