Older people having fun image
Images By Peter Kindersley

The Centre for Ageing Better is joining forces with content licensing platform Alamy to run a competition for their photographers to challenge old-age stereotypes

The competition aims to demonstrate the diversity of older age groups through more realistic and authentic imagery. It is encouraging photographers to capture positive images of people aged 50 and over.

The competition looks to build on the successes of Ageing Better’s age-positive image library, which contains over 2,000 images. The photos have been downloaded over 100,000 times.

Photographers will have the chance to showcase their style and produce inclusive imagery that avoids the stereotyping and objectifying of older people and the portrayal of ageing as a wholly negative experience.

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.

Competitors can enter their photos into all three categories or just one. The closing deadline for entries is 31 March 2023.

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 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 launching a campaign to challenge ageism.

Competitors can take inspiration from Ageing Better’s innovative age-positive image library, which contains over 2,000 non-stereotypical, inclusive, and authentic photos of people aged 50 and above. This image library aims to improve the representation of ageing and old age in stock image collections.

Alan Capel, Operations Director at Alamy, commented: “The saying used to be ‘life begins at 40’. It’s very apparent what a ridiculously out-dated expression that now is.

“The opportunities available to the ageing population are myriad and 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.”

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. 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.

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