It’s no secret that the Duchess of Cambridge has a passion for photography, regularly picking up the camera to capture beautiful portraits of her children. Most recently we’ve seen wonderful snaps of Charlotte and George, taken by Kate to mark their birthdays.
And now the royal wants to inspire the nation to get creative with their cameras too, with the launch of a community photography project that aims to capture the mood, hopes and fears of British people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Dubbed Hold Still, the contest has been launched in collaboration with the National Portrait Gallery, of which Catherine is a patron, and invites people from all across the UK to submit a photographic portrait that fits into one of three themes: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness.
View this post on Instagram
Today The Duchess of Cambridge launches a community photography project spearheaded by you! In collaboration with the @NationalPortraitGallery, we are asking you to help capture the spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the UK as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak. Completely free and open to all ages and abilities, Hold Still will capture a snapshot of the UK at this time, creating a collective portrait of lockdown which will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope. One hundred shortlisted portraits will feature in a gallery without walls – a one of a kind digital exhibition open to all this August. The images can be captured on phones or cameras and each image will be assessed on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise. Submit your images through the link in bio and share your portraits on Instagram by tagging @KensingtonRoyal #HoldStill2020 to be in with a chance to be featured on our channel throughout the project. #StayAtHome
And there’s still time to enter the competition. Kate took to the @kensingtonroyal Instagram account to share some of her favourite entries so far and remind people that there’s still one week left until the closing date on Thursday 18 June at 6pm to submit their photo of lockdown life.
View this post on Instagram
With one week left to submit your entries to the 'Hold Still' project, The Duchess of Cambridge has shared some of the amazing images and stories that have been submitted so far. Every story matters and telling yours during lockdown is what this project is all about, so please take the time to share your images and experiences before Thursday 18th June at 6pm. You can submit an image through the link in our bio, and have the chance to be one of 100 photographs on display in a virtual exhibition hosted by the @nationalportraitgallery for people all around the world to see. #HoldStill2020
It’s extremely rare for royals to leave comments on other people’s Instagram posts, however Kate has broken from tradition recently to do just that, leaving comments on pictures tagged with the hashtags #HoldStill and #HoldStill2020.
View this post on Instagram
The tonic to what is happening in the outside world are our family walks. Today the biggest managed 6km on his bike without moaning – for the first time ever, a major achievement! (The teddies come on every walk, today we had a rucksack full) #candidchildhood #wearenorthern #itsprimupnorth
On @amygibbo07’s image the royal wrote: ‘This is an amazing image, thank you for taking part! C.’ On @annafmehta’s shot of her child blowing on a dandelion, Kate wrote: ‘A perfect example of Hold Still…the chance to re-engage and value the simple things around us. C.’ While @kateainger’s hair cutting shot taken by her four-year-old prompted the Duchess to comment: ‘I love this! What a budding photographer! Please don’t forget to submit your photo in the link bio if you haven’t done so already. C.’
Speaking about the initiative, Kate said, ‘We’ve all been struck by some of the incredible images we’ve seen which have given us an insight into the experiences and stories of people across the country. Some desperately sad images showing the human tragedy of this pandemic and other uplifting pictures showing people coming together to support those more vulnerable.
‘Hold Still aims to capture a portrait of the nation, the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through at this time. Photographs reflecting resilience, bravery, kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.’
News of the contest was announced via the @kensingtonroyal Instagram page: ‘Today The Duchess of Cambridge launches a community photography project spearheaded by you!’
The palace went on to explain that Hold Still is ‘Completely free and open to all ages and abilities,’ adding that, ‘Hold Still will capture a snapshot of the UK at this time, creating a collective portrait of lockdown which will reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope.
‘The images can be captured on phones or cameras and each image will be assessed on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise.’
Budding photographers wishing to enter the competition are encouraged to accompany their submission with a short written description. Entries can be submitted here from now until the closing date on 18 June. A shortlist of 100 of the best portraits will be selected to feature in a digital exhibition in August and a selection of images will also be shown across the UK later in the year.