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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.

Entries are now open for Living Memory: National Photographic Portrait Prize!

Now in its fourteenth year, the prize is an annual favourite for audiences and Portrait Gallery staff alike, drawing captivating photographic portraiture from Australia's professional and aspiring visual artists, and providing a diverse national image in composite.

Entries close at midnight (AEDT) on Tuesday 2 March 2021.

Enter now!

Marking the extraordinary

Accepting photographs taken after 23 October 2019, this edition of the prize incorporates a year like no other: 2020. Accordingly, the title - Living Memory - acknowledges the period's seismic events.

The extraordinary times come with extra support for our artistic community. The exhibition will:

  • feature significantly more finalist works than usual;
  • include an artist fee, paid to every finalist;
  • run for longer (31 July – 7 November 2021); and
  • in addition to the usual suite of prizes, include mentorship opportunities awarded to selected finalists to support career aspirations.

See the Terms and Conditions and frequently asked questions for photo requirements and conditions of entry.

Prizes

The most outstanding portrait will receive $30,000 cash.

The People’s Choice will receive $5,000 from The David Roche Foundation.

Highly Commended will receive a ColorEdge CG2730 27" monitor valued at $3245 from Eizo.

The winner of the Art Handlers' Award will receive $2,000 from IAS Fine Art Logistics.

Exhibition

Winner announced: 30 July 2021

Exhibition opens 31 July and closes 7 November 2021

Related information

Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant
Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant
Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant
Charlie, 2017 by Lee Grant

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2018

Previous exhibition, 2018

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer
The mahi-mahi, 2019 Rob Palmer

National Photographic Portrait Prize 2020

Previous exhibition, 2020

The exhibition is selected from a national field of entries, reflecting the distinctive vision of Australia's aspiring and professional portrait photographers and the unique nature of their subjects.

Greta In Her Kitchen, 36 weeks, 2018 by Alana Holmberg
Greta In Her Kitchen, 36 weeks, 2018 by Alana Holmberg
Greta In Her Kitchen, 36 weeks, 2018 by Alana Holmberg
Greta In Her Kitchen, 36 weeks, 2018 by Alana Holmberg

Snap chat

Magazine article by Anne O'Hehir, 2019

2019 National Photographic Portrait Prize judge Anne O’Hehir looks beneath the surface of this year’s entries.

The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery

The Gallery

Explore portraiture and come face to face with Australian identity, history, culture, creativity and diversity.

We would like to thank our partners.
© National Portrait Gallery 2020
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.