Press release

Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 shortlist announced

  • 28 shortlisted images from 12 countries
  • Entries across four categories: Social Perspectives, Hidden Worlds, Medicine in Focus and the 2019 themed category Outbreaks
  • Overall winner of £15,000 prize to be announced at London awards ceremony on 3 July 2019
  • Free exhibition from 4-13 July 2019 at the Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London

Celebrating compelling imagery that captures stories of health, medicine and science, the shortlisted entries for Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 have been unveiled today. 

This year’s shortlist includes images that capture the impact of urgent health challenges such as the ongoing impact of the Zika virus on families in Brazil; the strain put on health services looking to meet the growing needs of ageing populations; the personal stories of those living with health conditions such as schizophrenia; and pioneering advances in science which make life-changing procedures like face transplants possible.  

An expert panel of high-profile judges from across the arts, science and global health chose 28 entries from more than 6,000 submissions across four competition categories:

  • Social perspectives – exploring how health and illness affect the way we live
  • Hidden worlds – revealing details hidden to the naked eye
  • Medicine in focus – showing health and healthcare up close and personal
  • Outbreaks (2019 theme) – capturing the impact of disease as it spreads

See all the shortlisted images

Commenting on this year’s entries, Jeremy Farrar, Director of Wellcome and Chair of the jury, said: "The standard of entries to this year’s Wellcome Photography Prize was phenomenal. We are delighted with every photo we have received, each telling a unique and powerful story. From highlighting the personal ways in which health and illness affects the way we live, to capturing the impact of disease outbreaks in regions across the world, these photos truly bring complex topics within health, medicine and science to life.

"We were pleased to see such a wide-range of submissions across the Prize. The entrants’ interpretations within each category provoked debate between an incredible jury, who each brought different perspectives and areas of expertise. I encourage everyone to visit the London exhibition when it opens to the public for free on 4 July and see the shortlisted images up close."

Prizes and exhibition

The overall winner will receive a prize of £15,000 with category winners receiving £1,250. Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 3 July 2019.

All the winning and shortlisted entries will be shown in the Wellcome Photography Prize exhibition at the Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins in London from 4-13 July 2019, which will be free and open to all to visit.

The exhibition will also feature a commission by Canadian photojournalist Adrienne Surprenant, which explores the theme of outbreaks. The series she has created tells the human story of dengue fever, one of the most deadly and prevalent mosquito-borne diseases. Her remarkable photos capture the devastating human consequences for communities affected by the disease and the attempts being made to tackle it in Bangladesh, Fiji, Brazil and Réunion island in the Indian Ocean. 

Photographers shortlisted for the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019

Social perspectives

  • Alison Romanczuk
  • Erin Lefevre
  • Hieronymus Ahrens
  • Louis Quail
  • Mona Hoobehfekr
  • David Levene
  • Robin Hammond    

Hidden Worlds

  • David Linstead
  • Carly Ziegler, Leslie Kean, Alex Shalek, Shaina Carroll, Lucrezia Colonna and Victor Tkachev
  • Simon Norfolk and Klaus Thymann
  • Luis Henry Agudelo Cano
  • Brent Stirton
  • Chris de Bode
  • Simone Cerio

Medicine in Focus

  • Lauren Forster
  • Brent Stirton
  • Lynn Johnson
  • Adriane Ohanesian
  • Erica Troncoso
  • Tom Parker
  • Dmitry Kostyukov


  • Michael Duff
  • Felipe Fittipaldi
  • David Chancellor
  • Lippanon Pipatananta
  • Marcello Bonfanti
  • Jude Wacks
  • Daniel Berehulak

Judges panel for the 2019 prize

  • Emma Bowkett, Director of Photography at FT Weekend Magazine, UK
  • Dan M Davis, Professor of Immunology at the University of Manchester, UK
  • Heidi Larson, Director of The Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK
  • Joanne Liu, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, Switzerland
  • Pete Muller, National Geographic Photographer and Fellow, Kenya
  • Azu Nwagbogu, Curator at Large for Photography at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, Nigeria.
  • Chair of judges, Jeremy Farrar, Director, Wellcome, UK