The shortlist for the 2022 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize revealed!

August 10, 2022

Three international photographers have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022, the prestigious photography prize organized by the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Selected by a jury from 4,462 applications from 1,697 photographers, the three shortlisted photographers are:

  • Haneem Christian for mother and daughter and rootedthat explore queerness, transness and the importance of chosen family.
  • Clémentine Schneidermann for the portraits of the Laundry Day serieswhich documents the daily chores of its South Wales neighbour, navigating life in lockdown.
  • Alexander Komenda for Zahid’s sona portrait that examines themes of post-Soviet identity and landscape in Kyrgyzstan.

The annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Award, now celebrating fifteen years under the patronage of Taylor Wessing, is one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and features new work submitted by some of the most exciting contemporary photographers. The first prize winner will receive £15,000. The second winner receives £3,000 and the third £2,000.

Following an anonymous judging process, the winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 25, 2022. This year’s jury was chaired by National Portrait Gallery director Dr Nicholas Cullinan, who was joined by foreign correspondent in chief of the Sunday Times, Christina Lamb; award-winning photographer, Siân Davey; Photoworks director Shoair Mavlian; and 2022 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize curator Eva Eicker. The following photographs have been shortlisted for the 2022 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

Check out the shortlisted photographers and their images below:

Haneem Christian – Mother and Daughter and Rooted

taylor wessing portrait photography award shortlist

Mother and daughter from the series Jannah lies at your mother’s feet by Haneem Christian © Haneem Christian

Haneem Christian is a visual poet and activist, born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. They studied gender studies and environmental and geographical sciences at the University of Cape Town, which has since inspired their work. Their photography focuses on representation within the black and brown LGBTQIA+ community.

Christian’s works, titled Mother and Daughter and Rooted, are photographic works from two separate series that explore queerness and transness in relation to family, race and identity. The works were particularly appreciated for giving voice to communities in various cultural contexts and for the visible trust conveyed between the models and the photographer.

2022 taylor wessing portrait award selection image Rooted from the series Rooted by Haneem Christian © Haneem Christian.

Rooted from the series Rooted by Haneem Christian © Haneem Christian.

Mother and Daughter represents Cheshire V and Autumn May, who are both female trans artists from Cape Town, South Africa. Christian’s photography explores the relationship between the two, and questions “what it means to be the mother of a child that you have chosen and who has chosen you”. Christian commented that this image “is a celebration of the family we choose”, while Rooted “honors the journey back to Self by seeing yourself through the eyes of a loved one”.

The tender and poetic depiction, which depicts a reclining figure staring straight ahead at the camera in a wooded setting “acknowledges and celebrates the multidimensionality and sacred nature of queerness and transness rooted in pre-colonial self-knowledge.”

Clémentine Schneidermann – Laundry Day #2 and Laundry Day #3

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

Clémentine Schneidermann is a French photographer, living and working between Paris and South Wales. Focused on social documentary photography, her approach is collaborative and playful, with a particular interest in communities. She is co-founder of Ffasiwn Stiwdio, a photography-based creative studio that creates programs with groups of young people, and in 2021 completed a practice-based PhD at the University of South Wales, Cardiff.

Schneidermann’s portraits from his Laundry Day series show the artist’s neighbor hanging out the laundry in the garden of her home in South Wales. Taken during another difficult year in the UK, the photographs “document micro-events that deal with the passage of time through the small moments of our daily lives”, comments Schneidermann.

Laundry Day #3 from the Laundry Day series by Clémentine Schneidermann © Clémentine Schneidermann portrait prize taylor wessing shortlist 2022

Laundry Day #3 from the series Laundry Day by Clémentine Schneidermann © Clémentine Schneidermann

Through the obsessive photography of a daily chore, the photographer captures the everyday. The socially distant portraits, which are close, but not close enough to see the sitter’s face, are part of a series of works taken during times of quarantine, self-isolation and national lockdown.

Alexander Komenda – Son of Zahid

Alexander Komenda is a Polish-Canadian documentary photographer and artist, whose work focuses on revealing the nuances of everyday life. Her interests in identity and collective memory are used in her practice to explore the boundaries between unity and division in relation to her subjects. In 2020, Komenda completed her BA in Documentary Photography at the University of South Wales in Cardiff and is currently undertaking an MA in Photography at Aalto University in Espoo, Finland.

Zahid’s son from the series The Lost Enchiridion of the Fergana Valley by Alexander Komenda © Alexander Komenda

Zahid’s Son is part of Komenda’s ongoing series, The Lost Enchiridion of the Fergana Valley, and examines the identity and post-imperialist landscape of the Fergana Valley, which stretches across Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Photographed from the Kyrgyz side of the Fergana Valley, Komenda’s portrait depicts the son of Zahid, an Uzbek friend working in human rights in Osh, Kyrgyzstan. The unnamed caretaker is pictured in his home setting, holding a pet rabbit.

Those who reside in the Fergana Valley still live with the legacy of its Soviet past, and in southern Kyrgyzstan, Uzbeks continue to face significant marginalization. This portrait honors the presence of Zahid and his family. The artist recalls a conversation with Zahid, in which he said, “As Uzbeks, my children could never become president or hold government positions.”

Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director National Portrait Gallerysaid: “Congratulations to the shortlisted photographers; once again, this year’s entries demonstrate the exceptional level at which photographers around the world work. Since the Prize was launched in 1993, now in its fifteenth year of sponsorship by Taylor Wessing, over one million people have viewed the exhibition, which continues to bring the best in contemporary photography to our audience. I look forward to welcoming new and returning visitors this fall to Cromwell Place.

Shane Gleghorn, Managing Partner at Taylor Wessingsaid: “The shortlist of talented artists for this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is outstanding. We are proud to continue to support the Prize, not least because the prestige it has established internationally attracts a growing number of artists to participate and provides them with a showcase for photographic portraiture. We look forward to the official unveiling of the exhibition at Cromwell Place and the announcement of the winner for 2022.

Eva Eicker, Curator of the 2022 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prizesaid: “The annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Award and the portraits on display as part of the exhibition allow for a collective representation of another difficult year. Seeing such a variety of themes and approaches provided an honest insight into people’s lives, and I am delighted to curate the fascinating selection of photographs in this year’s exhibition.

2022 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize Exhibition

Shortlisted works will be exhibited in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022 exhibition at Cromwell Squarea new arts hub in South Kensington, London, from October 27 to December 18, 2022while the Gallery building in St Martin’s Place is closed for major redevelopment work.

The winning photographs and those selected for inclusion in the exhibition were chosen from 4,462 submissions submitted by 1,697 photographers from 62 countries. A total of 51 portraits by 36 artists have been selected for display in the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2022 exhibition.

Tickets will be available for purchase from August 22, 2022.
Adults: £8

See more information here:

Supported by Taylor Wessing, #PhotoPrize

Do you have the competition bug? Here are some other photo contests to enter in 2022

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Michael E. Marquez