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Tuesday, 7th July 2020

Conor through to final of international photography competition

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Conor O'Dowd out on the beach with his favourite Canon camera.

Well known Drogheda man and keen photographer, Conor O’Dowd, has reached the finals of an international photography competition. His portrait of a good friend ‘My friend Jason the model’, is one of twenty-five shortlisted in the Down’s Syndrome Association’s ‘My Perspective’ competition.

The competition is open to people who have Down's syndrome from across the world. This year entries came from as far away as Iran, Canada, USA, Australia, India and Kyrgyzstan as well as the UK, where the Down’s syndrome Association is based.

Conor’s striking black and white portrait is full of character. Conor said: “Jason is my best friend. I met him when we were little. Jason would like to be a fashion model and I would like to be a photographer.

“For this picture I asked Jason to be my model and he signed the permission form. We had great fun together taking the photo. I love taking photos.”

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The competition gives photographers who have the genetic condition a chance to show off their talents to a group of industry professionals and special guest judges.

This year the judging panel includes actors Peter Davison (Doctor Who, All Creatures Great And Small) and Emma Barton (Eastenders), who are both patrons of the DSA, and Dianne Buswell, one of Strictly Come Dancing’s professional dancers. They will choose the Judge’s Choice winner.

From 6-20 July, members of the public will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite picture, to choose the People’s Choice winner. Details of the shortlisted photographs and how to vote are available at

Conor O'Dowd's photo of his friend Jason which is one of the 25 shortlisted in the Down’s Syndrome Association’s ‘My Perspective’ competition. 

 A special award, the Stephen Thomas Award, is given to an international photographer. The prize was established in 2016 in memory of Stephen, a previous My Perspective winner, who sadly died with his father in a tragic boating accident in Canada in 2015.

The winners will be revealed in early August. Sadly, this year’s awards event has been cancelled due to covid-19 pandemic but all the shortlisted photographers, and the winners, will be celebrated through the DSA’s social media channels.

In years gone by, people with Down's syndrome were photographed as exhibits; the viewer was not supposed to see the person, just the difference. The Down's Syndrome Association's ‘My Perspective’ competition, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this year, aims to turn the camera around and give people with Down's syndrome the chance to show the world from their point of view.

To see the competition finalists and vote for your choice just click this link:

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