Each year, the Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize is awarded to the photographer who made the best photographic portrait of the past year. The prize is awarded by Dutch National Portrait Gallery in collaboration with Rabobank. Previous winners are Koos Breukel, Stephan Vanfleteren, Gerard Wessel, Annaleen Louwes, Sander Troelstra, Jitske Schols, Sarah Mei Herman, Sanne Donders and Robin de Puy, who won the prize twice.


This year, too, there will be a prize for portrait photography talent. Peggy Kuiper won this prize in 2018, Annabel van Royen in 2019 and Colette Lukassen in 2020.

The Dutch National Portrait Gallery and Rabobank award the two prizes to draw attention to the broad tradition of Dutch portraiture in photography.


The winner of the Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize receives 10,000 euros and will be included in the Rabo art collection. In addition, the work may be acquired by another international art collection.

The winner of the Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent will receive 2,500 euros and the work may be acquired.


Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize 2021
The portraits were made between 1 June 2020 and 16 May 2021, by a Dutch photographer or an international photographer who has been working in the Netherlands for an extended period of time. All nominated photographers demonstrate a striking and constant body of work in portrait photography. An important criterion is that in the portrait, the short-lived and conscious relationship between the photographer and the person portrayed is unmistakably recognizable. In addition, craftsmanship, technique and composition may play a role in the assessment.
A maximum of three portraits can be submitted in this category.

Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent 2021
The portraits were made between 1 June 2020 and 16 May 2021, by photography students or photographers who graduated from a Dutch Photography School. Autodidacts can also compete for this prize. All photographers submitting within this category have been working professionally for less than five years in the industry, or are younger than 30 years at the time of submission. The submitted work, with a minimum of three and a maximum of five portraits, was made within a series.


The jury is re-compiled every year and consists of noted professionals from the cultural field, such as an image editor, art director, curator, portrait photographer, gallery owner and museum director. The winning photographer of the previous year is also part of the jury.

From all Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize entries, the jury will first compile a longlist consisting of ca. 25 portraits. The jury will subsequently compile a shortlist of 5 portraits. 

The jury will also compile a longlist of 10 series from all the Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent entries. Subsequently, the jury will compile a shortlist of 3 series.

All the long and shortlists will be announced on the Portrait Gallery’s social media accounts. From each shortlist, the jury will choose a winner who will be announced during the award ceremony.


There are no fees for entering the competition. Participation takes place by being nominated by image editors, curators, critics and professionals in photography, who are asked by Dutch National Portrait Gallery to nominate photographers for the Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize. These photographers will subsequently be asked to submit a maximum of three portraits.

Professional photographers who have not been nominated can also submit their portraits themselves – again with a maximum of three. The jury does not know who has been nominated and who has entered without a nomination. Thus, every photographer has the same chance of winning.

Students and professionals who have been working as photographers for less than five years can submit a series with a minimum of three up to five portraits for the Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent prize.


In accordance with the AVG (GDPR) and any subsequent reiteration of that legislation, Dutch National Portrait Gallery will hold all personal data securely. It will only be used in the process of administering the Portrait Prize in the exercise of the Gallery’s task and communication, and data will not be transferred to any third party.

JURY 2021

Verily Klaassen (Head of Art Affairs, Rabobank Netherlands) – Chairman
Sanne Donders (Winner Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize 2020)
Iris Kensmil (Visual artist)
Sybren Kuiper (Graphic designer)
Philippien Noordam (Senior Art Advisor/Curator at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
Erik Vroons (Chief Editor GUP Magazine and freelance curator & writer)

Read more (in Dutch)


The submission period was from April 22nd to May 24th 2021.


In August, we daily presented a longlist portrait and From 7-14th of September we will daily present a shortlist portrait on our Facebook and Instagram. On September 15th we will announce the winner of the Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize and the Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent.

Longlists 2021:
Rabo Photographic Portrait Prize
Rabo Photographic Portrait Talent