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 shortlists of the worlds biggest competitions. Pål is mostly recognised for his portrait work but he has also excelled in reportage. He works closely with his sitters to expose the true character behind the face.

The nature of editorial and portrait photography puts the photographer in very difficult locations and with little time to take a portrait. Pål prides himself on creating interesting, dynamic and aesthetically beautiful images no matter what the circumstances are. His pictures show sensitivity and a great understanding of his subjects as well as incorporating humour where possible.

Some of Pål's highlights have been photographing: the Queen of Denmark (smoking a cigarette), Nicole Kidman, Kanye West, Ringo Starr, Forest Whitaker, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz and many more. He has also enjoyed producing covers for TIME Magazine, Sotheby's, Observer Magazine, Guardian Weekend, Sunday Times Magazine, Patek Phillipe Magazine and Emmy Magazine.


Pål Hansen
+44 (0) 7974642556


UK Agent:

Twenty Twenty

Frede Spencer
First Floor
32 Kingsland Road
London E2 8DA
t +44 (0)20 7613 1303
m+44 (0)796 896 2207


Commercially he has worked for AUDI, Virgin Radio, Vodafone, BA, Tesco, EBAY, The National Theatre, Glenlivet, PETA, Schwartz, MENG, Billington's, SHH, Goddard and Littlefair and more.

He has also enjoys great success with his personal bodies of work, such as "Teenage Parents", "Christiania", "24 Hours in Brooklyn", "Under the Arches" and "Windrush - Leave to Remain".

Pål has regularly been a selected as exhibitor for the National Portrait Gallery's Taylor-Wessing Award. He has had several of honourable mentions and nominations from Colour Awards, and shortlisted by Sony World Photography Awards and many other international awards. Pål was also selected to be part of the prestigious World Press Masterclass in 2004 and had his images used as the main promotional image for The National Portrait Gallery's Portrait Award exhibition in 2005.


Pål's editorial clients include:

  • The Emmys

  • Rolls Royce

  • Vogue (British)

  • Vanity Fair

  • GQ (British)


Commercial Clients include:

  • TIME Magazine

  • The Observer Magazines

  • The Guardian Weekend Magazine

  • Die Zeit (Germany)

  • Der Spiegel (Germany)

  • Stern

  • Tatler

  • Quarterly

  • Patek Phillippe Magazine

  • Total Film Magazine

  • Sotheby’s Magazine

  • The Sunday Times Magazines

  • The Telegraph Magazines

  • Event Magazine

  • Waitrose Magazine

  • ES Magazine

  • AUDI

  • VIrgin Media

  • British Airways

  • Ogilvy

  • Vodafone

  • EBAY

  • Tescos

  • BBH

  • MENG

  • Sky Arts

  • The National Theatre

  • Brita

  • PETA

  • Schwartz

  • Glenlivet

  • Kelly Hoppen

  • Hodder and

  • Billington’s

  • Headline Publishing

  • Orion Books

  • Random House


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 his younger years apart from a year in Cuba as a 3-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, Pål was enlisted into the Norwegian army as part on  National Service. Instead of doing a single years service as a soldier Pål applied to become a Sargeant. After rigorous training, Pål was successful and after 6 months training in southern Norway, was placed north of the Arctic Circle where he served for 6 months as a Corporal and a year as a Sargeant. Pål's third and final year was spent as Second Lieutenant acting as Captain in the Norwegian NATO Telemark Battalion.

During Pål's last year in the NATO Battalion, he found a great interest in photography. Pål started taking pictures of Army life as well as Landscapes when on 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 universities in Gwent, Kent and Nottingham Trent. After having visited the universities, he accepted a place at Nottingham Trent on the basis that he could smell photography chemicals as soon as he walked in the door, and therefore knew that is had to be the right place. 

Pål now lives in Hackney, London with his wife and two sons. 

Selected Awards:
Competitions and Scholarships:


Honorable mention at the International Photography Awards - “Windrush, Leave to Remain”

Shortlisted for the Sony World Photography Awards - “Graham Norton”
Honourable mention at The International Colour Awards - “Graham Norton”

2017, 2016, 2015, 2013
The International Colour Awards -

Honorable Mention “Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer”

Honorable Mention “Nadiya Hussain”

Nominated “Boy George”

Honorable Mention “Danny DeVito”

Nominated “Getting Ready for Work”

Nominated “Marc Quinn”

Nominated ”Kim Noble”

Nominated “The Gorillaz”

Nominated “David Bailey”

Nominated “Home”

Nominated “Krishna”

Nominated “Indian Boy Cricketer”

Nominated “Nima Elbagir”

Nominated “Tilda Swinton”

Nominated “Dog Concierge, Jim Cameron”

Nominated “Breakdancer Mouse”

Honorable Mention “Dax & Susie - Teenage Parents”

Shortlisted for the AOP Open Awards - "Danny DeVito"
Shortlisted for the Host Gallery Summer Show Awards - "Danny DeVito"

Nominated for the OP Open Awards - "Simon Amstell"
Nominated for PhotoPalace Gallery, Uncanny: Surreal Photography - “Oslo to Utøya”

Shortlisted for the Host Gallery Summer Show Awards - "Just before the Storm"

Honourable mention at The Art Photography Awards - "His Excellency Tafida"

Shortlisted at the Association of Photographers Open - "Car on Red Carpet"

Honourable mention at the International Colour Awards - "Dax & Susie", Teenage Parents
Selected for the Annual Catalogue at the Creative Review Photography Annual - "James McAvoy"
Shortlisted at the Association of Photographers Open - "Dax & Susie", Teenage Parents

Shortlisted at The Press Photographer's Year - "Sir Bob Geldof"
Shortlisted for the National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize - “Hugo Williams, Poet”
- Image selected for NPG Permanent Collection.

Shortlisted at the National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize - "Dax & Susie", Teenage Parents.
- Image selected for the promotion of the competition.

Selected for the World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, Amsterdam, Netherlands - "Teenage Parents"

Shortlisted at the National Portrait Gallery Portrait Prize - "Hussain Al Shahristani" & "Rabbi Gluck and Family"

Runner Up at The Observer Hodge Award - "Foot and Mouth - The Human Cost"

Solo Exhibitions:

January 2019
Olso Galleri, Norway - "Windrush - Leave to Remain"

July 1999
Rafael's Fu Bar, Nottingham - "Sons & Daughters of King David"

Group Exhibitions:
June 2018
Photoworks Freerange - "Graham Norton" & "Decca Aitkenhead"

December 2011
Uncanny: Surreal Photography Competition - PhotoPlace Gallery, Vermont - "Oslo to Utoya"

August 2009
Competition curated by Charlotte Cotton - The Lyceum Theatre, SD, USA - "His Excellency Tafida"

August 2008
Association of Photographers AOP Open Competition - "Car on Red Carpet"

The Press Photographers Year at The National Theatre - "Sir Bob Geldof"

November 2005
Photographic Portrait Prize hosted by The National Portrait Gallery - "Dax & Susie" - Teenage Parents

November 2003
Photographic Portrait Prize hosted by The National Portrait Gallery - "Hussain Al Shahristani" & "Rabbi Gluck and Family"

August 2001
Proud Gallery, London - "Foot and Mouth - The Human Cost"
- Shortlisted for the Observer Hodge Awards

February 2001
291 Gallery, London - "Sons & Daughters of King David"

September 1999
Travelling Exhibition - Brenice, Slovenia / Gallery Famu, Praha /
Kino Aero, Praha / FotoKlubb, Zagreb / Maribor University, Slovenia -
"Sons & Daughters of King David"

August 2015
The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh Fringe - "Comedians, 30 Years fo The Gilded Balloon"

July 1998
Casa de Luz, Arles, France - "Norwegian Landscapes"
In connection with the RIP Festival in Arles, France.

May 2018
SONY World Photography Awards - Somerset House, London - "Graham Norton"

October 2011
AOP Open Awards - The Dray Walk Gallery - "Simon Amstell"

January 2009
Faces of Poetry exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery - "Hugo Williams, Poet"

August 2007
Association of Photographers AOP Open Competition - "Dax & Susie" - Teenage Parents

November 2006
Photographic Portrait Prize hosted by The National Portrait Gallery - "Hugo Williams, Poet"

August 2004
Proud Gallery, London - "Jewish London"

October 2001
Herefordshire Photography Festival, Hereford - "Foot and Mouth - The Human Cost"

The Photographers Gallery, London - "Ken Livingstone"
- Shortlisted for the Channel 4 YR.1 competition "An Image of Britain"

October 2000
Focales Festival International de la Photographie, Dunkerque, France - "Sons & Daughters of King David"

November 2004

The World Press Joop Swart Masterclass, Amsterdam, Netherlands

June 2000
Internship at Independent Photographers Group

December 1998
Final year project in Havana, Cuba - "Cuban Rastafarians"

February 1998
Exchange with L'ecloe National de Photographie, Arles, France

September 1996
BA Hons, Nottingham Trent University, UK