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Copyright Tom Maddick / SWNS
CREDIT: Tom Maddick / SWNS

The Duchess of Cambridge and NPG launch ‘Hold Still’ 

News from our Royal Patron

Closes: 18 June 2020


A landmark community project to create a photographic portrait of the nation. 

The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of The Royal Photographic Society, has today launched Hold Still, an ambitious community photography project to capture the spirit, the mood, the hopes, the fears and the feelings of the nation as we continue to deal with Coronavirus outbreak. 

Whilst many people’s lives are on hold to help protect our helpers and heroes, there are some that are working harder than ever, and others that are enduring the upheaval of hardship and loss. Spearheaded by the Duchess, Patron of the Royal Photographic Society and National Portrait Gallery, ‘Hold Still’ will create a unique photographic portrait of the people of our nation as we hold still for the good of others, and celebrate those who have continued so we can stay safe.

The Duchess and the National Portrait Gallery are inviting people from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they have taken during these extraordinary times. Participants are also encouraged to provide a short written submission to outline the experiences and emotions of those depicted in their photograph.

The project will focus on three core themes:  

  • Helpers and Heroes 
  • Your New Normal 
  • Acts of Kindness 

Completely free and open to all ages and abilities, Hold Still will serve to allow the nation to 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. It will also act as a reminder of the significance of human connection in times of adversity, and that although we were physically apart, as a community and nation, we all faced and rose to the challenge together.

One hundred shortlisted portraits will then feature in a gallery without walls – a one of a kind digital exhibition open to all. A selection of images will also be shown across the UK later in the year. 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 at:



Picture copyright: Jack Dodsley, 70, dances with a carer in PPE © Tom Maddick / SWNS