Laura Pannack: Separation in the wake of Brexit

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A portrait series by Laura Pannack, commissioned by British Journal of Photography and supported by Affinity Photo for iPad, will explore themes of separation in the wake of Brexit. BJP is giving one photographer the opportunity to shadow Pannack during the shoot. Enter now for your chance to win!  
In June 2016, just over half of the UK population that voted, chose for Britain to sever its ties with the European Union. Brexit will undoubtedly have a devastating effect on the creative industries: of all creative sector jobs in London, 33.5 percent of them are held by non-UK nationals. Without the presence of talented European creatives, London’s reputation as a capital of creativity and culture is in jeopardy.
A recent study found that more than one million foreign people working in the UK plan to leave within the next five years. “The migration system as a whole is not set up to cater for specific industry sectors,” states a report published in 2016 by innovation charity Nesta, “and as such, high skill, high growth sectors like the creative industries will suffer disproportionately from changes to policy, and from migration rules as they currently stand.”

© Laura Pannack.
The British Journal of Photography, supported by Affinity Photo for iPad (Apple’s 2017 App of the Year), has commissioned award-winning photographer Laura Pannack to create a series of portraits that responds to the threat of Brexit on London’s creative industries. The portraits will feature London-based couples that work in the creative industries and face the possibility of separation due to one not holding a British passport. With Britain soon to be out of the EU, tens of thousands of people face the possibility of losing their right to work in the UK, not to mention being forced out of the country they share with their partner.
Pannack, who was born and remains based in London, is no stranger to photographing couples. Her celebrated series Young Love comprises portraits of teenage couples in various states of intimate clinch. “Love and sex is something that will always fascinate human beings,” says Pannack. “I find it interesting how much we reveal to another person, as well as how the inner dynamics of a relationship are often hidden to the rest of the world. Our own experiences of love and relationships are also incredibly subjective. How do you know if you love somebody or if they love you? It is such a feeling that is based on vulnerability.”
Shay and Sophie, from the series Young Love. © Laura Pannack.
The BJP commission will see Pannack photograph a different group of couples every day, for three days. The photographs will be taken in three different creative districts in London and, using the Affinity Photo for iPad app, the photographs will be edited while on the shoot, sending them directly to the BJP’s picture desk to be published live. Affinity Photo for iPad is the only fully-featured professional photo editing software available for the iPad and allows creatives to complete time-sensitive assignments both on-the-go and without compromise. In December 2017, the software was named Apple’s iPad App of the Year. 
© Laura Pannack.
From the series Youth Without Age and Life Without Death. © Laura Pannack.
The final images produced in a photo shoot are often, however, only a fragment of the story. It is the interaction between photographer and subject that typically determines how compelling an image. “I find human beings incredibly annoying and boring, but also incredibly fascinating,” says Pannack. “It is a curiosity that keeps me coming back to portraiture: I am constantly trying to figure humans out.”
To get an insider view on the process, BJP is giving one photographer the opportunity to shadow Pannack during the Brexit shoot. The winner will also receive a portfolio review from the award-winning photographer and the latest iPad Pro preloaded with Affinity Photo for iPad, recently named Apple’s 2017 iPad App of the Year. 
Enter now for a chance to be part of this project. Entry is free!
 Chayla at Shul. © Laura Pannack.
This is a British Journal of Photography commission made possible with the generous support of Affinity Photo for IpadPlease click here for more information on sponsored content funding at British Journal of Photography.