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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Frequently asked questions

Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize

The National Photographic Portrait Prize (NPPP) has been going for a long time. How is this year different?

In recognition of the difficult year 2020 has been, the exhibition will be titled ‘Living Memory’. There will be more Finalists to create a larger exhibition and the Finalists work will be exhibited for a longer period. Each Finalist will receive a payment to support their participation in the exhibition, which for example the Finalist may like to use to pay for framing or printing. The NPG may also decide to offer tailored mentoring and professional development opportunities to Finalists.

Does the photograph have to directly relate to a specific theme?

No. Any photographic portrait taken during the entry period can be included.

How much will the Finalists be paid and when?

Finalists will be paid $300 for each entry that is selected for exhibition at the NPG. If an entry is a collaboration between two or more artists, the artists will share the payment.

Finalists will need to provide a valid invoice to the NPG after 1 July 2021 to receive payment. Finalists will be advised of the process by the NPG.

I made the work with another artist. Can we submit together?

Yes. The details of each artist will need to be provided when submitting the entry through the online entry portal.

What is the definition of ‘Australian or permanent resident’?

‘Australian’ means an Australian citizen.

A ‘permanent resident’ is someone who holds a current permanent residency visa. Other visa holders are not eligible to enter.

Does my entry need to be a photograph taken in Australia?

No.

What if I didn’t get the consent of my subject or only received verbal permission to take the portrait? What are my responsibilities to track down the subject of the photograph?

All entrants should complete a Subject Consent Form for each subject (and all Finalists will be asked to provide this). If it was not reasonably practicable for you to obtain written consent of your subjects, you will need to explain why on the entry form. Read the Terms and Conditions for the consent requirements.

What if I want to change one of my submitted photographs?

The online entry portal allows you to manage your entries by uploading a new image to replace an existing entry up to the closing time for submissions. However, the NPG will not permit any refunds to entrants who decide they want to delete a paid entry that will not be replaced by another image.

Will my work be returned to me after the exhibition?

You arrange for the return of your work. Information is included in the Terms and Conditions.

Can I use editing software, such as Photoshop, to alter my photograph?

Yes.

Can I enter more than one photograph as part of a single entry?

Yes. Your work may consist of multiple images as part of one entry, however, if selected as a finalist these images must be printed and framed as one work within the maximum frame requirements (no larger than 140 x 140cm). For example, this could be presented as a diptych, a triptych, or it could feature multiple small portraits framed as one work. If entering multiple images as one entry, please ensure your uploaded jpeg file reflects the final presentation of how the images will be exhibited (i.e. how they would appear when framed on the gallery wall).

How are the entries judged?

For the first round of judging, a panel of judges will select the Finalists by judging all entries digitally, using the information and images provided by each entrant in their submissions. The judges will select the prize winners from the shortlisted Finalists by seeing the framed works at the NPG. The winning portrait will be announced the day before the exhibition opens to the public.

At all stages, the decision of the judges is final and no discussion will be entered into.

What happens if the NPG or a travelling venue is forced to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The NPG will follow all government guidelines regarding COVID-19. Travelling exhibition venues will make their own decisions regarding how to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19, although the NPG will work with venues where appropriate. This may mean that the NPG or its travelling exhibition partners are unable to display the NPPP21 exhibition for the scheduled dates.

The Terms and Conditions say that an entry must be “a photograph taken after 23rd October 2019”. What does ‘taken’ mean? What if I exposed a negative earlier and printed it after this date or took a digital photograph before this date but altered a digital file substantially after this date.

Both of these examples would be ineligible. For the purposes of this Prize, we understand a photograph to be ‘taken’ on the date of the actual shoot or sitting, not the date when the image is processed or digitally manipulated.

When will the next Darling Portrait Prize be run?

Due to the disruption caused by COVID-19, we are still finalising details for the second Darling Prize. We acknowledge what a hard year it has been for Australian artists and we are committed to working with them in the future. Our Darling mailing list will be the first to be informed; you can join here https://secure.portrait.gov.au/account/create/brief.

Related information

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King Edward Terrace, Parkes
Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.