A portrait of a family of Orthodox Jews, has been shortlisted for a major photography award.

Finalists in for the prize have been whittled down from more than 4,300 entries, which were sent to the National Portrait Gallery for this year’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

US artist Kovi Konowiecki pursued a career in football in the US before studying photography in London.His portraits are part of a series of prints featuring Orthodox Jews.

He said: “When I set out to photograph the faces of Orthodox Jews around the world, it was an attempt to both strengthen my ties to my family’s history and shed light on the traditions of a people that seem strange to modern society.


Tilly and Itty, Beitar Illit, from the series Bei Mir Bistu Shein by Kovi Konowiecki, who has been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016. (Photo credit: Kovi Konowiecki/PA Wire)

“The project started by contacting members of the Jewish community from where I grew up, and evolved into travels across the world to capture Orthodox Jews who, although live thousands of miles apart, are bound together by history, tradition and a set of values that serve as the cornerstone of the lives of many who live in today’s society.”

National Portrait Gallery director Dr Nicholas Cullinan said: “In an exhibition remarkable for its range of subjects and styles, the quality of this year’s shortlisted works reflects the outstanding level at which photographers across the world are working today.”

The winner, to be announced on November 15, will receive £15,000.

The international competition, which has been running since 1993, received entries from 61 countries.

Judges selected 58 portraits from 44 artists to go on display in November, alongside an exhibition of new work by Spanish photographer Cristina de Middel.