The shortlist is announced for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait 2015

Amira and her Children - Ivor Prickett, 2014

Four photographs have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2015, the major international photography award organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The prize-winning portraits 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 near Mosul after Isis took control of the area; David Stewart’s portrait of his daughter and her friends, which was inspired by the photographer’s fascination with human interaction; and Peter Zelewski’s photograph of a woman he spotted on Oxford Street whilst working on his series Beautiful Strangers.

The annual Prize is one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world and showcases new work that has been submitted by some of the most exciting and cutting-edge contemporary photographers. Since the international competition began in 1993, it has remained a hugely important platform for portrait photographers and offers an unparalleled opportunity for celebrated professionals, emerging artists and amateurs alike.

Judged anonymously, the diversity of styles in the exhibition reflects the international mix of entries as well as photographers’ individual and varied approaches to the genre of portraiture. For the first time, photographers were encouraged to submit works as a series in addition to stand-alone portraits, and there was no minimum size requirement for prints.

This year’s exhibition will also feature previously unseen prints from a new body of work by the award-winning South African photographer, Pieter Hugo. The prints will form the inaugural In Focus display, an annual showcase for new work by an internationally renowned photographer, which will be exhibited alongside the photographs selected from the competition entries. As the first ever In Focus artist, Hugo was chosen by the Gallery for his uncompromising, insightful and occasionally provocative approach to portraiture.

Main image: Amira and her Children - Ivor Prickett, 2014

Five Girls - David Stewart, 2014

Five Girls - David Stewart, 2014

Nyaueth - Peter Zelewski, 2015

Nyaueth - Peter Zelewski, 2015

Hector - Anoush Abrar, 2014

Hector - Anoush Abrar, 2014