National Portrait Gallery

SHORTLIST ANNOUNCED - TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE 2014

Four photographers have been shortlisted for this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, the major international photography award. Firmly established as the leading showcase for new talent in portrait photography, the £12,000 prize is sponsored for the seventh time by international law firm Taylor Wessing.

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery will showcase the work of some of the most talented emerging young photographers, alongside that of established professionals, photography students and gifted amateurs. Selected anonymously from an open competition, the diversity of styles reflects the international mix of entrants as well as the range of approaches to the portrait genre, encompassing editorial, advertising and fine art images. The judges have selected 60 portraits for the exhibition from 4,193 submissions entered by 1,793 photographers. The exhibition will run from 13 November 2014 – 22 February 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize continues the Gallery’s long tradition of championing the very best contemporary portrait photography. The following four photographers have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014:

Jessica Fulford-Dobson for Skate Girl Jessica Fulford-Dobson (b. 1969) has worked as a freelance photographer since 2000. Her photographs have been widely exhibited throughout Europe and have been published in The Telegraph Magazine, Vogue and the Evening Standard. The shortlisted photograph Skate Girl  is from the series The Skate Girls of Kabul, which documents young Afghan girls who attend the unique NGO Skateistan. Born out of a small skateboarding school that originated around an old, disused fountain in Kabul in 2007, Skateistan now provides education for children, teaching leadership and cultural awareness. She says of the photographs: ‘With the Skate Girls of Kabul portraits, I wanted to show these young Afghan girls with their skateboards within the liberating environment that Skateistan provides for them. It is here that for a few hours a week they are able to have some semblance of a childhood , find room to bloom, in a place that is detached from the war, from many of their tough living conditions, and their working life on the streets.’

Birgit Püve for Braian and Ryan: Birgit Püve (b. 1978) lives and works in Tallinn, Estonia. She has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions and has been commissioned by publications such as The Sunday Times Magazine, The Washington Post, Der Spiegel and Ryanair Magazine. Her photograph Braian and Ryan is from the series Double Matters. Püve was working on the series for a photography book on twins and triplets living in Estonia. Püve visited the nine-year-old twin boys at their great grandmother’s house in Saue, an area of idyllic countryside outside Tallinn, where she spent a few hours photographing them in different locations in the surrounding land.

Blerim Racaj for Indecisive Moment: Blerim Racaj (b. 1964) is a London-based freelance photographer.  Racaj grew up in Kosovo (then Yugoslavia) and studied Economics before moving to London in 1995. Following the completion of a BTEC course in Photography at City of Westminster College in 2004, early photographs from Racaj’s ongoing project, entitled Kosovars, were published in the British Journal of Photography in 2006. Photographs from the project have since been exhibited in Italy, Kosovo, Croatia and the UK. His shortlisted photograph Indecisive Moment is from a recent and unpublished series entitled Young Kosovars - a project triggered by the socio-political landscape in Kosovo and high level of unemployment amongst an increasingly young population. The photograph was taken at the base of the National Library, a popular place for groups of friends to socialise.

David Titlow for Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow: David Titlow (b. 1963) is a London-based photographer working in fashion and advertising. He has exhibited widely and has been commissioned by numerous magazines and newspapers, including The Guardian, The Sunday Telegraph, Vice and Vanity Fair. Originally a musician emanating from Halesworth in Suffolk, Titlow switched to photography in the early nineties and has worked in the industry since. His portrait Konrad Lars Hastings Titlow was captured the morning after a large midsummer party in Rataryd, Sweden. It shows his baby son being introduced to a dog. He says: ‘everyone was a bit hazy from the previous day’s excess – my girlfriend passed our son to the subdued revellers on the sofa – the composition and back light was so perfect that I had to capture the moment’.


The National Portrait Gallery was founded in 1856 to collect the portraits of famous British men and women. Today the collection is the most comprehensive of its kind in the world, but it needs to raise sufficient funds to build on this, as well as encouraging public access to its works through outreach and educational programmes.

Taylor Wessing has a long-standing relationship with the National Portrait Gallery and we are immensely proud to be entering our seventh year of sponsoring the Photographic Portrait Prize, which is one of the most internationally recognised competitions in the photographic world.

Our relationship with the Gallery has grown and evolved since we first sponsored The World’s Most Photographed in 2005. The Photographic Portrait Prize is not about capturing an image of the world’s most photographed. Indeed, you will never know who many of the people in the pictures are and may never see these sights in the course of your everyday life. Each image tells its own story and will inevitably evoke its own reaction.

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 will showcase the work of some of the most talented emerging young photographers from around the world, alongside that of established professionals, photography students and gifted amateurs. Selected anonymously from an open competition, the diversity of styles reflects the international mix of entrants as well as the range of approaches to the portrait genre, encompassing editorial, advertising and fine art images.

Niri Shan, Partner and Business Group Director at Taylor Wessing, says: "I was delighted to be part of the judging panel this year and found the whole process enlightening, demanding, and, above all, inspirational. The quality of the work was very high and I particularly enjoyed the variety of the images on show. Photographers from around the globe had submitted their work, which evidences the international esteem in which the competition is held. I am very proud that Taylor Wessing is associated with such a worthy prize, and I hope that visitors to the exhibition are inspired by the final selection as much as I am."

The Prize encourages and cultivates new talent, while emphasising the importance of hard work with a forward thinking and creative attitude. These are attributes that we, as an international law firm, also seek to foster and promote. While the legal sector isn’t traditionally associated with creativity, Taylor Wessing is proud to be strongly committed to supporting arts and culture. Our relationship with the National Portrait Gallery’s Photographic Portrait Prize is based on our joint goal to strive for excellence in all that we do, all of the time.

The prizes for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014 will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 11 November 2014 at 7pm. The exhibition opens to the public on Thursday 13 November and will be on display at the National Portrait Gallery, London until 22 February 2015, admission £3.