Photography in London

Get in the picture with our guide to London photography news, features, galleries and more

© Vincent Laforet - AIR

Addicted to Instagram or permanently attached to your SLR? Even if your camera roll is totally empty, you'll find a way to appreciate London photography; we have the widest variety of styles in some of the best exhibitions at the most beautiful galleries. Find them in a flash with our guide to the best photography London has to offer. 

Must-see London photography exhibitions

Dorothea Lange: ‘Politics of Seeing’
Art

Dorothea Lange: ‘Politics of Seeing’

You can see why the Barbican is running these shows of Dorothea Lange and Vanessa Winship together. There’s plenty of overlap in their work: dislocation, displacement, the way that women, children, buildings, landscapes and even cars reflect societal collapse. But I would seriously advise that you buy your ticket, check out one of them, then go and play crazy golf with a few beers or something before you come back and tackle the other. 

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Users say
5 out of 5 stars
Tish Murtha: Works 1976 - 1991
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Tish Murtha: Works 1976 - 1991

‘As far as most strippers and peep-show dancers are concerned, audience is too elevated a term for the men who watch. They are punters and bloody wankers to boot,’ wrote Karen Leslie, the writer and stripper who Tish Murtha collaborated with on ‘London by Night’, a project documenting the London sex industry in 1983. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive
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Alex Prager: Silver Lake Drive

You get an eerie sense of déjà vu in this show of American artist Alex Prager’s photography. Seeing the drunken parties, suspicious faces and elaborate beach scenes she meticulously stages, you’re certain that each scenario is familiar.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds
Art

Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds

You can see why the Barbican is showing these shows of Dorothea Lange and Vanessa Winship together. There’s plenty of overlap in their work: dislocation, displacement, the way that women, children, buildings and landscapes reflect societal collapse, and broken-down cars. But I would seriously advise buying your ticket, checking out one of them, then going and playing crazy golf with a few beers or something before you come back and tackle the other. 

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
See more recommended photography shows

The latest London photography features

12 amazing photos of London’s lost landmarks
Art

12 amazing photos of London’s lost landmarks

We take a look at the stories behind the city’s vanished landmarks

Ten amazing archive photos of London by Roger Mayne
Art

Ten amazing archive photos of London by Roger Mayne

Why did a young photographer spend five years obsessively photographing a single street in west London?

Juergen Teller: Four reasons you should care about Robert Mapplethorpe
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Juergen Teller: Four reasons you should care about Robert Mapplethorpe

Juergen Teller has curated a new show of mega rare photographs by the great Robert Mapplethorpe. We got him to explain why you need to care

Sir Elton John: 'I’d rather have one photograph than ten Picassos'
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Sir Elton John: 'I’d rather have one photograph than ten Picassos'

It’s a little bit funny, but Sir Elton John’s got a great collection of modernist photography

Find London's photography galleries

Photographers' Gallery
Art

Photographers' Gallery

The Photographers' Gallery's six-storey premises on Ramillies Street has reopened after a full facelift. Original plans for the new site were for a striking, angular structure with giant floor-to-ceiling lightwells grasping for the sky. After a fiscal wake-up call (the budget was cut nearly in half to £9 million), the Irish architects O'Donnell+Tuomey returned with a handsome refit and recladding of an old brick building, plus what amounts to an extravagant loft conversion, adding two whole storeys and just one thin sliver of those firmament-reaching windows. What hasn't been lost is any of the interior space. The upper floors boast two airy new galleries, while a bookshop, print sales room and café have been dug from the ground floor and basement levels. In fact, the climb-down from landmark building to tasteful conversion is no great loss, given the building's move to an unprepossessing corner plot in a back alley south of Oxford Street. The Photographers' Gallery has kept faith in its location, however tricky and inhospitable their new plot on the vaguely insalubrious Ramilies Street might seem. Indeed, the new site maintains the gallery's roots in Soho (just) and will hopefully come to be as embedded here as it was in its former location on Great Newport Street, which, despite its inelegant, warren-like unsuitability for showing great photography, will also live long in the memory.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Users say
4 out of 5 stars
Michael Hoppen Gallery
Art

Michael Hoppen Gallery

Michael Hoppen Gallery, set up in 1993, exhibits exclusively fine art photography. The second floor is dedicated to high quality contemporary work from well known photographers such as Daido Moriyama, through rising stars such as Desiree Dolron to edgier, newly discovered talents. Superbly produced artists' books, some published in house, are available to buy from the gallery.  

Atlas Gallery
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Atlas Gallery

Atlas came of age in nineties Hoxton, when the area was still a scruffy, well-kept hipster secret but is now based in the swankier environs of Marylebone. The gallery specialises primarily in classic and modern twentieth-century vintage photography, photojournalism and fashion, in addition to representing contemporary photographers.

Users say
5 out of 5 stars
V&A Photographs Gallery
Art

V&A Photographs Gallery

An early pioneer in collecting and exhibiting photography, the V&A now boasts a permanent gallery dedicated to the medium. The inaugural exhibition charts the history of the photography with a display of beautiful and remarkable images taken between 1839 and the 1960s. Two further spaces are devoted to exploring the work of key photographic figures such as Julia-Margaret Cameron and Henri-Cartier Bresson. Temporary displays, primarily showcasing contemporary photography, will be shown in the V&A’s existing photographs gallery.

More photography galleries in London

Our favourite photos of London

The 40 best photos of London ever taken
Art

The 40 best photos of London ever taken

A collection of our favourite photographs taken of London from 1839 to 2016

London in pictures
Things to do

London in pictures

Beautiful photography of London in all weathers and seasons

Time Out photography competition 2016

The Winners
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The Winners

Runners-up: Wild
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Runners-up: Wild

Runners-up: Beautiful
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Runners-up: Beautiful

Runners-up: On the Move
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Runners-up: On the Move

Runners-up: Weird and Wonderful
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Runners-up: Weird and Wonderful

Runners-up: Real Londoners
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Runners-up: Real Londoners

Runners-up: Delicious
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Runners-up: Delicious

The 40 best photos of London ever
Art

The 40 best photos of London ever

Explore more of the Time Out art world

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