Nigerian photographer makes Portrait of Britain shortlist

A Nigerian photographer, Marianne Olaleye, has made the Portrait of Britain shortlist.

The Portrait of Britain is a foremost photography competition in the United Kingdom.

The British Journal of Photography organises the competition, which is all about inclusivity, celebrating differences and similarities.

The competition, now in its third year, received 13,000 entries from amateur and professional photographers alike.

Entries were judged by Simon Bainbridge, editorial director of the British Journal of Photography; Caroline Hunter, editor of the Guardian Weekend Magazine; Olivia Arthur, Magnum Photographer\; and Martin Usborne, co-founder of Hoxton Mini Press.

The organisers said a recurring theme in Marianne’s photography, which shone through in her entries, ‘is the candid nature of feminine beauty’.

They added, “She is a master who has also photographed men and everyday life on the streets. She believes that each person has a story to tell and so she aims to give them the centre stage while showcasing the universality and raw, natural beauty of women. This is while hoping that her images will play a role in improving media representations of beauty.”

Some of the shortlisted photographers include Andrea Zvadova, who presents a work from her series about albinism and Christian Sinibadi, whose portrait depicts an east London rabbi.

Others include Curtis Gibson, who photographed fashion designer Zandra Rhodes and Samuel McElwee, whose image shows a young woman’s delighted expression when she opens her eyes and sees a pug puppy.

The 200 photographs shortlisted for the exhibition will also go to print in a Portrait of Britain book for the first time, which will be released on Thursday.

Portrait of Britain winners will have their work exhibited on JCDecaux screens on British bus stops, high streets and in train stations, as part of the biggest exhibition of contemporary portraiture ever held.

Maryanne’s clientele includes, Aftenposten-Haakon, Crown Prince of Norway, LSE Africa Summit, FORWARD UK and Bridge Models among many others. Her work has been published in renowned international newspapers such as Aftenposten and The British Journal of Photography.

On her blog, Maryanne describes her kind of photography as simple and candid – a means of portraying people who demonstrate beauty not only in their physical appearance, but also in the relationship they have with their environment. Marianne hopes that her images will continue to play a crucial role in improving media representations of beauty.


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