Museum competitions

Capture Kingston: Lockdown & Out - Now Extended until 6 January 2021

Our photography competition for 2020, Capture Kingston: Lockdown & Out, run in partnership with the Rose Theatre Kingston and supported by the Friends of Kingston Museum and Heritage Service, deadline has now been extended until 6 January 2021. 

We believe it is important to give people who live, work or study in the borough the opportunity to record their experiences during this second lockdown. When we launched the competition in the summer we didn’t know then that we would be re-entering a lockdown period in the autumn. We have therefore decided to extend the closing date for our competition.

The extension to the competition will give even more people the opportunity to enter and be part of a special exhibition the Rose and the History Centre will hold in 2021. It is also a unique opportunity to record experiences of those connected to the borough during lockdown and beyond. We hope entrants will record many aspects of their lives during lockdown such as; changes in everyday life, celebrations, working or studying at home, hobbies, learning a new skill,  or daily exercise to name a few. We hope the challenge of finding or creating a great lockdown photograph will be a welcome distraction for some.

While the Heritage Service remains closed and the Rose Theatre has had to close its doors for now, we look forward to welcoming visitors back as soon as we can and sharing the creative entries we have received.

Keep an eye on our website for future competition updates and thank you to everyone who has entered so far!

We are particularly keen to get more entries for our under 18s category so if you are or know anyone in this age category then please encourage them to enter. Please see our other competition categories here.

About the competition

Every year, Kingston History Centre and the Friends of Kingston Museum and Heritage Service run a photography competition called Capture Kingston. The competition was set up in memory of Les Kirkin to ensure Kingston’s photographic collection continues to record the ever changing history of the Borough. 

This year’s Capture Kingston project has been devised and delivered in partnership with the Rose Theatre.

We are excited to announce the theme for this year's photo competition will be Lockdown & Out, inspired by lockdown, self-isolation and the changes we are still living through. We have been facing restrictions and challenges as well as limitations in our contact with friends and family. However, during this period, expression and creativity have flourished. 

We are inviting you to enter photos that you have taken that document your life during the pandemic. Perhaps you have documented the early days of lockdown, have a photo that celebrates a local hero or maybe captured learning or working at home. We are interested in all your photographs from the early days of Covid-19 through to the easing of restrictions and beyond. 

By entering photos into the competition you will be in with a chance of winning a number of great prizes (see details below). Your work will also be included in an exhibition across the Rose Theatre and History Centre. By entering a photo, you will be contributing to Kingston’s photographic collection. Meaning that your experience will become part of the Borough’s Archive, ensuring that future generations understand what it was like to live, work, or study in Kingston through a global pandemic.

We would like as many people as possible to see and be inspired by your photography submissions and very much look forward to sharing them both online from this summer and in the Rose Theatre and History Centre (dates TBC).

The winners will be the photographs that in the opinion of the judges, best represent the categories of the competition.

You do not need to select a category when you are entering - your image may be considered for multiple categories. However please be aware that these areas are:

Category 1 - Portraiture and lifestyle
We encourage applicants to be creative. Some ideas may include; social distancing, reunions with friends and family, celebrations during lockdown (birthdays, VE Day, Pride etc…), leisure work or study activities and creative projects.  

Category 2 - Landscape, exteriors and interiors
Some ideas to get you started are; empty public spaces/quiet streets and landmarks, the view from your window, signage and things that really show how the Borough changed. 

Category 3 - Still life
Objects that represent an aspect of lockdown whether items found out and about or at home or artworks created by the community or at home in response to Covid.

A winner will be chosen from each of the 3 categories above and the prize will be a pair of tickets to a performance at The Rose Theatre. In addition prizes will be awarded as follows. 

  • Les Kirkin Memorial Prize
    Prize money of £50 and a pair of tickets will be awarded to the favourite photo of the Friends of Kingston Museum and Heritage Service.

  • Under 18s
    Prize money of £40 and a pair of tickets will be awarded to the best under 18 entry that illustrates life in the Borough during Covid.

  • South of the Borough
    Prize money of £25 and a pair of tickets will be awarded to the best photograph of Hook, Chessington, New Malden or Tolworth during Covid.

  • Most Historically Valuable
    Prize money of £25 and a pair of tickets to the image that, in the opinion of the judges, most accurately captures a moment of life in the Borough at this period in time.

  • Kingston’s Choice
    A pair of tickets will be awarded to the image that is voted for by members of the public. 

How to enter


Entries will be judged by a panel comprising the Rose Theatre, Committee Members from Friends of Kingston Museum & History Centre, Kingston Heritage Service Team and Kingston School of Art. 

The winners and a selection of runners up will have their prints displayed at Kingston History Centre and the Rose Theatre Kingston and will be invited to our very special Opening Party.

The Lockdown & Out photography competition will culminate in an exhibition across two sites staged in the Rose Theatre and Kingston History Centre following each site’s reopening (dates and details TBC). Entries will also be displayed in a virtual gallery on partners' social media channels & website prior to the winners being announced.

Terms and Conditions

  • The competition is open until midnight on 6 January 2021.

  • Anyone who lives, works, or studies in the borough can take part.

  • Your photograph must have been taken after 1 March 2020.

  • Photographs can be taken on any device and can be colour or black and white. Filters and other effects may be applied.

  • Photographs should be in JPEG/.jpg format and no larger than 3mb. Each image should be 300dpi.

  • Up to ten photographs may be submitted per entrant, maximum five in one series.

  • All entrants must complete this form to enter:

  • By submitting your entry, you confirm that your entry is your own original work, is not defamatory and does not infringe any UK laws or third-party rights, and that there are no conflicting agreements in place that restrict usage of your entry. You also confirm that you are the sole owner of the copyright in the entry.

  • All entries from a young person under the age of 16 must include parent/guardian consent. There is a question about this on the entry form - entries that have not got permission will not be able to be included.

  • We will assume that all submissions have the permissions of anyone featured in the photograph (this is the responsibility of the entrant) If your photograph contains an image of a minor (person under the age of 16) or vulnerable adult, then you will be required to submit a minor release form signed by the parent or legal guardian of the minor alongside your submission.

  • In producing the photograph, you must not put yourself or anyone else in danger, and must avoid the spread of Covid-19 (coronavirus) by abiding by any social distancing provisions in force under current UK Government guidelines, which can be found at

  • By entering photos into the competition you are gifting your image to Kingston Heritage Service’s photographic collection, held at Kingston History Centre. Meaning that your photograph(s) will become part of the Borough’s Archive, ensuring that future generations understand what it was like to live, work, or study in Kingston through a global pandemic.

  • The main purpose of taking photographic images into the collection is to be able to share them with current and future generations. Giving copyright to Kingston Heritage Service is important, as to accept images as part of the historical archive we need to be able to make them freely available.

    Transferring copyright also means the Heritage Service can use the images on our website, in exhibitions and for marketing purposes which saves us money and allows us to concentrate our resources on building a historical record of Kingston and looking after documents, images and objects in our care.

    We would be delighted if you are able to hand over full copyright to Kingston Heritage Service for reasons outlined above, we understand that this isn't always possible. When you complete the entry form you will be given two options relating to copyright and permissions.

    You can either agree to transfer copyright to Kingston Heritage Service. Your gift of copyright with this image will make a huge difference to how we and future generations can use and help to preserve this image going forward.

    Or you can highlight that you need to keep copyright but you agree for Kingston Heritage Service to use your image in future partnership projects or in an educational or marketing capacity. This includes but is not limited to an exhibition across the Rose Theatre and History Centre, website of both organisations, social media channels and in the press.

    In both cases the Entrant will be credited for the use of their photograph, wherever practicable.