Beautiful Britain

To begin the photographic philosophies option; we were tasked with choosing one image purely because we liked it.

I chose a photo of a young girl dressed as an angel, taken by Iain Mckell, which originally featured in his book Beautiful Britain.


The book documents his life from the 1970s to when the book was published in 2012. It focuses on sub-cultures and seeing Britain in a different way. He has a way of photographing what we may regularly deem as ugly in a beautiful manner.

I chose this photo as my favourite because it sticks in my mind from the first day I saw it. Technically it shouldn’t work. I was always told that in order for a portrait to work the eyes should always be in focus – but they’re not. This only emphasises the beautiful nature of working with film.

Also the dress code and the expression don’t match.

You question whether she is happy to be there or not. Why is she dressed that way? And why did he choose to photograph her?

Whenever I take a photo I have a reason, so it seems right to assume that Mckell did too. Although on paper a small girl playing the harp, whilst dressed as an angel seems elegant, in reality it’s a gritty, thought provoking image. So that’s why it is one of my favourite photographs.

It shows the way a photographer can alter its subject.



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