Duchess of Cambridge asks public to share photos to document pandemic life

In a bid to capture the nation’s mood during the coronavirus pandemic, The Duchess of Cambridge is asking the public to share their photos.

‘Hold Still’ is a community photography project looking to capture the ‘spirit, mood, hopes and fears’ of the UK as it continues to face COVID-19 and get used to the unusual challenges lockdown life brings.

It is being run in conjunction with the National Portrait Gallery, of which the Duchess is patron.

The Duchess of Cambridge will launch the Hold Still community photo project on TV later today (ITV)

To begin the campaign, and inspire others, the Royal has chosen five images from the public that she believes represent the three themes of project: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness.

They include an exhausted nurse’s selfie, after finishing a gruelling shift; a pensioner dancing with a carer in a nursing home, and a child’s rainbow painted face.

Catherine will launch the project later today on ITV’s This Morning programme, asking for snaps from all ages that reflect resilience and bravery, humour and sadness, creativity and kindness, as well as tragedy and hope.

Nurse Aimee Goold shared a picture of herself after a long shift, which Kate chose

The Duchess 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.

“Hold Still aims to capture a portrait of the nation, the spirit of the nation, what everyone is going through.

“Photographs reflecting resilience, bravery, kindness – all those things that people are experiencing.”

The Duchess of Cambridge is a keen amateur photographer; each year, she shares a handful or more of her own photos to mark her children’s birthdays. Just last week we were treated to some of 1-year-old Prince Louis.

Kate also participated in a campaign to remember the 75th anniversary of the luberation of Auschwitz and Holocaust survivors back in January.

Jack Dodsley dances with a carer at his nursing home in Sheffield (SWNS)

As well as being NPG’s patron, the future Queen took over patronage of the Royal Photographic Society from The Queen last year.

Kate studied History of Art at university, which included some focus on the use of cameras as an art-form.

Participants are encouraged to write a short statement describing why their photograph should be selected for display. The closing date for entries is June 18. Submissions can be made at npg.org.uk.

The top 100, judged on their content and not technical skill, will be part of a final exhibition which will be released digitally at first; the collection might become a physical exhibition in the future.

Youngsters Florence and Edith visit their great grandparents in Norfolk, whilst adhering to social distancing (@ChrisPage90)

National Portrait Gallery director Nicholas Cullinan said of Hold Still: “Even if we are alone, we can all create something together.

“We are honoured to partner with The Duchess of Cambridge on the project, which will provide an inclusive perspective on, and an important historical record of, these unprecedented times, expressed through the faces of the nation.

“The National Portrait Gallery reflects the history of Britain through the personal stories of the people who have helped to shape it.

“We are now inviting each and every person in the UK to share their portraits with us in this unique collective endeavour.”

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