In 2016 British Journal of Photography launched an open call for photographs of British citizens to celebrate our country’s unique heritage and diversity, marking the first Portrait of Britain.
From almost 4000 entries, 100 portraits were chosen to receive coverage across JCDecaux’s network of digital screens located throughout the country. Seen by over twenty million people, Portrait of Britain 2016 became the UK’s biggest and most viewed photography exhibition, championing the best of contemporary photography.
The exceptional size and reach of the exhibition garnered major press coverage in print and online, including features from Time, The Huffington Post and Time Out. Along with achieving international exposure for the exhibited photographers and their work, the success of Portrait of Britain 2016 earned it the prestigious award for ‘Digital Innovation of the Year’ at the Independent Publisher Awards 2016.
There has never been a more important time to celebrate the multiformity of British society and this year’s Portrait of Britain promises to be even bigger than the last.
View last year’s winning portraits here
“It draws on the nation’s artistic talent and celebrates its rich vibrancy. Each picture hits a different emotional note, but together they present the beating heart of the country.” – Time | LightBox
“While the images are said to reflect a range of photographic styles (posed, candid, analogue, digital, colour, black and white), a unifying theme to them is that of ‘home’ – poignant given current political issues like immigration and the lingering uncertainty of a post-Brexit Britain.” – Dazed
“The British Journal of Photography (BJP)’s Portrait of Britain project was motivated by a desire to remain inclusive and open-minded to Britain’s multicultural heritage.” – Huck
After its “staggering scale of ambition” the Portrait of Britain exhibition was commended as a “superb achievement” and won Digital Innovation of the Year. – Judges of the Independent Publisher Awards
Our October 2017 issue of BJP takes a closer look at the Portrait of Britain exhibition as well as in-depth features with some of the world’s leading portrait photographers. The Portrait of Britain 2017 issue is available in print and digital versions.
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