Portrait Positive aims to change perception of beauty in collaboration with photographer Rankin

World renowned photographer Rankin is hoping to change perceptions of what beauty is in a new series.

Rankin, who has can boast the Queen as one of his photography subjects, is collaborating with charity Changing Faces, which aims to give people with disfigurements to develop self-esteem and self-confidence, as providing training courses for health professionals, employers and teachers.

The British photographer is the man behind numerous advertising campaigns, having worked for the likes of Nike, Swatch and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Changing Faces and Rankin have teamed up to create Portrait Positive, which is designed to celebrate the beauty and strength of women who live with facial disfigurements. Rankin's series of portraits was devised by event co-ordinator Stephen Bell and fashion designer Steven Tai.

It is hoped the campaign will redefine how beauty is defined in the fashion world, which can have a very limited view on how women should look.

Brenda Finn's hair fell out when she was 14. Credit: ITV News

Brenda Finn, from London, who is modelling for the project said: "I was really nervous beforehand as I did not know what to expect. In a lot of ways in such capacities is such a daunting thing, but as soon as I got in there, and Rankin was in front of me, actually talking me through what to do, I warmed up and it was the best experience.

"I think today's society when it comes to beauty and fashion there's this whole thing about hair being strong, beautiful and powerful. It's advertised in such a way that people like me are made to feel small about how we look. One in every 115 people have a visible difference in the UK, so the fundamentals of beauty and fashion are very outdated now, so that needs to change and that doesn't change until people like me step forward."

"My confidence today has rocketed by a zillion miles; the fact he [Rankin] actually said to me 'you're so beautiful, your eyes are incredibly' and he means it, as he wouldn't come out with that so lightly, means I will never forget it. It's pushed my confidence journey even further."

Phyllida Swift says people are heavily influenced by the media's view of beauty. Credit: Rankin

The photos will be published in a book, which will be sold in clothing stores, as the organisers plan to change the mindsets of people across the country.

Phyllida Swift, who has a facial scar following a car crash, said: "Without even realising we're so influenced by what the media thinks is the idea of beauty and I think it's so good to be breaking down that stereotype and embracing women for their difference."

Rankin has photographed a number of famous people, including the Queen. Credit: ITV News

Rankin is known for taking photos outside of social norms, and many women have volunteered to be the subject for Portrait Positive in the belief they can create face equality, meaning everyone is treated fairly in society regardless of facial appearance.

Rankin explained his methodology when photographing his various subjects: "I always think everyone's beautiful, so I don't really see people's insecurities, but I don't really what they think of as flaws."

For more information go to: https://www.changingfaces.org.uk