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The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize at The National Portrait Gallery, 2014

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The Exhibition

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is taking place at The National Portrait Gallery from now until the 9th January.  Over 5,000 portraits were entered into the competition this year, but just 60 brand new portraits from some of the world’s most promising photographers have made it onto the display, which covers a wide range of subjects, people and settings.

With somewhat broadened horizons for 2014, the exhibition now includes imagery used in advertising, as well as the usual editorial works and fine art prints.  This year will also see the introduction of the use of technical descriptions, so you can learn about the effects and editing that created the final product you see before you.

Some of the portraits were commissioned by famous, powerful people, while others were captured by the photographer in significant moments of genuine emotion – making a varied and emotive collection that’s sure to be enjoyed by both amateur and professional visitor alike.

Lectures & Workshops

There are workshops, lectures and activities also taking place at the Gallery during this exhibition.  There’s a ‘Visualising Portraits’ workshop for the visually impaired, to allow those who can’t physically see the photographs to get a deep insight and mental image of the pieces on display, on Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th December, at 11am and 5pm.

On Friday 13th December at 6.30pm, performers from The Royal College of Music will be playing their compositions inspired by the exhibition.

Sunday 5th January (1pm and 4pm) will see the ‘Sunday Session of Digital Portraits’ – a workshop with Anthony Luvera and Marysa Dowling on digital photography techniques for people aged between 14 and 21.  It’s a fantastic outing for budding young enthusiasts to get fantastic advice on getting started and mastering their skills, as well as an insight into how to be successful in the industry.  Call 020 7312 2483 to reserve a spot.

On Thursday 16th January at 7pm, the Gallery is hosting a quirky practical debate about Selfies.  ‘The Curated Ego: What Makes a Good Selfie’ is a pretty self-explanatory title, and the evening will explore the concept of balance between narcissism and artistry within self-portraiture.  Industry experts and academics will be leading the session, and you’ll have a chance to see famous examples and self-portraits from both the modern world and that of the history of photography.

 Top Tip for Souvenirs

A complete catalogue of all the portraits featured in this year’s exhibition is available in the Gallery Shop for just £15.  It also includes interviews with previous winner and comments from the judges, making it a worthwhile souvenir indeed.

 Get Involved

Entrance to the Gallery is free of charge, but there’s a price of just £3 to access this exhibition.  You can visit from 1am to 6pm, with a late opening of 9pm on Thursdays and Fridays.  Nearest tube station is Leister Square / Charing Cross, and if you feel so inspired at the end of your visit that you would like to put your own entry into next year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize, you can do so here.  Remember, we can also book The National Portrait Gallery for private functions, corporate events and wedding receptions – find out more here or contact us to learn more!

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