Friday 28 April 2017

For the first time in its history the National Portrait Gallery’s annual competition the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is to permit digital entries for its first round of judging, it was announced today, Friday 28 April 2017.

Submissions for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2017 are invited from Tuesday 2 Mayandwill be accepted until 23.59 Thursday 29 June 2017.

The National Portrait Gallery’s Photographic Portrait Prize, sponsored by Taylor Wessing since 2008, 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. Since the international competition began in 1993, it has remained a hugely important platform for portrait photographers and offers an unparalleled opportunity for celebrated professionals, emerging artists and amateurs alike.

Selected anonymously from an open competition, the diversity of styles in the exhibition reflects the international mix of entrants as well as the range of approaches to the portrait genre, including formal, candid, and experimental images.

To enter the competition, in its tenth year of sponsorship by Taylor Wessing, photographers will be required to upload their image(s) via the website.

All images will be viewed by a panel of judges and the entrants who are successful in this round will be invited to deliver their work to a venue in London for the final round of physical judging. This new entry process will make it quicker and easier for photographers from across the globe to submit their work to the competition.

For the third year running, entrants to the competition are being 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. There is no minimum size requirement for submitted prints.

Also for the third year running there will be an In Focus display within the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition devoted to the work of one distinguished photographer but not part of the competition.  This accolade has been awarded to Pieter Hugo in 2015 and Cristina de Middel in 2016.

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery, London, says: ’Building on the innovations of recent years, such as the In Focus display highlighting the work of an established photographer and the acceptance of photographic series of works, we now invite digital submissions for the first time, which we hope will open entering the competition to even more photographers throughout the world.’  

Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP, says: ‘This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize and it’s apt that this incredibly exciting milestone coincides with the launch of digital entries.  During the last decade, we’ve seen this competition grow into one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world with some truly exceptional submissions. Many entries challenge our assumed perspective of the world – which is exactly what we need to keep us thinking in new and original ways. The arts are integral to our culture at Taylor Wessing, as we champion creativity and innovation in all its forms. We very much look forward to seeing what this year will bring and the talent we are likely to unearth along the way.’

The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18. Full information about how to enter, including entry forms and rules, can be found online at .  

This year’s judging panel will be Dr Nicholas Cullinan (Chair and Director, National Portrait Gallery, London); David Campany (Writer, Curator and Artist); Tim Eyles, Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing LLP; Sabina Jaskot-Gill (Associate Curator, Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, London); Fiona Shields (Head of Photography, The Guardian) and Gillian Wearing (Artist.)

16 November 2017 – 18 February 2018
Admission £6 with donation (concessions £4.50) Supported by Taylor Wessing
Entries accepted from Tuesday 2 May - Deadline for submissions: Thursday 29 June 2017

A catalogue featuring all the selected photographs and an essay by a leading author, will accompany the exhibition (RRP £15 and £10 Gallery shop exclusive price).  


All entrants have the unique opportunity to buy a special edition of the exhibition catalogue (RRP £15.00 + £5.00 p+p), featuring all the selected artists, an essay by a leading author, and a note of thanks and facsimile signature of the Director of the National Portrait Gallery. The special edition is only available to entrants and will not be available through the Gallery shops or online.  

For further Press information and image requests please contact: Neil Evans, Press Office, National Portrait Gallery Tel: 020 7312 2452 (not for publication) / Email: [email protected]   To download Press images:

National Portrait Gallery, St Martin’s Place WC2H 0HE, opening hours Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00 (Gallery closure commences at 17.50) Late Opening: Thursday, Friday: 10.00 – 21.00  (Gallery closure commences at 20.50) Nearest Underground: Leicester Square/Charing Cross General information: 0207 306 0055  Recorded information: 020 7312 2463  Website 

The winner of the First Prize will receive £15,000. The Second Prize winner receives £3,000 and the Third Prize £2,000. The John Kobal New Work Award will be awarded to a photographer under the age of 35 whose work has been selected for the exhibition. The winning photographer will receive a cash prize of £5,000 to include undertaking a commission from the Gallery to photograph a sitter connected with the UK film or TV industries.

Taylor Wessing is a full-service international law firm, with more than 1,200 lawyers in 33 offices worldwide, working with clients in the world’s most dynamic industries. We take a single-minded approach to advising our clients, helping them succeed by thinking innovatively about their business issues. Our focus on the industries of tomorrow has enabled us to develop market-leading expertise in: Technology, Media and Communications, Life Sciences, Private Wealth and Energy. At Taylor Wessing we are proud of our reputation as a forward thinking firm. Taylor Wessing was named Law Firm of the Year at The Lawyer Awards 2013.