Portrait of Britain is an annual photography exhibition showcasing the best portraits taken by people throughout the country. The winning photographs, selected from the British Journal of Photography's open-call competition, will be displayed on digital billboard screens nationwide – in train stations, airports, shopping centres and on high streets – and will be seen by over 10 million people.
Now in its third year, the exhibition will re-launch on 1 September 2018 for one month, and for the first time, it will be accompanied by a book. Portrait of Britain is a small, chunky hardback featuring the 200 shortlisted portraits alongside information about each image and selected quotes from the photographers. Together these photographs celebrate the richness and diversity of a vibrant nation at a time of pivotal change.
Today, the final 100 winners have been revealed for 2018. Portraits range from Alexander Fleming’s photography of Roy taking his African Grey Parrot to the beach in Devon for rehabilitation, to Euan Myles’ portrait of Daniel, a Nigerian Marine Biologist now working in Sutherland in the far north of Scotland. Public figures including Will Young and Zandra Rhodes feature in this year's selection, but the majority of the photographs are of everyday people, such as Nick Simpson’s image of The General, who he encountered walking down Holloway Road early one Saturday morning.
Photographer Tom Oldham is used to shooting famous faces for his portrait work, but he turned the camera on his own son for his Portrait of Britain entry. "It’s a much simpler image, closer to home and just a clean shot in beautiful light, taken at dusk at Studland in Dorset. Everything I love in one frame," he says.
"Portrait of Britain is public art on a huge scale – a countrywide exhibition that puts the nation’s citizens centre stage in bustling public spaces, and this year's submissions made it all the more hard to choose the 100 winning photographers," says Simon Bainbridge, Editorial Director of British Journal of Photography.
"In our third year, the portraits will take over Great Britain throughout September, confronting the public with a reflection of themselves as they go about their daily business. Taken from all walks of life, these subjects share the same space, looking back at the public from the screen. The effect is a lingering glance, and witnessed by millions of passersby."