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'Portraits of Britain' is coming to rail stations and shopping centres

Written by
kyra hanson

Peel your eyes away from 'Pokémon Go' and pay attention to the ad boards as you walk around shopping centres and rail stations this September. Why? Because the usual model shots have been replaced with 100 extraordinary portraits of ordinary people.

The Portrait of Britain is a UK-wide exhibition representing people from all walks of life with each photographer approaching their subject with a completely different style. 

In the images, which are available to buy, faces glare, beam and shy away from the camera with youthful defiance and wrinkled elegance, while babies squirm with inquisitive naivety. London is a common backdrop, with photos taken in Billingsgate market, Bethnal GreenSt Pancras Station and elsewhere.

The odd celeb makes an appearance, too – look out for 'Great British Bake Off' winner Nadiya Hussain (above taken by Mark Harrison) and a beautifully intense photo of Brixton-born Faithless singer Maxi Jazz, but prominence is given to locals and unsung heroes like Mick Ellis, who was watch manager at the London Fire Brigade. 

Organised by the British Journal of Photography in conjunction with JCDecaux, the striking photos will appear at all major rail stations including Euston, King's Cross, Liverpool Street, London Bridge, St. Pancras, Victoria and Waterloo in London as well as Brighton, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool Lime Street. Manchester Piccadilly, Newcastle, Nottingham, Sheffield and York.

They'll also be on show at shopping destinations across the country.

'Portrait of Britain' runs Sep 1-30. 

Dave Okumu, musician and producer, best known for fronting the critically acclaimed band The Invisible. Record label commission, December 2015.
Phil Sharp
Street portrait, May 2011, Barbican, London
Phil Sharp

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