Powering the Portrait of Britain Exhibition

Recent Work

If you pass through a train station or shopping centre this month, there’s a good chance you’ll see something unusual on the screens that usually display advertising. Portrait of Britain, a collaboration between British Journal of Photography and JCDecaux, is showing 100 portraits on screens across the country – and we’re proud to say that we were involved in the early stages of the project.

Portrait of Britain was an open call, with any photographer welcome to submit their work. Over 4,000 images were submitted across the entry period, all via a system built and managed by MN Digital. Our system processed entry fees using Stripe, created accounts for each photographer to manage their entries, and handled the upload and storage of those photos along with their captions.

From our experience of running several photo competitions previously, we knew that demand on the system would be uneven, and would peak dramatically in the hours before the entry deadline, so we built it on Heroku dynos – allowing us to scale it as required.

As well as the entry system, we also delivered a secure online browser – so British Journal of Photography staff could view entries as they arrived – and a system for shortlisting and selecting the winning images from the thousands submitted.

All the Portrait of Britain images are available to view here. Photo above: Stormzy, photographed by Dan Wilton.