London based photographer Jillian Edelstein began working as a press photographer in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1985 she attended the London College of Printing after graduating from The University of Cape Town with a B.Soc.Sc (Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology and Social Work). Her portraits have appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The FT Weekend Magazine, Vanity Fair, and Interview, L’Uomo Vogue, Port, The Guardian Weekend, The Sunday Times Magazine, Time Magazine, Fortune, Elle, W Magazine, GQ and Esquire.
In the run up to the Olympics 2012 Edelstein was commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery and BT to produce a series of 17 portraits of those working to make the Olympic and Paralympic Games happen. The Road to 2012:Aiming High was opened by the Duchess of Cambridge at the start of the Games.
Clients include Oxfam, FXB International, Unicef, Save the Children Fund, Tesco, Nespresso, Marshall Bergman, Sony, National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, Aviva, Macmillian, Breast Cancer Awareness, The Times, BBC, Comic Relief and Fish Love.
Her photographs have been exhibited internationally at venues including the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery, Tom Blau Gallery, The Royal Academy, OXO Gallery in London, Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles, France, Bensusan Museum, Johannesburg, Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, South Africa and Dali International Photography Festival, Yunnan Province, China.
She has received several awards including the Kodak UK Young Photographer of the Year, Photographers’ Gallery Portrait Photographer of the Year Award 1990, the Visa d’Or at the International Festival of Photojournalism in Perpignan in 1997, the European Final Art Polaroid Award in 1999, the John Kobal Book Award 2003 and was included in The Taylor Wessing Portrait Award in 2014, the AI-AP Archive in 2008 and 2015. A winner in Latin American Fotografia 4 2015, she has been included in World Press Awards twice.
She judged the World Press Awards 2014, and the Taylor Wessing Awards in 2010. Between 1996 and 2002 she returned to South Africa frequently to document the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Her award winning book Truth and Lies, shot in large format was published by Granta, the New Press and Mail and Guardian in 2002. She is currently working on several photographic projects including a film documentary about the screenwriter Norman Wexler.