The shortlist and 100 winners have been announced for this year's Portrait of Britain

Kennington’s Eton scholar, London © Tristan Bejawn. "Sharp, well spoken and easy-going, Joshua attended a state school before earning a place at Eton College on a full scholarship. He has since been offered a place at the University of Cambridge."

What does Britain look like today? The Portrait of Britain gives us a fascinating insight into this ever-changing nation.

Now in its fourth year, it is the largest competition and exhibition of contemporary portrait photography ever held. And it has just announced the shortlist and 100 winners for 2019.

Organised by the British Journal of Photography, it follows an open call by the magazine earlier this year, when thousands of portraits were submitted and judges had the mammoth task of selecting 200 shortlisted images – all of which are to be printed in the Portrait of Britain Book Vol.2, published by Hoxton Mini Press, and released on 5 September.

This year, the winning images range from Max Miechowski’s portrait of a young couple salsa dancing in Burgess Park in London to Shaun Ryder glaring at the camera for his portrait by Theo McInnes. Some are chance encounters, some are staged for the camera, but all are arresting in their portrayal of the British people. Some, like Sirli Raitma’s portrait of her mother, also have a healing quality. Raitma started taking pictures of her mother to help her combat depression after moving to London widowed and suffering from epilepsy, and the portraits have helped combat this and boosted her confidence.

"With the return of Portrait of Britain, the question of national identity has never seemed so loaded," says Simon Bainbridge, editorial director of British Journal of Photography. "Facing a divided nation, Portrait of Britain aims to frame these questions of identity differently, looking at who we are as a nation of individuals, apart from the politics of division. From Brighton to Glasgow, in train stations and shopping centres, the photographs come into view like an encounter with a stranger in the street. Collectively, they question the binary narrative we are constantly fed."

The winning images will be displayed as part of the Portrait of Britain exhibition from 2 September, to be viewed across the country for one month. The book, published by Hoxton Mini Press, will be launched on 5 September.

Eha, London © Sirli Raitma. "Originally from Estonia, my mother Eha moved to London to live with me in 2015. Widowed, suffering from epilepsy and lacking command of the English language, she began to suffer from depression. I suggested making some pictures together, and what started as a bit of fun has become something of a tonic. My mother is more confident now and engages more readily in conversation with strangers."

Eha, London © Sirli Raitma. "Originally from Estonia, my mother Eha moved to London to live with me in 2015. Widowed, suffering from epilepsy and lacking command of the English language, she began to suffer from depression. I suggested making some pictures together, and what started as a bit of fun has become something of a tonic. My mother is more confident now and engages more readily in conversation with strangers."

Snuggle, London © Scott Hamilton. "I met Alex in late 2015 and fell in love with him very quickly. He is one of the kindest, most loving people I have ever met."

Snuggle, London © Scott Hamilton. "I met Alex in late 2015 and fell in love with him very quickly. He is one of the kindest, most loving people I have ever met."

Muna, London © Anna Brooks. "Muna is an entrepreneur and mum of two from Somalia. With support from The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, she is preparing to launch her new business, a cleaning service that provides stable employment for disadvantaged women and refugees."

Muna, London © Anna Brooks. "Muna is an entrepreneur and mum of two from Somalia. With support from The Entrepreneurial Refugee Network, she is preparing to launch her new business, a cleaning service that provides stable employment for disadvantaged women and refugees."

Mabel, London © Dan Sully. "My beautiful daughter, Mabel, at seven months. I usually encourage her to smile when I take photos of her but this time I captured her natural, quizzical look."

Mabel, London © Dan Sully. "My beautiful daughter, Mabel, at seven months. I usually encourage her to smile when I take photos of her but this time I captured her natural, quizzical look."

Jender on the DLR, London © Jender Anomie. "My ex-girlfriend and I used to make portraits together to document our life. I remember feeling particularly rough this day because I hadn’t been able to style my hair or put on a face. Even so, it’s still me, just without any of the usual trimmings."

Jender on the DLR, London © Jender Anomie. "My ex-girlfriend and I used to make portraits together to document our life. I remember feeling particularly rough this day because I hadn’t been able to style my hair or put on a face. Even so, it’s still me, just without any of the usual trimmings."

Dealing with Distance, London © Renee Osubu. "Nicholas and Michael are identical twins who share life’s highs and lows. They have experienced distance for the first time as one is attending university out of London while the other pursues a career in the capital. Meeting the brothers has opened my mind to the importance of companionship among men."

Dealing with Distance, London © Renee Osubu. "Nicholas and Michael are identical twins who share life’s highs and lows. They have experienced distance for the first time as one is attending university out of London while the other pursues a career in the capital. Meeting the brothers has opened my mind to the importance of companionship among men."

Shaun Ryder, Salford, Greater Manchester © Theo McInnes. "Former lead singer of the Happy Mondays and UFO aficionado Shaun Ryder has had a pretty extreme life. We interviewed him for a magazine and barely talked about music; we mostly spoke about UFOs and drugs."

Shaun Ryder, Salford, Greater Manchester © Theo McInnes. "Former lead singer of the Happy Mondays and UFO aficionado Shaun Ryder has had a pretty extreme life. We interviewed him for a magazine and barely talked about music; we mostly spoke about UFOs and drugs."

Valerie, London © Amanda Fordyce. "I noticed Valerie as she was walking down the street carrying groceries. I thought she looked beautiful and very stylish. We had a little chat and she kindly agreed to walk to a purple garage door I’d just passed."

Valerie, London © Amanda Fordyce. "I noticed Valerie as she was walking down the street carrying groceries. I thought she looked beautiful and very stylish. We had a little chat and she kindly agreed to walk to a purple garage door I’d just passed."

Chris And Jeanie, Cardiff, South Glamorgan © Rebecca Sunflower Thomas. "Jeanie (right) is an eccentric woman who loves all things vintage. Chris is Jeanie’s sister-in-law. They’re both fashionistas and have known each other for years."

Chris And Jeanie, Cardiff, South Glamorgan © Rebecca Sunflower Thomas. "Jeanie (right) is an eccentric woman who loves all things vintage. Chris is Jeanie’s sister-in-law. They’re both fashionistas and have known each other for years."

William, Oswestry, Shropshire © Jack Joyce

William, Oswestry, Shropshire © Jack Joyce

The Hubbucks, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear © Garrod Kirkwood. "I joined the Hubbucks on one of their family days out at the beach. As I shot this scene, I asked them to act like I wasn’t there. The photo reminds me of my own childhood."

The Hubbucks, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear © Garrod Kirkwood. "I joined the Hubbucks on one of their family days out at the beach. As I shot this scene, I asked them to act like I wasn’t there. The photo reminds me of my own childhood."

Derbhle, London © Kristina Sälgvik. "Derbhle Crotty is an Irish actress. At the time of the shoot she was starring in a touring production of Richard III. Derbhle came to my studio for a couple of hours and towards the end of the session she suggested pinning up her hair."

Derbhle, London © Kristina Sälgvik. "Derbhle Crotty is an Irish actress. At the time of the shoot she was starring in a touring production of Richard III. Derbhle came to my studio for a couple of hours and towards the end of the session she suggested pinning up her hair."

Tez, London © Ollie Grove. "I met Tez through a charity called The Big House, which supports young care leavers through theatre. To me the image is reminiscent of those times when we share our journeys with strangers and find ourselves asking questions about the lives of our fellow travellers."

Tez, London © Ollie Grove. "I met Tez through a charity called The Big House, which supports young care leavers through theatre. To me the image is reminiscent of those times when we share our journeys with strangers and find ourselves asking questions about the lives of our fellow travellers."

Anthony, Donington Park, Leicestershire © Danny North. "Anthony is a Paralympian swimmer. I photographed him at Download Festival for a long-term project about heavy metal fans with disabilities. I wanted to research the connection between the music and how it unites and empowers its followers."

Anthony, Donington Park, Leicestershire © Danny North. "Anthony is a Paralympian swimmer. I photographed him at Download Festival for a long-term project about heavy metal fans with disabilities. I wanted to research the connection between the music and how it unites and empowers its followers."

Luar, Burcot, Oxfordshire © Vikram Kushwah. "Luar is a London-based Israeli photographer and filmmaker. I photographed her for a series about diversity and feminism within the fashion industry. She said: ‘My body is very feminine and I am incredibly embarrassed by its shapes. When I was a teenager I wanted to hide it. Fighting those thoughts and feelings is a daily struggle.’"

Luar, Burcot, Oxfordshire © Vikram Kushwah. "Luar is a London-based Israeli photographer and filmmaker. I photographed her for a series about diversity and feminism within the fashion industry. She said: ‘My body is very feminine and I am incredibly embarrassed by its shapes. When I was a teenager I wanted to hide it. Fighting those thoughts and feelings is a daily struggle.’"

Doug, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear © Mark Taylor. Doug (featured) says, "I have always swum but only took up sea swimming three years ago. The pool is good, but cold water, fresh air and vast skies really make you come alive!"

Doug, Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear © Mark Taylor. Doug (featured) says, "I have always swum but only took up sea swimming three years ago. The pool is good, but cold water, fresh air and vast skies really make you come alive!"

Maria Sigma, London © Allun Callender. "Textile designer and weaver Maria says her work is inspired by the colour palette of the British landscape. Using British wool and drawing on her Greek heritage, she creates minimal, contemporary pieces."

Maria Sigma, London © Allun Callender. "Textile designer and weaver Maria says her work is inspired by the colour palette of the British landscape. Using British wool and drawing on her Greek heritage, she creates minimal, contemporary pieces."