Would you want Martin Parr to take your portrait? You might say its a brave soul who goes in front of his penetrating lens, but it’s part of a portfolio of benefits the Martin Parr Foundation is launching in its Membership Scheme.
Parr set up the Bristol-based Foundation in 2014 to house his archive, but in October 2017 it opened to the public in a purpose-built space, offering free access to much more – a rolling programme of exhibitions, a large photobook library, and a growing collection of prints. Parr’s used the opportunity to hone in on British and Irish photographers, as well as work taken in the British Isles by others, and put the focus on their documentary work – an area which he believes is still underrated.
For over four decades, the documentary photography course has forged a reputation as one of the UK’s leading photography teaching destinations. In fact, the very first photography class can be dated back even further to 1912, when it was introduced by the head of the school of art at Newport Technical Institute. The course, however, was set up in 1973 by Magnum photographer David Hurn as a 12-month Training Opportunities Scheme to ‘re-skill’ miners and steelworkers.
Portrait of Britain is inviting photographers to submit images that reflect the unique heritage and diversity of our country and show the face of modern Britain. 100 winning portraits will be selected for a public exhibition showcased nationwide in September 2016. We’re asking portrait photographers what goes into making the perfect portrait – this week we hear from Wales-based photographer Clémentine Schneidermann. In your view, what makes a compelling portrait? It is a fine combination between the subject, the light, the colours, the framing, the tension and the distance between the photographer and the model. It has to be perfect without looking perfect. What attracts you to a potential subject? The personality of the subject – how does this person stands out from the crowd. I find my inspiration in the everyday life, I don’t work with professional models. I pay a lot of attention to the clothes, the efforts people make to stand out and take care of themselves. I am interested in the fragility and the vulnerability [of the subject]. What makes you turn to …