2023 marks the return of the newly named Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize to the National Portrait Gallery, as it prepares to reopen in June.

The National Portrait Gallery has announced that entries are open to its annual portrait photography prize, renamed the Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize. The international competition, which celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography, is inviting submissions until 10pm on 22 May 2023.

From the National Portrait Gallery: 

To celebrate the Prize’s return the National Portrait Gallery, following the redevelopment of its building, a number of new initiatives have been introduced to make the Prize more accessible than ever before. Photographers in receipt of Universal Credit or Pension Credit can enter this year’s Prize for free, and a new discount is in place for photographers who receive Disability Benefits, who are students or are between the ages of 18 and 25.

shortlist taylor wessing portrait photography prize

Mother and Daughter from the series Jannah Lies at the Feet of Thy Mother by Haneem Christian © Haneem Christian

The Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 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. Works this year will be exhibited at the renovated National Portrait Gallery, following its reopening on 22 June 2023. This follows two years of exhibiting externally, during which time the Gallery was closed for redevelopment. The exhibition will open in London on 9 November 2023 and will run until 25 February 2024.

The competition is open to everyone aged 18 and over from around the world, whether a leading professional, a talented amateur or an exciting emerging artist. 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. This year’s judging panel will be chaired by the National Portrait Gallery’s Director, Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who will be joined by Senior Curator at The Photographer’s Gallery, Karen McQuaid; novelist and photographer, Caleb Azumah Nelson; photographer and filmmaer, Campbell Addy; and the National Portrait Gallery’s Curator of Photography, Sabina Jaskot-Gill.

Laundry Day #2 from the series Laundry Day by Clémentine Schneidermann © Clémentine Schneidermann

Laundry Day #2 from the series Laundry Day by Clémentine Schneidermann © Clémentine Schneidermann

Director of National Portrait Gallery, Dr Nicholas Cullinan says, “Ahead of the Gallery’s reopening on 22 June, I am thrilled to announce that entries to this year’s Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize are officially open. Every year, submissions reflect contemporary events and topics through an extraordinary variety of themes and styles, and I look forward to seeing the entries for 2023.”

Managing Partner, Taylor Wessing, Shane Gleghorn says, “The Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize is in its sixteenth year, which makes it one of the longest running arts partnerships. Following on from the superb renovation of the gallery space, we are delighted to see the return of the Prize to the National Portrait Gallery this year. The Prize attracts some of the very best images in contemporary portrait photography. We are looking forward to seeing those fantastic images on the walls of the renovated gallery.”

How to enter Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait prize 2023

Entrants to the competition are 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.

To enter the 2023 competition, photographers are required to upload their image(s) via the National Portrait Gallery’s competition platform. All images will be viewed anonymously by a panel of judges who will collectively select the prize winners and works for the exhibition.

The digital platform can be accessed via www.competitions.npg.org.uk.

The entry fee for the competition is £21 per image. Full information about how to enter, including entry forms and rules, can be found online.

Peter & Sue, April 2022 from the series Modern Love by Curtis Hughes © Curtis Hughes taylor wessing portrait prize 2022

Peter & Sue, April 2022 from the series Modern Love by Curtis Hughes © Curtis Hughes. Exhibiting photographer in Taylor Wessing portrait prize exhibition 2022

Taylor Wessing Photo Portrait Prize 2023 exhibition

9 November 2023 – 25 February 2024
Supported by Taylor Wessing

See more photography exhibitions and competitions to enter here.

See the 2022 Taylor Wessing Photo Prize winners and shortlist.

Need help with your portrait entries? Check out our guides below:

Complete guide to portrait photography

Best portrait tips from the pros

Top fine art portrait photography tips

How to take better portraits on a budget

How to Shoot Portrait Photos at Home

Plus, see the best cameras for portraits, lenses for portrait photography, and budget portrait lenses.

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