Fiercely independent, Tom Johnson left school at 17 and dropped out of college, before setting up his own studio and carving out a career for himself in fashion photography. He’s now shooting for titles such as AnOther, SSAW, Buffalo Zine and Man About Town, as well as campaigns for Opening Ceremony and Faye Toogood, and is represented by Mini Title – whose founder first saw his work in BJP.
“As a photographer, you are basically only able to create an image of how you see someone rather than maybe what is really there,” says Jenny Lewis, whose portraiture has been published in two books, and whose work was selected for the inaugural Portrait of Britain show
This fascination with the familiar isn’t a new phenomenon, says Phillip Prodger, head of photographs at the National Portrait Gallery and a former judge of the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. “We live in a world of the free exchange of imagery and social media and perhaps the photographs that once were considered more private aren’t considered so private anymore. I think people have been making those photographs all along but perhaps not sharing them in that way.”
” 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 –
“Taking someone’s portrait is always a disruptive and often very awkward event. Everyone has their default portrait pose. The role of the photographer is to push beyond, to find that mysterious intimate moment that only a camera can freeze.”
“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 …
Apptitude Media won two prizes yesterday at the 2016 Professional Publishers Association (PPA)’s Independent Publishers’ Awards.
Bainbridge appeared on BBC Radio London to talk about the 100 selected portraits for the nationwide public exhibition Portrait of Britain, showcased on JCDecaux digital screens across the UK now. He was joined by photographers to discuss the significance of their portrait shots within the context of modern Britain. Visible on the nation’s high streets, roadsides and in transport hubs across the length and breadth of the country throughout September 2016, the exhibition will be seen by an audience of millions. “When public art works really well it has an engagement with its surroundings and local population. That’s what we want to do with Portrait of Britain. “If you genuinely want your work to be seen by the public and not just a bunch of gallerists and publishers in a metropolitan city, this is a unique opportunity to get it out to an extraordinary amount of people,” said Bainbridge, Editor of British Journal of Photography. Listen to the interview here:
The BJP team envisaged an exhibition by the people, of the people and for the people. Now, in our new portraiture issue, we reveal the selected images which, for the month of September, will be displayed nationwide on JCDecaux digital screens in an unprecedented outdoor exhibition examining the face of modern Britain. Of nearly 4000 entries, we have selected the portraits that capture the young and the old, reflecting not just the multiformity of British people, but also the myriad of styles and approaches to contemporary photographic portraiture. Simon Bainbridge, editor of BJP, says of the exhibition: “We hope that, collectively, the 100 selected portraits would present an alternative to the mainstream rhetoric, and that, taken on their own, they would add some nuance to the picture of who we are as a country, and celebrate our unique heritage and diversity.” We’ve now launched a limited edition, museum quality print sale for almost all of the Portrait of Britain images. Many of the photographs are available to buy, priced from £75 for an A4 print …
We asked you to show us the modern face of Britain. And while much has happened in the six months since that might challenge our long-held notions about our national identity, the 100 portraits chosen provide a reflection on who we really are, away from the rhetoric of politics and the discourse of division. Envisaged as an exhibition by the people, of the people and for the people, Portrait of Britain was initiated as an open call for photographs that celebrate this country’s unique heritage and diversity. Selected from nearly 4000 entries, the winning portraits capture young and old, reflecting not just the multiformity of British people, but also the myriad of styles and approaches to contemporary photographic portraiture. There is formality and craft in photographs such as Phil Sharp’s profile view of musicians and producer Dave Okumu, which features on our cover. Others are more casual, a moment observed and captured, like Celia Topping’s photograph of her son meeting his newborn brother for the first time. There are portraits that directly refer to the many nuances …