Only one month until photography competition challenging old-age stereotypes closes
Photographers have one month left to enter the competition run by the Centre for Ageing Better and content licensing platform Alamy to create more age-friendly images.
Called ‘Ageing: New perspectives’, the competition aims to demonstrate the diversity of older age groups through more realistic and authentic imagery.
The deadline for Ageing Better and Alamy’s competition, which encourages photographers to capture positive images of people aged 50 and over, is now only one month away. The competition is an opportunity for photographers of all abilities to showcase their style.
Applicants from around the world can submit inclusive photos that avoid the stereotyping of older people and the portrayal of ageing as a wholly negative experience - something commonly seen in stock images and the media.
The entrants will be judged by a panel of experts, including photographer Alex Rotas, alongside representatives of the Centre for Ageing Better and Alamy. There is already a fantastic pool of photos entered for the competition that feature different photographic styles and experiences of later life.
Submissions range from North Sea swimmers to hikers in Texas Hill Country and a mother and daughter in Belgium. Entrants have also submitted photos taken in Bulgaria, the Maldives, Sweden and Canada.
The top three winners and nine runners-up will have their images featured in a blog promoted to Alamy’s customers and social media followers. The three winners will also each have a personal portfolio review by James Allsworth, Head of Content at Alamy, while the nine runners-up will be invited to attend a photography critique group session hosted by the Alamy Content Team. Images can be entered into three categories in the competition: underrepresented older communities, older people doing leisure activities, and multigenerational interactions, and by no later than 30 April 2023.
The competition draws upon the experiences of Alamy, the world’s most diverse stock photography collection with around 150,000 images added every day by thousands of photographers from across the world, and the Centre for Ageing Better, a charitable foundation pioneering ways to make ageing better a reality for everyone including a campaign to challenge ageism. Competitors can take inspiration from Ageing Better’s innovative Age-positive image library, which contains over 3,000 non-stereotypical, inclusive and authentic photos of people aged 50 and aims to improve the representation of older age in stock image collections.
Launched in January 2021, images from the library have been viewed over 10 million times and downloaded more than 100,000 times. Images from the library have been used by a host of organisations including the World Health Organisation, Sport England, the Department of Health and Social care as well as universities and academics, graphic designers and journalists.
Alex Rotas, photographer and competition judge, said:
“We live in an increasingly visual world so the images we see that represent later life have never been more powerful. Being a judge in a national photographic competition of this breadth and stature is an exciting honour. It is a wonderful opportunity for photographers to show older people engaged in all the very different lives they lead and to think beyond the stereotypes. I can’t wait to see the submissions.”
Emma Twyning, Director of Communications and Policy at the Centre for Ageing Better, said:
“Images of older people we commonly see in the media, advertising and stock image libraries, often reduce people to damaging stereotypes. People are portrayed either as frail, lonely and dependent, with ageing an overwhelmingly negative experience, or impossibly youthful.
“Countering these ideas and highlighting diverse experiences of ageing is key to tackling the widespread ageism that exists across society. We hope that this competition will encourage photographers to dispel stereotypes, challenge preconceptions and shift the narrative from pity to empowerment.”
Alan Capel, Operations Director at Alamy, said:
"At Alamy we believe that representing that reality through photography is extremely important. Through actively encouraging photographers from all backgrounds across the globe to shoot a never-ending range of content, we're committed to continue being one of the most diverse content libraries in the world.
“Photography captures the truth but we have continued to see cliched and unadventurous approaches to depicting the older generation. This competition embraces that shift to better represent the world we live in and we are delighted to be involved and supporting the Centre for Ageing Better.”
How to apply
To enter the competition, photographers will need to have an Alamy log-in. Entrants should then upload image entries, noting the Alamy image reference for each image and then once images are captioned, keyworded and on sale, the images can be put forward by filling in this form using the relevant Alamy image references.