The Portrait Issue returns this September just as The British Journal of Photography launches the return of Portrait of Britain, which will once again appear on digital JCDecaux screens across the country, in partnership with photography giant Nikon. Portraits have a rare capacity to capture a person, family and community in a way that reshapes a narrative or empowers an entire group of people. Each photoseries in this issue manages to shed new light on an individual or group and move beyond stereotypes to find a more honest truth – whether with a Roma group in the south of France, or a working class neighbourhood in The Netherlands.
Portrait of Britain returns for a second year with 100 more images that encapsulate life the length and breadth of the UK. From almost 8,000 entries this year, the final hundred will now be displayed in a digital exhibition across JCDecaux screens in shopping centres and commuter hubs around the country throughout September. In partnership with Nikon, the photography giant, Portrait of Britain aims to show the social and cultural diversity of people in the UK and showcase everyday citizens and unsung heroes in a gallery of the people, by the people, for the people. Simon Bainbridge, Editorial Director at the British Journal of Photography, was excited about the latest portraits for 2017, saying, “Collectively, the portraits celebrate the unique heritage and diversity of modern Britain, as much as its thriving photography culture and the myriad styles and approaches they employ in their work.”
The September issue brings the otherwise invisible into sharp focus. Invisible World explores forgotten conflicts, intimate retreats, abused landscapes and remote islands to uncover the hidden realities and unknown societies behind ordinary backdrops. “As social beings, we all demand to be seen,” says Hoda Afshar, whose latest series, Behold, takes us to an exclusive male-only bathhouse. Her point resonates with all the photoseries explored in this issue: how do we negotiate our surroundings, how do we see our societies, how do we interpret our world? We need to first see the invisible to answer these ever salient questions.
Grinders, which was nominated as a runner-up in this year’s British Journal of Photography Breakthrough Awards, focuses on a community of body hackers who undergo operations to add technology into their body. Like something out of a sci-fi novel, the group hope that slicing their bodies open will enable them to solve mankind’s problems through machine. The combination of man and machine is no longer futuristic fiction.
Studio 1854 will help brands capitalise on over a century and a half of expertise in visual content
photography has the power to unite and create empathy, something that we, as photographers, should see as our obligation to the world,” says Ali Mobasser, who was one of the winners of BJP’s Portrait of Britain project last year. “Exhibiting using major advertising space was a brilliant idea,” he said of the initiative, “replacing its capitalist function with a humanist cause is genius. It’s a bit like secretly replacing someone’s cigarettes with carrot sticks, or opening up the Daily Mail to find the poetry of Rumi.”
” I always feel like I am (metaphorically, and sometimes physically) skipping or hopping around a person waiting for the moment I get something interesting from them, waiting for the moment it goes from being quite ordinary to being something powerful or compelling.” Jo Metson Scott, a winner in BJP’s Portrait of Britain 2016, shares how to capture the perfect moment –
BJP is proud to present the Book Dummy Award, a new competition run in partnership with La Fábrica and Photo London.
The award offers one winner the chance to have his or her book published, in a print run of at least 1000 copies, and have it showcased through La Fabrica’s sales catalogue, presented an exhibited at festivals and fairs such as Photo London 2018 and PHotoESPAÑA 2018, and submitted to the most important photography competitions around the world.
Commissioned to make new work in Barrow by Signal Film & Media, Felicity Hammond created a huge photo-collage installed on a four-metre light box, which is titled In Defence of Industry and emphasises the importance of the nuclear industry in the town. “I wanted to communicate the physical presence of the huge sheds where the submarines are built,” she says. “They dominate the town, almost towering over it.”
“Portrait of Britain is a celebration of photography as much as the country’s people. We want to encourage self-expression, and to show the public the many approaches used by photographers to describe their worlds,” says BJP‘s editorial director Simon Bainbridge. “Portrait of Britain comes at a time of uncertainty and self-examination for the UK. But our exit from the EU provides an opportunity to reflect on our identity and think about our place in the wider world. Portrait of Britain provides a chance to quietly reflect on that through portraits, capturing the unique heritage and diversity of our people, free of a divisive rhetoric of politics.” He’s discussing BJP‘s annual portrait competition, which is open to any photographer with a picture of a person shot in Britain. From the entries, 100 images will be selected for a nationwide public exhibition, showcased on JC Decaux digital screens on the streets and in transport hubs the length and breadth of Britain in September 2017. From casual snapshots and selfies to documentary projects and street photography, BJP takes an open-minded …