These are the poignant images that will feature in a new book and a nationwide exhibition that ‘celebrate the many faces of modern Britain’.
They are all winning and shortlisted entries in ‘Portrait of Britain’ – an exhibition where portrait photos are displayed on screens in shopping centres, railway stations and on high streets all over the UK. The exhibition, now in its fifth year, is run by the British Journal of Photography and 1854 Media.
Judges whittled down this year’s entries to 200 shortlisted images, which will all be printed in a book published in October by Hoxton Mini Press, simply called Portrait of Britain, Vol 3.
This batch has been reduced further to 100 winning images, which will be displayed across JCDecaux’s network of digital screens across the country throughout September.
The judges said: ‘From ballerinas and Black Lives Matter protesters to carers and karate teams — lovers and lifeboat crew to bell-ringers and brides — the fifth-anniversary edition of Portrait of Britain sews a rich tapestry of our nation’s people in all their vigour and diversity.’
Scroll down to see some of the intriguing winning and shortlisted images…
Thomas Griffiths is the photographer behind this winning shot, which shows Peter and Joyce sitting in the street in East Leake, Leicestershire. Thomas explained: ‘I was walking around my village on VE Day to see all the socially distanced celebrations and I met Peter and Joyce after noticing their decorations and matching outfits’
Captain Sir Tom Moore salutes for the camera in a charming winning image taken by photographer Andrew Testa in Bedfordshire. Andrew explained: ‘I photographed Captain Tom in May after he had completed 100 laps of the patio area by his house and celebrated his 100th birthday. It was at the height of the pandemic so I was fully kitted out in a mask and gloves and under strict instructions to keep a good distance. He posed by the house, walked a lap of the patio, and finally, as we neared the end of the shoot, he stood and saluted’
On the left is a winning portrait by Slater King showing a medic in full PPE at a London hospital at the height of the coronavirus pandemic. Pictured right is nurse Rehan Mosafeer, who works in Nottingham. The winning portrait was snapped by Byron Hamzah, who said: ‘I have known Rehan since my early days of training as a junior doctor. Born in Mauritius, Rehan moved to England in 1973 to further her training as a nurse, and for the past 33 years she has served as a maternal, reassuring figure to thousands of patients who come to our radiology department’
The subject of this amazing winning portrait is Ellie, a member of Culture Device – a group of dancers, performers and artists with Down’s Syndrome in London. The image was taken by Evelyn Becicnova, who explained: ‘The artists do not wish to hide their medical condition, nor do they want to be defined by it’
Photographer Charlie Forgham-Bailey is behind this winning portrait of Bella, a 17-year-old conservationist. Charlie, who snapped the image in London, said: ‘She is working on a documentary with Dame Jane Goodall, acting as an ambassador for the Born Free Foundation and encouraging people to protect the natural world’
One the left is an image by Sophie Harris-Taylor, who had been carrying out a photoshoot about breastfeeding with Chaneen and her two children Jasmine and Ocean in London when she captured this winning candid scene. Sophie said: ‘There was something so beautiful about seeing the interaction between Chaneen and her two children – the purity of their relationship was captivating.’ On the right is Keemel from Leeds, who is the subject of this winning lockdown portrait taken by photographer Paul Craig. Paul said: ‘The contrast of the clinical mask against Kemeel’s outfit looked to me like some sort of battle uniform. It really stirred up the surrealness of the situation we are currently living in’
This fascinating winning portrait was taken by Julia Fullerton-Batten and shows Ann from London on day 74 of lockdown. Ann told Julia: ‘We have learned that most of our neighbours are sensible and helpful. The Thursday clapping ritual has been as important for fostering community spirit and for appreciating essential workers’
Hugh Fox snapped this sweet winning portrait of little girl Suki at her grandmother’s home in Bexhill, East Sussex. Hugh said: ‘Suki had taken herself upstairs at Grandma’s house and was suspiciously quiet for a long time. I called up to find out what she was up to and after no reply I searched the rooms until I found her pretending to meditate. I asked Suki for her thoughts about the picture and her response was ‘popcorn love hairy dove’
On the left is a winning portrait taken by Raphael Neal, who simply called the image ‘Girl in Herne Hill, London’. On the right is a winning portrait William Michell, from Truro in Cornwall, took this photo of his mother Jane, a matron. He said: ‘I took this portrait after a 12-hour shift. I think it embodies how a lot of nurses feel: exhausted and tired, yet having to maintain a strong image to reassure others’
Sam Gregg captured this charming winning scene in Margate. He explained: ‘I was sitting inside a cafe when I spotted this pair and I raced through traffic to take a photo. I asked the man to stay in position for a couple more frames and then he was on his way. Just another day in a typically eccentric British seaside town’
On the left is a shortlisted portrait taken in Brighton by Justine Desmond. The subject of the portrait is Francesca. Justine said: ‘I noticed Francesca while walking during lockdown and sensed a carefree, fun-loving attitude. She was in the company of her two ex-husbands who sat close by as she reeled off lots of funny stories.’ On the right is a portrait of Noah, which was snapped by photographer Polly Alderton in Colchester, Essex
The subjects of this shortlisted image are Jane and Milan, who were snapped by photographer Michelle Sank in Exeter. Michelle said: ‘I met Jane and her daughter Milan on one of my daily walks during lockdown. Milan has epilepsy and was still going to her school despite the fact that most other schools were closed. This enabled her mother to be at home and continue her own studies’
On the left is a self-portrait by Kristina Varasinka, from London, which is a shortlisted image. She said: ‘By the end of the second month of lockdown I decided to shave my hair off. This self-portrait is a part of an ongoing series that reflects on female related issues: self image, struggling to fit in, staying strong and persevering in a male-centered society.’ Pictured right is a shortlisted image by Olivier Richomme, which he shot in Leeds
This shortlisted image was snapped by Sarah Burton and it shows Eshita, from Buckinghamshire, with her sister and friends getting ready on the morning of her wedding. Eshita told Sarah: ‘This was the morning of my wedding day with my sister and childhood friends as I got ready for Haldi, a purifying ritual ahead of our Hindu ceremony. I was feeling overwhelmed and wanted some time and space. This was the perfect moment of reassurance’
The shortlist of 200 images will all be printed in a book published by Hoxton Mini Press, simply called Portrait of Britain, Vol 3
- To see all of the shortlisted and winning images, click here.