2012 Portraits of Britain Photographic Competition

 Are you a keen photographer? Can you capture the meaning of ‘social sciences’ and ‘society today’ in a single picture? If so, the ESRC Portraits of Britain photographic competition could be for you.

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has launched a free competition to capture images of what life in Britain means today.

There are eight categories to enter, including an open category for young people. These are:

  • Environment

From climate change, waste management, through to energy use, the green economy and food production and the environment. Subjects could include recycling in action, flooding, the rural economy, renewable energy, pollution, sustainable transport.

  • Public Services

Capture the areas of public services from crime and policing, education and teaching, health services to social care, defence and local services. How would you illustrate choice and competition in public services, the demand for education, changes in the health service and welfare provision?

  • Politics

From the running the government and state affairs, to the distribution of resources and the management of public affairs. Issues include declining election turnouts, devolution and Scottish independence, planning reform, trust and politicians, localism, civil liberties. How would you portray politics?

  • Economy and business

Employment and skills, recession and growth, small businesses, trade and distribution, pensions and saving. This covers labour markets, productivity and innovation, management and retail through to industry and banking.

  • Society

Observe the world and society around you. How would you depict social mobility, what it means to be British, the role of the family, religion today , an ageing society, relationships and lifestyles?

  • Culture, media and sport

What do culture, media and sport mean to you? This category could include the influence of online media, the popularity of the music festival, the 2012 Olympics, press freedom, the world of art or the rise of online gambling.

  • International

Can you create exciting images from a world perspective? How would you depict International relations, world poverty, the role of the European Union, the elections in the US and global uncertainties?

  • Young photographer (11-17 years only)

Social science, in its broadest sense, is the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around us. What does social science means to you and how would you portray the social sciences in one image?

The competition is run in partnership with the tenth annual ESRC Festival of Social Science and the winning entries will be showcased at the ESRC’s 2012 flagship Festival event in London this autumn.

Whether you are a photography novice, a keen amateur or a professional photographer, the competition is an opportunity to capture your portrait of Britain. For more information on the rules of the competition and how to enter please see the Portraits of Britain section on the ESRC website.