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NPG invites entries to Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize

April 7, 2022

The National Portrait Gallery (NPG) has announced that entries are open to its annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

Submissions are being invited up until 5pm on 31 May 2022 via a brand new digital platform, specially developed for this year’s prize.

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is one of the most competitive photography awards in the world and showcases the work of some of the most exciting and cutting-edge contemporary photographers.

Following the success of 2021’s display, which featured 54 portraits from 25 artists, works submitted in 2022 will again be exhibited at the South Kensington-based arts hub, Cromwell Place, while the NPG’s building undergoes a major transformation.

The exhibition will open in London on 27 October 2022 and will run until 18 December 2022.

Open to over 18s

The competition is open to everyone aged 18 and over from around the world, whether a leading professional, a talented amateur or an exciting emerging artist.

Photographers are encouraged to interpret ‘portrait’ in its widest sense, with ‘photography focused on portraying people with an emphasis on their identity as individuals.’

Yuki San from the series Hakanai Sonzai by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac. © Pierre-Elie de Pibrac

Yuki San from the series Hakanai Sonzai by Pierre-Elie de Pibrac – one of the winners in the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2021.  © Pierre-Elie de Pibrac

The winner of the competition will receive £15,000, with second prize receiving £3,000 and third prize £2,000.

The Photographic Portrait Prize has been sponsored by international law firm Taylor Wessing since 2008.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of their support for this prestigious competition and exhibition, which has received over one million visits since its launch in 1993.

Inspired by creativity

Dr. Nicholas Cullinan, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said,In its fifteenth year of sponsorship, we are thrilled to be opening entries to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022. Every year, I am so impressed and inspired by the creativity of photographers around the world who take the time to submit their work to this competition. I have no doubt that this year’s Prize will showcase the very best in contemporary portrait photography.’

Shane Gleghorn, managing partner at Taylor Wessing, commented, ‘We’ve supported the National Portrait Gallery and The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize for fifteen years. The Prize attracts exceptional talent and the very best in photographic works. Each year the prestige of the prize and exhibition provides a platform to showcase subjects that deserve international attention. We look forward to seeing what this year will bring and the next generation of talent emerging from the 2022 Prize.’

Elizabeth Dellert, membership & development director at Cromwell Place, said, ‘Working with public institutions is one of the programming pillars of Cromwell Place and being able to provide a temporary home for the National Portrait Gallery brings an exciting energy to our buildings. The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, which showcases talent from all around the world, mirrors our ethos to provide a London base for our international membership. We are thrilled to host this annual prize for its second year in our Pavilion Gallery and showcase the best in portrait photography today.’

David from the series Rosemary & Thyme by Katya Ilina - one of the winners of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2021. © Katya Ilina

David from the series Rosemary & Thyme by Katya Ilina – one of the winners of the Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2021. © Katya Ilina

Series or individual entries

Entrants to the competition are encouraged to submit works as a series, either a group of individual portraits based on a particular theme, or two or more photographs that form a single portrait when shown together, in addition to stand-alone portraits.

One series of photographs submitted to the competition may be chosen by the judges to be exhibited in its entirety.

All images will be viewed anonymously by a panel of judges, who will collectively select the prize winners and works for exhibition.

How to enter

The entry fee for the competition is £20 per image.

Full information about how to enter, including entry forms and rules, can be found online at Taylor Wessing photographic Portrait Prize 2022.

The deadline for entries to the prize is 5pm on Tuesday 31 May 2022.

To enter the 2022 competition, photographers are required to upload their image(s) via the NPG’s new digital competition platform – see Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize 2022 – How to enter.

Merna Beasley, Kurtijar Woman from the series Tribute to Indigenous Stock Women by David Prichard. © David Prichard

Merna Beasley, Kurtijar Woman from the series Tribute to Indigenous Stock Women by David Prichard – one of the winners in the Taylor Wessing Portraits Prize 2021.  © David Prichard

The NPG

The NPG is closed until 2023, while essential building works take place on the Inspiring People redevelopment project, which will transform the Gallery, including a complete refurbishment of the building and a new learning centre.

During the closure period, the NPG is continuing to share its Collection through its digital channels and a series of nationwide partnerships and collaborations.

To find out more just visit the National Portrait Gallery website.


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