Falmouth graduate Peter Flude announced as 2023 Portrait of Britain winner

17 January 2024

Woman wearing hijab standing in the sea. Portrait of Britain 2023 winning photo by Peter Flude.
'Naseema Begum' by Peter Flude

'Naseema Begum' by Peter Flude 

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Category: Our graduates

Originally commissioned for a Guardian Labs feature about connecting with the ocean, a portrait by Falmouth photography graduate Peter Flude has now been selected as a Portrait of Britain 2023 winner.  

Portrait of Britain is an annual portrait photography competition run by the British Journal of Photography that celebrates the many faces of modern Britain. Mick Moore, CEO and Creative Director of British Journal of Photography, says the winning work “captures the quirky, the mundane, the here and now of the extraordinary everyday in which we live”. 

Numerous students and graduates from Falmouth’s Institute of Photography have been featured in the winning selection in recent years. This time, it’s Peter Flude’s turn. Peter’s winning portrait was originally commissioned for a Gurdian Labs feature with the RNLI about connecting with the ocean. 

The subject of the portrait, Naseema Begum, realised she needed to overcome her phobia of water after witnessing her daughter nearly drown on holiday. Many years later, she joined a women-run boating and sailing club and took a course at the Black Swimming Association and over time found her confidence in the water. She now swims in the sea at beaches around the country.


A post shared by Peter Flude (@peterflude)

Announcing that his work had been selected for Portrait of Britain on Instagram, Peter said: "Thanks to BJP and all the judges and well done to all the incredibly talented photographers with winning images! Also special thanks to the Guardian Labs team whose commission led to this portrait."

Peter’s work will now appear on high streets, in shopping centres, train stations, airports, roadside poster sites and bus shelters up and down the country throughout January. The winning portraits will also be featured in an accompanying book, alongside another 100 shortlisted photographs. 

The public exhibition gives the photographers “a place to be seen and be visible in a world where so many pictures reside,” says Nadav Kander, one of this year’s judges, who is himself one of the world’s leading portrait photographers. “It is an opportunity to be recognised and celebrated by your peers, and the public,” adds another judge, curator Sebah Chaudhry. 

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