Pål Hansen is one of London’s most published photographers. His pictures are seen in many British and international publications on a weekly basis and his work is often seen on the world’s biggest competitions’ shortlists. Pål is mostly recognized for his portrait work but he has also excelled in reportage. He deals with his sitters on an individual basis and works hard to try to expose the true character behind the face. Although Pål is often placed in very difficult locations and has very little time to take a portrait, he prides himself of creating interesting and aesthetically beautiful and dynamic images no matter what the circumstances are. His pictures show a sensitivity and great understanding for his subjects as well as incorporating humor where possible.

Some of Pål’s highlights have been photographing: the Queen of Denmark (smoking a cigarette), Nicole Kidman, Ringo Starr, John Cleese , Forest Whitaker, Javier Bardem and many more celebrities. Also having produced covers for Time Magazine (amongst them an exclusive story on Damien Hirst’s unprecedented sale at the Sotheby’s auction house), Sotheby’s, regular covers for such publications as The Sunday Times Magazine, Observer Magazine and Independent New Review. His Commercial work includes regularly photographing the world famous PETA campaigns.  He has also had great success with his personal work such as his Teenage Parents story which was one of the first stories to show the teenagers in a sympathetic light. Images from this series enjoyed successes from many competitions as well as being used as the main promotional image for The National Portrait Galleries Portrait Award exhibition in 2005.  Pål was also selected to be part of the prestigious World Press Masterclass in 2004.


Below is a selection of some of Pål’s editorial clients (in alphabetical order):

A Magasinet (Norway)

Art Magazin

D2 (Norway)

Dagbladet Magasinet (Norway)

Der Spiegel (Germany)

Die Zeit (Germany)

The Emmys

GQ (British)

Guardian Weekend (Saturday)

Metropolitan (Eurostar)

Observer Magazine (including the monthlies and Review)

Patek Philippe Magazine


Rolls Royce

Sotheby’s Magazine



Sunday Times Magazine


Telegraph Magazine

Time Magazine

Time Out

Total Film Magazine

Vanity Fair

Waitrose Magazine

If you want further details of other publications then please feel free to ask.


Other clients include:

Ann Summers



Headline Publishing

Hodder and Stoughton Publishers

Kelly Hoppen

Knight Frank

Marks & Spencer


Orion Books


Random House Publishing



Simon and Schuster

Sky Arts

Virgin Radio

Vogue (British)






Shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards


Honorable Mention at The International Color Awards


Nominated for The International Color Awards


Nominated for The International Color Awards


Nominated for The International Color Awards


Honourable Mention at The International Color Awards

Short Listed for the AOP Open awards – Danny DeVito

Short Listed for the Host Gallery Summershow awards – Danny DeVito

Nominated for the AOP Open awards – Simon Amstell

Nominated for PhotoPlace Gallery, Uncanny: Surreal Photography

Short Listed for the Host Gallery Summershow awards – “Just Before The Storm”

4th Photographic Masters Cup – Nima Elbagir AND Tilda Swinton AND Indian Boy Cricketer AND Krishna AND “Home”

The Art of Photography Awards – His Excellency Tafida
Honorable Mention

3rd Photography Masters Cup – Jim Cameron AND Break Dancer “Mouse”

2nd Photography Masters Cup – Dax & Suzie, Teenage Parents
Honorable Mention

Association of Photographers Open – Car on Red Carpet

International Color Awards (US) – Dax & Suzie, Teenage Parents
Honorable Mention

Creative Review Photography Annual – James McAvoy
Selected for annual catalogue

Association of Photographers Open – Dax & Suzie, Teenage Parents

The Press Photographer’s Year – Sir Bob Geldof

National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize – Hugo Williams, Poet
Short-listed. Image selected for NPG permanent collection

National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize – Dax & Suzie, Teenage Parents
Short-listed. Image selected for most of the promotion of the competition

The World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, Amsterdam, The Netherlands –
Teenage Parents
1 of 12 people worldwide selected for the world acknowledged scholarship.

National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize – Hussain Al Shahristani AND
Rabbi Gluck and Family

The Observer Hodge award – ‘Foot & Mouth – the human cost’
Runner up

Channel 4’s YR.1 – Ken Livingstone




January 2019

Oslo Galleri, Norway
‘Windrush – Leave to Remain’

August 2015

The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe
‘Comedians, 30 Years of Gilded Balloon’

July 1999

Rafael’s Fu Bar, Nottingham,
‘Sons & Daughters of King David’

2 – 23 July 1998
Casa De Luz, Arles, France ‘Norwegian Landscapes’
In connection with the RIP festival in Arles, France.


28 Jun 2018

Photoworks Freerange – Graham Norton and Decca Aitkenhead

May 2018

Somerset House, London – Sony World Photography Awards
Graham Norton

16 Dec 2011 – 14 Jan 2012
PhotoPlace Gallery, Middlebury, Vermont – Oslo to Utoya
Uncanny: Surreal Photography Competition

13 Oct – 16 Oct 2011
The Dray Walk Gallery – Simon Amstell
AOP Open Awards

29 Aug – 20 Sept 2009
The Lyceum Theatre Gallery, San Diego, USA – His Excellency Tafida
Competition curated by Charlotte Cotton

24 Jan – 24 May 2009
National Portrait Gallery – Hugo Williams, Poet
Faces of Poetry exhibition

Aug 2008
Association of Photographers – Car on Red Carpet
AOP open competition

Aug 2007
Association of Photographers – Dax & Suzie, Teenage Parents
AOP open competition

The National Theatre – Sir Bob Geldof
The Press Photographer’s Year

Nov 2006
National Portrait Gallery – Hugo Williams, Poet
Photographic Portrait Prize. Portrait prize hosted by The National Portrait Gallery, UK

Nov 2005
National Portrait Gallery – Dax & Suzie, Teenage Parents
Photographic Portrait Prize. Portrait prize hosted by The National Portrait Gallery, UK
Aug 2004
Proud Gallery, London – Jewish London
Forum – a group of eight photographers exhibiting together

The World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, Amsterdam, The Netherlands –
Teenage Parents
1 of 12 people worldwide selected for the world acknowledged scholarship.

Nov 2003
National Portrait Gallery – Hussain Al Shahristani and Rabbi Gluck and Family
Photographic Portrait Prize. Portrait prize hosted by The National Portrait Gallery, UK

20 Oct – 17 Nov 2001
Herefordshire Photography Festival, Hereford – ‘Foot & Mouth – the human cost’
One of the UK’s most respected photography festivals

09 Aug – 24 Aug 2001
Proud Gallery, London – ‘Foot & Mouth – the human cost’
Short-listed for the Observer Hodge Awards.

Photographer’s Gallery, London – Ken Livingstone
Short-listed for the Channel 4, YR.1 competition “An image of Britain”

7 Feb 2001
291 Gallery, Hackney, London – Sons & Daughters of King David
Projection of images from the Cuban Rastafarians portraits to support a mixed arts charity festival.

21 Oct – 5 Nov 2000
Focales Festival International, de la Photographie, Dunkerque, France –
‘Sons & Daughters of King David’

1 Sept – 15 Oct 1999
Traveling Exhibition: Brenice / Slovenia, Gallery Famu / Praha, Kino Aero / Praha, FotoKlubb / Zagreb, Maribor University / Slovenia –
‘Sons & Daughters of King David’


Pål Hansen was born in Stavanger, Norway in 1972 to an English mother and a Norwegian father. Having spent his first three years in the west of Norway, Pål and his family moved to Asker, a small place outside Oslo. This is where Pål spent all his younger years apart from a year in Cuba as a three year old, a year in the USA as a 10 year old and a year in England as a 15 year old.

At the age of 21 (1993) Pål was enlisted into the Norwegian army as a part of the national service. Instead of just doing one year as a soldier Pål applied and went through the vigorous training to become a sergeant. He was successful and after 6 months training in the South of Norway, Pål was placed north of the Arctic Circle where he served six months as a corporal and a year as a sergeant. Pål’s third and final year was spent as a second lieutenant acting up in a Captains role, in the Norwegian NATO Battalion Telemark Battalion”.

It was during Pål’s last year in the NATO battalion that he found a great interest in photography. Pål started taking pictures of army life as well as general landscapes when he was on his leave of absence. Together with a Norwegian teacher of photography, Pål managed to put together a collection of work and applied to universities in England and Wales.

Pål was accepted into the universities Gwent, Kent and (Nottingham) Trent. After having visited the three universities he accepted the place in Nottingham Trent on the basis that he could smell photography chemicals as soon as he walked in the door – and therefore knew that it had to be the right place.



Nov 2004 The World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jun 2000 – Jun 2001 Internship at Independent Photographers’ Group

Dec 1998 – Apr 1999 Final year project in Havana, Cuba (Cuban Rastafarians)

Feb 1998 – June 1998 Exchange with L’ecole National de Photographie, Arles, France

Sept 1996 – Jul 1999 BA (Hons) Nottingham Trent University, England