28 July 2020
Exhibition will be displayed online in November 2020
Entry is now open for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2020, the international photographic portrait competition which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography. The National Portrait Gallery, London is inviting submissions from Tuesday 28 July until 17:00 on Tuesday 22 September 2020.
This year's prize will be displayed as a virtual exhibition on the National Portrait Gallery's website, in order to reach a wide international audience and ensure that the competition is able to continue as planned during the current coronavirus pandemic. The photographs will be displayed in a virtual gallery space that replicates the rooms of the National Portrait Gallery, enabling online visitors to view the portraits collectively, as well as exploring each individual work in more detail.
The popular People's Pick feature, which offers the public the opportunity to vote for their favourite portrait will also run online. The National Portrait Gallery building in London is now closed until spring 2023, while essential building works take place on the Gallery's Inspiring People redevelopment.
The competition is open to everyone aged 18 and over from around the world. Photographers are encouraged to interpret 'portrait' in its widest sense, with "photography focused on portraying people with an emphasis on their identity as individuals". The winner of the competition will receive £15,000, with second prize receiving £3,000 and third prize £2,000.
The National Portrait Gallery's Photographic Portrait Prize, which we have sponsored 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 established a reputation for creativity and excellence, with works submitted by a range of photographers, from leading professionals to talented amateurs and the most exciting emerging artists.
The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2019 exhibition featured 55 portraits from 31 artists and was seen by over 42,000 people at the National Portrait Gallery.
In order to ensure the safety of panel members and Gallery staff, judging for the 2020 competition will be completed digitally. To enter the competition photographers are required to upload their image(s) via the website. All images will be viewed anonymously and digitally by a panel of judges who will collectively select the prize winners and works for exhibition.
For the sixth 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.
Also for the sixth year running, there will be an In Focus display within the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize virtual exhibition devoted to the work of distinguished photographers, but not part of the competition. This accolade has been awarded to Pieter Hugo in 2015, Cristina de Middel in 2016, Todd Hido in 2017, Rinko Kawauchi in 2018 and Ethan James Green in 2019.
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director, National Portrait Gallery said:
Shane Gleghorn, Managing Partner at Taylor Wessing, said:
The competition is open to anyone over the age of 18. To reflect the change in format the entry fee for the 2020 exhibition has been reduced to £20. Full information about how to enter, including entry forms and rules, can be found online here.
by Paul Lawrence and Shane Gleghorn
by Wendy Tomlinson and Shane Gleghorn