BBC4: Smile! The Nation’s Family Album
BBC Four invites audiences to share in a celebration of British Photography with Britain in Focus, a season of programmes exploring the UK through the lens. The BBC are looking for photo-fanatics to submit their own photographic memories for a documentary looking at the family photograph and the story of the cameras which defined each generation’s favourite family snapshots.
Are your shelves groaning under the weight of countless family photo albums? Has your family captured each generation’s story on the cameras of the day, from Box Brownies to Polaroids, Kodak Instamatic to the latest digital cameras?
If so then the BBC needs you. Smile! The Nation’s Family Album will tell the unique story of family life in Britain from the 1950s to the modern day, focusing on the cameras that shaped home photography, and the people that used them. BBC Four are looking for families of photo-fanatics – ideally three generations of snappers – to dig deep into their treasured photo collections and share their most precious memories and family images to become part of the story.
Also in the season, Margaret Mountford and contemporary photographer Harry Cory Wright will discover The Man Who Shot Tutankhamun as they recreate the techniques of pioneering British photographer Harry Burton who captured the mysteries of ancient Egypt as it was excavated, in a unique look at how some of the most iconic images of the 1920s in the early days of photographic experimentation were created.
And from the gold heads of the Pharaohs through to the gold-plated Lamborghinis of Knightsbridge, BBC Four will accompany award-winning street photographer Dougie Wallace as he documents the lives of the superrich on the streets of London’s most exclusive postcodes. The documentary will follow Wallace capturing off-guard images of the wealthy on the streets of SW1, for his photo-documentary series, ‘Harrodsburg’, a powerful portrait of the ultra-affluent new elite, changing the face of the city and marginalising traditional local communities.
Leading photographer and picture editor Eamonn McCabe will tell the remarkable story of Britain in Focus: A Photographic History. From the delicacy of Julia Margaret Cameron through to the satire of Martin Parr, McCabe will look behind the lens to find out more about the artists and technology responsible for some of the most iconic images in British history and how a new generation of Instagrammers will shape our future attitudes towards photography.
Photographers at the BBC will take audiences inside the unique photographic treasure chest of the BBC’s archive, where the lives of top photographers from Norman Parkinson to David Bailey, Eve Arnold and Jane Bown have been brought to mainstream attention through classic programmes like Face to Face and Omnibus.
Cassian Harrison, BBC Four said: “Photography has been one of the most exciting, vibrant and transformational art-forms of the last 1,000 years – putting the tools of creation into the hands of anyone with explosive effect. Across this season of programming BBC4 will explore photography’s fantastic world with all the channel’s customary expertise and depth, unpacking both its history and relevance in exciting new ways and through the eyes of some of its greatest practitioners.”
Details of how to submit images for inclusion in Smile! The Nation’s Family Album and to find out how to apply can be found at bbc.co.uk/familyalbum