National Portrait Gallery


The National Portrait Gallery, London, is now accepting entries to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2014, a major international photographic competition. To enter, visit and complete the online application form or apply by post by Monday 7 July 2014.


The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 has been awarded to Spencer Murphy, 35, for a photograph of jockey Katie Walsh. Taken at Kempton Park Racecourse the winning portrait of Katie Walsh was photographed whilst shooting a series of jump jockeys' portraits for Channel Four's The Original Extreme Sport campaign. ‘I was keen to include Katie,’ says Murphy: ‘I wanted to show both her femininity and the toughness of spirit she requires to compete against the best riders in one of the most demanding disciplines in horse racing. I chose to shoot the series on large format film, to give the images a depth and timelessness that I think would have been hard to achieve on a digital camera’.

The £12,000 award was presented to the Kent photographer at the National Portrait Gallery, London on Tuesday 12 November 2013. The winning portrait goes on show at the Gallery as part of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 from Thursday 14 November 2013 until 9 February 2014.

Spencer Murphy (22.09.1978) grew up in Kent and studied at the Kent Institute of Art and Design before gaining a BA in Photography at Falmouth College of Arts.  

The following artists have also been commended in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2013 and receive the following prizes:

£3,000 Second Prize: Giles Price for Kumbh Mela Pilgrim Mamta Dubey and infant. His portrait is from a series shot at the 2013 Kumbh Mela Festival in Allahabad India. Taken outside the main hospital in a pop up studio, the portrait shows Mamta who was on a pilgrimage to the Kumbh.    

£2,000 Third Prize: Anoush Abrar for Kofi Annan - His portrait of Kofi Annan, the Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations until 2006, was commissioned by ZEIT Magazine and published in March 2013. Abrar had photographed Mr Annan previously and he says he knew that time was of the essence. ‘In my mind it was clear what I wanted to do’, he says, ‘and this portrait took literally three minutes!’

£1,000 Fourth Prize: Dorothee Deiss for The twins - Her portrait, from her project VisibleInvisible, is of twin sisters she visited in their house. ‘I took a lot of more conventional portraits of them’, she says, ‘but when I found the bathrobe in a corner, perfectly fitting to the bedspread, that was when I knew I had the picture’.

This is the sixth year that Taylor Wessing has sponsored the Prize. The judges have selected 60 portraits for the exhibition from 5,410 submissions entered by 2,435 photographers, an increase of 85 entries on last year.

The exhibition will run from Thursday 14 November 2013 until 9 February 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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 fifth 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 2013 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.

Tim Eyles, UK Managing Partner at international law firm Taylor Wessing, says: 'The photographic talent in the competition this year was as outstanding as ever. The selection of these winning portraits from the thousands submitted is a great testament to their quality. Our congratulations to all the shortlisted photographers.'

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. Please visit the National Portrait Gallery website.