29 May 2022

All-island photography competition to capture the reality of ‘How We Age’ today

All-island photography competition to capture the reality of ‘How We Age’ today

Image: pixabay

The Institute of Public Health (IPH) is launching a new ‘How We Age’ photography competition to capture the lived experiences of older people in Ireland and Northern Ireland today. 

Supported by the Irish Photographic Federation (IPF) and Northern Ireland Photographic Association (NIPA), the ‘How we age - Staying Active, Staying Social, Staying Connected’ photography competition is all about changing and challenging how ageing and older people are often portrayed. 

Thanks to great strides in public health over the past century, many more of us are now living longer and healthier lives than ever before but the real lived experiences of older people - our parents, relatives, neighbours, friends, and work colleagues - is not always reflected in images we see in our everyday lives.

All too often older people are portrayed as either frail, fragile, lonely or depressed or at the other extreme, skydiving, wing walking or running marathons. This competition, however, hopes to change that stereotype by seeking a balance of more everyday pictures of what it means to age or get older today.

The ‘How we age - Staying Active, Staying Social, Staying Connected’ competition is seeking to create a series of images showing older people enjoying life and doing everyday activities, while also reflecting the positive and negative aspects of ageing. 

The Institute is looking for images that portray older people in an authentic and inclusive way - regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, politics, culture, ability, income, or post code. 

From the entries received, IPH intends to create a gallery of stock images for use in its ongoing work to promote healthy ageing and broader public health themes, which can also be made available to stakeholder organisations and others as a free-to-access image resource.

The competition is free to enter, open to residents of Ireland and Northern Ireland over the age of 18, and is open for entries between 8 April 2022 to 30 June 2022. 

Entrants can submit up to a maximum of three photos and all entries must be submitted via the online entry form on the IPH website, which can be accessed at Acceptance of terms and conditions is a condition of entry. 

Prizes include gift vouchers for photography equipment to the value of €/£500 for first prize, €/£300 for second prize, and €/£100 for third prize, depending on where the winning entrants reside.

Details of the winners will be announced in the last week of July and published on the IPH website. 

Later in the year, the Institute intends to launch the ‘How We Age’ gallery of selected images to mark International Day of Older Persons on 1 October.

Commenting on the competition launch IPH Director of Ageing Development and Research Roger O’Sullivan said: “The process of ageing has been significantly redefined in recent decades, with more and more people living longer and healthier lives, but that is not always reflected in how older people are often portrayed in our communities”.

“We are really excited to see how the theme of ‘How We Age’ - Staying Active, Staying Social, Staying Connected’ is interpreted and captured by photographers of all ages across Ireland and Northern Ireland. Ultimately, we intend to create a gallery of photos that will better represent and more accurately reflect the diverse experiences of what it means to age today,” Professor O’Sullivan added. 

To find out more about the ‘How We Age’ photography competition visit

If you have any queries about this competition please email communications@ 

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