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A Portrait of Britain – alumni Joe Lang on his selected image

‘Roxy’ by BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate, Joe Lang is selected for the 2018 Portrait of Britain book and exhibition by the British Journal of Photography. In this blog, Joe shares with us the inspiration behind the image.

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A big congratulations for having your image chosen for the Portrait of Britain book. How does it make you feel to be one of the 100 people chosen?

Incredibly lucky but also valued. I’m especially pleased that my work will be recorded, published and distributed world wide. I love photo books and to be included in one by an organisation I admire is a massive achievement for me.

How did this opportunity come about?

The British Journal of Photography and other organisations are always running various photo competitions and I’ve followed this one for a while now. I entered early and it was selected as part of the first editors choice selections before the competition had even closed.

It was later shortlisted for the book published by Hoxton Mini Press and finally announced as one of the winners of the Portrait of Britain 2018.  

What was your inspiration for the image?

My inspiration was the subject herself. I’m always on the look out to meet new and wonderful people and Roxy particularly stood out for obvious reasons. We talked briefly about the day, her dress and Pride and after helping do up the dress she agreed to be photographed. 

I had gone to Margate Pride looking for characters and I wasn’t disappointed. You never know who’s around the corner.

Will there be an exhibition as well as the book?

The exhibition for Portrait of Britain takes places over September and across JCDecaux screens around the UK. The photo along with the other 99 finalists will be displayed there. 

What have you been doing since graduating from your Fine Art degree in 2010?

Since graduating I’ve been travelling to various places partly to see the world but also as massive inspiration and material for my photographic work.

I’ve worked for other photographers, production companies and finally started my own creative studio with my girlfriend Charlotte Wright. Medium format photography is still my most loved way of working and I’ve almost never stopped shooting it to this day. 

Photograph: Joe Lang – ‘Roxy Gore’, Portrait of Britain winner 2018.