Portrait and fashion photographer, Rankin, is to mentor new photography talent for new Storyboard produced BBC4 show, The Great British Photography Challenge.

Six amateur photographers will be mentored by Rankin in the four-part masterclass series. The contestants will undertake a range of themed weekly challenges across the UK, and although ultimately a winner will be chosen, none will be eliminated. The series follows the journeys of all six individuals as they are nurtured throughout the series and demonstrate their individual flair and vision.

Each episode starts with an on-the spot-challenge set by Rankin to deliver a winner picture in just one hour, using nothing more than smartphone cameras. The contestants have to capture different settings, from the buzz of Brighton Beach to a fast-moving Boxing arena. They also undertake specific projects with a celebrity expert in a specialist area of photography: Chris Packham, nature specialist and award-winning wildlife photographer; Maryam Wahid, documentary photographer whose work explores her identity as a British South Asian woman; and street photographer and creative Lamarr Golding, are among those setting assignments.

Finally they have to deliver on a high-pressure brief involving multiple elements such as clients, models, make-up artists and picture editors, including shooting renowned actress Anna Friel for a glossy magazine cover, and a high-end fashion shoot under the guidance of international stylist and fashion editor Cheryl Konteh.

The contestants, who have made it through a nationwide search, are: Tyrone Williams, 28, from Northampton; Georgie Peel, 41, from London; Paul Williams, 60, from Dorchester; Chelsea Nawanga, 25, from Luton; Ali Lewis, 43, from Shrewsbury, and Jackson Moyles, 21, from Dunfermline.

BBC Arts commissioning editor Emma Cahusac says: “I’m delighted to welcome this brand new series to the BBC. With smartphone photography being more popular than ever, we’ve never been more fascinated by the art of taking a good photo.

“Mentored by one of the best names in the business, along with extra help from some stellar celebrity guests and dynamic young creatives, Rankin provides six photographers with a unique masterclass in the art and craft of photography that allows them to develop and shine before our eyes.”

Rankin says: “Being a part of the Great British Photography Challenge has been an incredible opportunity to nurture the next generation of photographers. All the contestants had such unique and varied backgrounds, but what brought them together was their love for photography. The contestants have exceptional promise and I’m excited for the UK to see their talent.”

The series was commissioned by BBC Arts commissioning editor Emma Cahusac and produced by Storyboard Studios founder and managing director Natalie Humphreys.

Jon Creamer

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