100 photographs will be selected for a digital exhibition.

By Stacey Leasca
May 18, 2020
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Samir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images

Without question, this is a time that history books will write about. But, rather than sitting back and waiting for someone to tell this story, Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, wants residents of the United Kingdom to document it all.

In May, Middleton announced her new partnership with the National Portrait Gallery to launch a new photography competition called, "Hold Still."

According to the National Portrait Gallery's Instagram caption, the competition is “an ambitious community project to create a unique photographic portrait which captures the spirit, mood, hopes, fears, and feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus outbreak.⁠”

It added, submitting work to the competition is 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, humor and sadness, creativity and kindness, and human tragedy and hope.”

At the end of the competition, one hundred shortlisted photos will go up on the gallery’s digital exhibition, which will be open for viewing in August.

As for how the photos will be judged, the gallery and Middleton explained in the post, they will be “assessed on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise.”⁠⠀

Residents of the U.K. have from now through June 18 to submit their work under one of three themes: “Helpers and Heroes,” “Your New Normal,” and “Acts of Kindness.” Entrants are also asked to provide a short description detailing the work and what it is depicting. Those entering are also encouraged to share their submissions on social media using the hashtag, #HoldStill2020. For more information, or to submit your own photo, check out the gallery’s page here.

“We have all seen some incredible images out there, and heard some amazing stories,” Middleton said in the Instagram video. “Some desperately sad stories, but also some really uplifting ones as well, and I really hope that through a project like this we might be able to showcase some of these stories and to document and share a moment in time that we are all experiencing.”