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News: Thomas’s VE Day photo wins top competition

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Thomas's winning photo of people dressed up for VE Day
Thomas's winning photo of people dressed up for VE Day

​Thomas Griffiths, a recent graduate of Nottingham College, has been named a winner in a national photography competition.

22-year-old Thomas, from East Leake, completed his Foundation Degree (FdA) in Photography Practice and BA (hons) top-up degree in Digital Media Design in 2019. Since then, he has impressed the expert judges in the British Journal of Photography’s Portrait of Britain competition. 

Thomas’s winning photo, capturing a socially distanced VE Day celebration, has since been featured in the Guardian, the Telegraph and on the BBC

It is also appearing on JCDecaux digital screens nationwide throughout September. This includes railway stations, shopping centres, high streets and bus shelters. It will also be published in the Portrait of Britain book, Vol. 3, published by Hoxton Mini Press and distributed worldwide from 1 October. 

The judges whittled thousands of entries down to a shortlist of 200. Then 100 winners were chosen. Thomas’s photo, Peter and Joyce’ features the pair sitting in front of a house, all dressed up for VE Day 2020


Thomas now works professionally, with his clients including some very well-known brands. He is also studying his MA degree in photography at Falmouth University after spending the summer studying with MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art in New York). 

I’m honoured to have been chosen as a winner of Portrait of Britain 2020 by the British Journal of Photography. It’s great to be featured alongside some of the best photographers working today and have my work shown across the country. 

I was walking around my village on VE day to see all the socially distanced celebrations and I met Peter and Joyce after noticing their decorations and matching outfits. I submitted this photo because I felt it showed that there was still optimism and cause for celebration through quite difficult times. 

 — Thomas

Thomas’s success follows on from that of a fellow Nottingham College graduate, Jessica Pearson. Jessica made it onto the shortlist in the 2019 competition, with her photo of a market seller in Ilkeston. 

Doing my FdA at Nottingham College showed me just how big the possibilities are for careers in photography. 

Before 2016 I just took photos as a hobby: now I have high aims for my career and a real respect for the medium. 

 — Thomas

Thomas continues to work very hard in improving his photographic language. He has natural ability, patience, integrity, curiosity and honesty in abundance and this will stand him in good stead for the future. 

FdA students are constantly encouraged to enter national and local competitions and events, and we’re so proud that students from the course have had great success in them over the years. 

Matt Bunn — Course Leader, FdA Photography Practice
Published on:
  • 18th September 2020 (11:50 AM)
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