The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

Hold Still

Hold Still

Hold Still

Spearheaded by The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the National Portrait Gallery, Hold Still, a portrait of our nation in 2020, is an ambitious community project to create a unique photographic portrait which captures the spirit, mood, hopes, fears and feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.

Whilst many people’s lives are on hold to help protect our helpers and heroes, there are some that are working harder than ever, and others that are enduring the upheaval of hardship and loss. Hold Still will capture a snapshot of the people of the UK at this time, creating a collective portrait of our nation which will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, human tragedy and hope as we hold still for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.

Submissions for Hold Still have now closed. We have been overwhelmed by the number and the range of extraordinary images we’ve received which responded to the following themes:

  • Helpers and Heroes
  • Your New Normal
  • Acts of Kindness

One hundred shortlisted portraits will feature in a virtual exhibition on the Gallery’s website in August and a selection of images will also be shown across the UK later in the year.

For the latest updates and to find out which photographs have been selected for exhibition follow us on social media and sign up to our e-newsletter

This project is being supported by international law firm
Taylor Wessing, long-time sponsor of the National Portrait Gallery.

Read our Terms and Conditions

Find out more about the entry procedure and selection process here

Breakfast, food desk setup in contemporary galleries
Hold Still Entries

Explore the gallery

Reception, People enjoying conversation and food in the main hall
Our Collection

Get inspired

Explore some top tips for making portraits in lockdown

Image credits: Grandparents and grandchildren visiting in isolation © Chris Page; Baby boy by Attia Khan; Nurse Aimée Goold after a 13-hour shift treating coronavirus patients © Aimée Goold; The School of Nature by Stacey Leanne Connell; Mary Seacole by Albert Charles Challen; Daddy is Home by Chu Yen Pasion; Lockdown and Carry On!