All posts filed under: Portrait of Britain

There should be more dark-skinned models and self-love in the fashion industry

Thomas Morgan’ winning portrait is of Malick Darbo, a young model just starting out in the industry. The aim for the image and wider series was to highlight the beauty of dark skin, which has been underrepresented in the fashion industry for many years. Thomas maintains a particular interest in fashion photography. Since being given his first DSLR camera on his 17th birthday, he has spent time curating shoots with his family and friends. In 2016, he arranged a shoot with a friend he thought could be a model. Off the back of those images, his friend got signed to a modelling agency, and Thomas was invited to test shoot and build up portfolios for new models, giving him room to experiment with style and technique. Being selected as our People’s Choice Weekly Winner is the first public recognition Thomas has received for his work. Can you tell me about the portrait you entered into Portrait of Britain 2018? What is the story behind it? For a while I have wanted to do a series …

2018-07-23T12:02:08+00:00

My portrait records something more potent than all the selfies that clog up my sister’s iPhone

Josh Adam Jones is a Photography student at UWE in Bristol. Last year, his ongoing series, ‘99 Peace Walls’, was published on BJP. The project was made up of portraits of young people living in Belfast, a city that is still healing its old political and religious wounds. Josh’s interest in social documentary has developed in his last two years of studying. His People’s Choice portrait of his younger sister was taken as a test for an upcoming trip to Muscat, Oman, where Josh will be shooting expatriate communities. Josh has always considered community and family dynamics when shooting, and the portrait of his sister reflects both his pride in her, and a sibling spat; his sister Leah hates the portrait. Can you tell me about the portrait you entered into Portrait of Britain 2018? What is the story behind it? I entered a number of portraits into Portrait of Britain this year – a selection of stand alone images as well as work from my ongoing series ‘99 Peace Walls’, which was published on …

2018-07-23T12:01:36+00:00

Harry Flook on shooting a compelling portrait

Harry Flook is a Bristol-based writer and photographer, whose photographic work is rooted in his personal experiences. Having left his own religious faith, he embarked on ‘Apostate’, a project photographing those who had done the same, and he stumbled across a vast community of ex-religious individuals while doing so. Making this work then culminated in another project, ‘Beyond What is Written’, set in the heart of ‘bible belt’ America and addressing the subject from a different perspective. Both series explore the concept of community outside religion, for people whose sense of community was once constructed by the religious groups they were a part of. Harry entered a portrait from ‘Apostate’ into Portrait of Britain last year, and it was displayed across the country as part of our nationwide exhibition. We spoke to Harry about the value of awkwardness, choosing the perfect subject, and creating a compelling portrait. How did you create your selected portrait, and what was the story behind it? This portrait was shot as a test for a project I’m still working on, …

2018-07-23T12:04:13+00:00

Lauren Forster on her Portrait of Britain People’s Choice portrait

Lauren Forster is a photographer and lecturer in Lens Based Media at The Arts University Bournemouth. Her work addresses sociological issues and the human condition. Many of her projects have maintained a particular focus on religion, illness and disability. Her most personal series, ‘Ground Control to Mother Hen’, documents family life since her mother’s secondary brain cancer diagnosis in 2016, which has now been rendered inoperable. The series captures strength and fragility during dark moments of pain, struggle and loneliness. The resulting images offer an intimate insight into this period of loss and transition. Forster’s portrait was selected by BJP’s editorial team as one of their favourite weekly Portrait of Britain entries. It was then voted as the People’s Choice favourite by Facebook users, becoming our first weekly winner. The portrait depicts Forster’s father in his Salvation Army uniform. Since his wife’s diagnosis, he has given up his life’s work serving as a missionary in Africa to care for her in the UK. This portrait reunites him with the sense of purpose and identity that …

2018-07-23T12:04:51+00:00

A Portrait of Britain: I wanted to give a face to the girl I was and the girls who are

Carolyn Mendelsohn is a portrait photographer and filmmaker based in the UK. Her most recognisable body of work, Being Inbetween, is a continually evolving series of portraits of girls aged between ten and twelve. The work arises from Mendelsohn’s own memories of this age, and the desire to give a voice to this undefinable age-group. Using short interviews and powerful portraits, Mendelsohn reveals each of the girls’ identities, telling us stories about the young women of tomorrow. Mendelsohn describes the series as partly collaborative; she lets her subjects choose how they are represented, from picking their outfits to how they should stand. Her selected photograph for Portrait of Britain 2017 depicts 10-year-old Alice, who stares indomitably into the camera, evoking a classical painting. The image is an account of female strength and its many forms. How did you create your selected portrait, and what was the story behind it? The portrait of Alice is from my long-term project Being Inbetween. Before the sitting, Alice had filled out and returned a simple form with questions about her …

2018-04-03T16:55:29+00:00

I like to keep my subjects in continuous movement and direction: Rory Lewis on creating a compelling portrait

Rory Lewis is an acclaimed portrait photographer who has worked with a wide range of subjects, from British army generals to famous actors such as Sir Patrick Stewart, William Shatner and Sir Ian McKellan. After embarking on a mammoth project with the British Army in 2016, Lewis entered a photograph from the resulting series, ‘Soldiery’, into Portrait of Britain. The selected portrait of Captain Anani-Isaacs was chosen as a symbol of the modernity and diversity of the new British army. Lewis has since taken the project to new heights, and is now working with Italian army regiments to produce similarly styled photographs that draw inspiration from Napoleonic era artists. While Lewis is still inspired by art rather than photography, his new series ‘Portraitist’ is a sharp turn from the static portraiture of ‘Soldiery’; it dramatically depicts celebrities in the style of Caravaggio. He is hoping to extend ‘Portraitist’ by using groups of actors to create scenes reminiscent of Renaissance art. Lewis believes that the key to good portraiture is being bold and taking risks with …

2018-04-03T16:31:35+00:00

Rosie Matheson on how being selected for Portrait of Britain 2016 has helped shape her career

London-based photographer Rosie Matheson has worked on a number of editorial projects for clients such as Nike, Adidas and The Financial Times, whilst evolving her own self-initiated projects. Her most recognisable series, Boys, celebrates the diverse and vulnerable beauty of young men. In 2016, she entered one of the photographs from the series, Elliot, into Portrait of Britain, and the image instantly became an iconic marker of British inner-city youth. Since her great achievement for Portrait of Britain 2016, her work has gone from strength to strength. She has begun a new project in LA, whilst also working towards releasing Boys as a book. Rosie has been featured in several publications, including Dazed, i-D and The Culture Trip, garnering national attention with her intimate, documentary-style portraits of young men and women across the world. Can you tell me about the photograph you entered into Portrait of Britain in 2016? I was first made aware of the subject of the photograph, Elliott, through a mutual friend. At this time, around December 2015, Elliott was spending most …

2018-04-04T13:45:26+00:00

British Journal of Photography is calling all photographers to enter Portrait of Britain 2018

View our gallery of last year’s winning portraits for inspiration here. BJP welcomes entries for the third edition of Portrait of Britain, the UK’s biggest public art exhibition “I was thrilled to be chosen as one of the photographers showing in Portrait of Britain,” says 2017 winner Brock Elbank, “I love the idea of the gallery being in a public space, and part of my portrait practice has always been to champion the complexities and beauty found in ‘ordinary’ people and everyday life.” Portrait of Britain is an exhibition by the people, for the people. Each year, 100 winning photographs are exhibited on JCDecaux screens nationwide, which appear on high streets and roadsides, and in transport hubs. The accessibility of the exhibition goes hand in hand with its subject matter – as much a celebration of our country’s people as it is of photography, Portrait of Britain aims to reflect the many faces of modern Britain, and to show the unique culture and diversity of its people. From casual snapshots and selfies to images from …

2018-04-04T13:51:09+00:00

BJP Staff