In May 2020, two months into the coronavirus lockdown, the National Portrait Gallery announced the “Hold Still” project. The Duchess of Cambridge is the royal patron of the gallery and spearheaded the effort. Citizens across the UK were invited to submit photographic portraits that were focused on three areas: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal and Acts of Kindness. Out of 31,000 submissions, the final 100 portraits have been chosen. They are a lovely and evocative record of a moment in history. To see all 100 finalists, head to the National Portrait Gallery website.
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Introducing, the final 100 portraits. In May this year, in collaboration with the @NationalPortraitGallery, we invited people of all ages, from across the UK to submit a photographic portrait which they had taken during lockdown. The images present a unique record of our shared and individual experiences during this extraordinary period of history, conveying humour and grief, creativity and kindness, tragedy and hope. Visit our link in bio to see the images and read the stories behind the nation’s experience of life during the lockdown.
The judging panel is shown below in an August press release: (clockwise, top left): Nicholas Cullinan, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England, Lemn Sissay MBE, writer and poet, and Maryam Wahid, photographer.
Although we typically allow photos to be posted in the comments, I would ask that we not reproduce the photos from this event here. These are not professional photographers. We would like keep the community aspect of this project intact. In that spirit we want to make sure those who view the photos do so as an aggregate on the NPG site or in a publication that has paid for them.
Discussion is of course always great! I will tell you number 19 had me in tears, 33 made me laugh and 81 is my favorite.
Do you want to see the images in full size and full color, with some explanatory text? Head to The Guardian, here.