ORONO — The winners of a statewide photography contest held this spring to celebrate and promote positive, realistic images of the diverse aging experience in Maine will be announced June 4 in a Maine Gerontological Society Facebook Live event.

Focus on Real Aging in Maine (F.R.A.M.E.) attracted 82 entries from amateur and professional photographers of people in Maine age 50 and older. The 10:30 a.m. prize presentation on June 4 will feature three awards to amateur photographers and three awards to professional photographers. Six Maine amateur and professional photographers judged the respective entries. 

In addition, one People’s Choice Award will be made. Voting continues through May 28; information about how to see the photo exhibition and cast votes is online.

Prizes include contributions to the winner’s charity or nonprofit of choice, cash awards and gifts from Maine businesses.

The photo contest, held March 10 to May 9, was sponsored by the Maine Gerontological Society and the University of Maine Center on Aging in collaboration with the Maine Community Foundation and the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine. Lisa White, a UMaine social work graduate student working in the university’s Center on Aging, helped organize F.R.A.M.E.

The goal was to bring a more positive perspective to older Mainers during the COVID-19 pandemic, which marginalized older adults, according to the organizers. F.R.A.M.E. responded to the need for images showing the reality of aging in Maine, especially in our rural communities.

“The UMaine Center on Aging celebrates the public health success of Mainers living longer, healthier lives,” says director Lenard Kaye. “We are all aging. However, it is hard to find free-use photos of older people enjoying life. With help from our partners, the Maine Community Foundation and the Elder Abuse Institute of Maine, we have created a library of photos that show older people doing the things we all do — working, volunteering, and having fun with family and friends. Our hope is that when nonprofits and local organizations start to use these photos to depict aging, we will all contribute to a more positive view of aging.”

In addition to highlighting and celebrating the real lives of older Mainers, F.R.A.M.E. images will be used by the Maine Gerontological Society to create a library of new, relevant and age-friendly photos from the qualifying entries that will be available free of charge for limited noncommercial use on websites and in other publications by individuals and nonprofit organizations.