London-based photographer Jillian Edelstein began working as a press photographer in Johannesburg, South Africa. In 1985 she attended the London College of Printing (London College of Communications). Her portraits have appeared in many publications including The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Financial Times Weekend Magazine, Vanity Fair, The Sunday Times Magazine and Interview.
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 2015 and 2016, a finalist in the LensCulture Portrait Awards 2017, she has also been included in World Press Awards twice.
She has 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.
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 the Paralympic Games happen. At the start of the Games, The Road to 2012: Aiming High was opened by the Duchess of Cambridge. Her photographs have been exhibited internationally at venues including the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers' Gallery, The Royal Academy, the OXO Gallery, Tom Blau Gallery in London, the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles, France, the Bensusan Museum,Johannesburg, Robben Island Museum in Cape Town, South Africa and Dali International Photography Festival, Yunnan Province, China.
She is currently working on several photographic projects including a film documentary about the screenwriter Norman Wexler.