The Centre for Ageing Better launches photography competition

The Centre for Ageing Better has teamed up with the content licensing platform Alamy to launch a photography competition. The contest aims to challenge the stereotypes associated with old age with more authentic and realistic imagery.

Photographers can enter their images into three categories: underrepresented older communities, older people doing leisure activities, and multigenerational interactions. The deadline for entries is 31st March 2023.

Three winners and nine runners-up will see their submissions promoted through an Alamy blog and on the platform’s social media channels. The top three entries will have their portfolios reviewed by James Allsworth, head of content at Alamy, while the runners-up will have a group critique session with the content team.

It’s hoped the contest will build on the work the Centre for Ageing Better has done to present the elderly in a more upbeat way. One of the biggest initiatives it has launched is its age-positive image library, which features more than 2,000 pictures and boasts in excess of 100,000 downloads.

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.”

The Centre for Ageing Better looks to overcome the challenges that make the elderly feel invisible in society and their community. It aims to call out ageism and come up with innovative ways to make the process of getting older a more pleasant experience for everyone.

Earlier in 2022, the centre was nominated for the Charity Awards in recognition of its groundbreaking work on the age-positive image library. One of the judges of the awards, Cathy Phelan-Watkins, praised the project, saying more initiatives to counter unrepresentative and unrealistic images were needed.