The four photographs shortlisted for this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 has been announced by the National Portrait Gallery.

Those shortlisted for the prize include: Anoush Abrar’s photograph of a young boy, inspired by Caravaggio’s painting Sleeping Cupid; Ivor Prickett’s photograph of a displaced Iraqi family who had fled their village, David Stewart’s portrait of his daughter and friends and Peter Zelewiski’s photograph of a woman he saw on Oxford Street.

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is organised by the National Portrait Gallery and showcases new work from some of the most exciting and contemporary photographers. Since it began in 1993, it has provided a platform on which emerging and professional artists can showcase some of the best photographic portraits created.

Hector by Anoush Abrar, June 2014. Copyright: Anoush Abrar.
The selection was judged anonymously, with the diversity of styles reflecting the artist’s different approach to the genre of portraiture. This was the first year in which photographers were encouraged to submit works as series as well as stand-alone portraits – with no minimum size requirement for prints.

Amira and her Children, September 2014. Copyright: Ivor Prickett/UNHCR/Panos Pictures .
This year’s exhibition of work will also feature previously unseen prints from a new body of work by South African photographer, Pieter Hugo. These prints will form the inaugural In Focus display, an annual showcase for new work by an internationally recognised photographer. These prints will be exhibited alongside the photographs selected from the competition entries.

The National Portrait Gallery selected Hugo as the first artist to take part in the In Focus display for his insightful and uncompromising approach to portraiture.

Five Girls 2014 by David Stewart, May 2014. Copyright: David Stewart.
The prize – winning photographs and those that will be included in the exhibition were chosen from 4929 submissions  entered by 2201 photographers who come from 70 different countries.

As well as the four prize winners, the exhibition will also feature the John Kobal New Work Award. For the fourth year, this will be awarded to a photographer under the age of 30 whose work has been selected for the exhibition. The winner will receive a cash prize of £4000 to include an undertaking of a commission from the gallery to photograph a sitter connected to the UK film industry.

Nyaueth by Peter Zelewski, February 2015. Copright: Peter Zelewski.
Dr Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery said: “‘The strength of the four shortlisted works reflects the outstanding level that photographers across the world are working at today. The exhibition will be especially exciting this year as we will be displaying a number of photographs that were submitted as a series of portraits, as well as new and unseen work by acclaimed photographer Pieter Hugo.”

The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition is open to the public from the 12th November – 21st February 2016.