Discover the diverse photos of faces that make up Portrait of Britain 2021

portrait of britain
Cropped for header image. See original below (Image credit: © Maryam Wahid, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

The British Journal of Photography has just announced the 2021 Portrait of Britain winners. The award gives photographers the opportunity to capture the many faces of modern Britain and shine a light on the diverse, vibrant and resilient people that make up our nation. 

Despite the struggle Britain has faced over the last two years, there have been so many moments for people to show kindness and compassion. People have pulled together, gone above and beyond to help and support each other and in doing so have reminded each other of how important it is to show strength in a community. 

Read more: Best camera for portraits

Many of the photographers who placed in the top 100 for Portrait of Britain have documented the doctors, nurses and other health care professionals who risked their lives by working on the front line to save others. Others have championed disabilities, fought against racism, battled climate change and showed extreme resilience. 

Some famous faces also feature in the top 100 including a photo of soccer star Marcus Rashford, whose campaign to tackle child hunger ensured those from the lowest income families did not go without food during lockdowns and school holidays. A photo of Michaela Cole, taken just after she won Best Actress at the BAFTAs for the powerful BBC drama I May Destroy You was also featured, taken by photographer Charlie Clift. 

The award aims to remind us that despite all our differences and difficulties, there is a sense of sameness among us. The Portrait of Britain 2021 celebrates quiet, everyday moments to life-changing events, eccentricity, determination, diversity and community through powerful, thought-provoking imagery. 

The 100 finalists were selected by a panel of industry-leading judges including Tracy Marshall, director of Bristol Photo Festival, Mariama Attah, curator at Open Eye Gallery and Nicola Shiplet, director of GRAIN Projects. 

Winners will have their images on JCDecaux billboard screens across the UK. A total of 200 images will be featured in the 2021 Portrait of Britain book, which will be published by Hoxton Mini Press in February. 

If you’d like to enter next year's competition, pre-registration is now open

Scroll below to see a small selection of our favorite images…

(Image credit: © Andrew Quinn, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

(Image credit: © Jaskirt Boora, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

(Image credit: © Francis Augusto, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

(Image credit: © Daniele Fummo, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

(Image credit: © Charlie Clift, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

(Image credit: © Christopher James Owens, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

(Image credit: © Maryam Wahid, Portrait of Britain 2021 Winner)

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.