Photographs highlight wide range of diverse older adults

Simona Combi
Public Relations Manager

May 14, 2024, Arlington, VA—The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is proud to announce the winners of its fifth annual photo contest, which this year focused on diversity. NCOA’s mission is ensuring that everyone—regardless of race or ethnicity—has the resources they need to age well.

“We are honoring the tapestry of races and ethnicities across the United States, which makes our population so rich,” said Ramsey Alwin, NCOA President and CEO.

“This collection of vibrant portraits of diverse older Americans enjoying life is what we envision for every American.”

The photo contest features photographers from across the country who captured moments or joy and reflection in an array of environmental and studio portraits.

First Place went to Angie Keller for American Born. Keller said that her photograph “captures the essence of rebirth and new beginnings, symbolized by the American lotus… the lotus flower emerges from the depths of the water, representing the journey from darkness to light, from grief to renewal.”

American Born © Angie Keller

Second Place was awarded to David Cohen for Best Friends. The two women pictured in Day of the Dead costumes have known each other for over 20 years. Every year, they create costumes and makeup that make the day come alive.”

Best Friends © David Cohen

The Guest Jury Award went to Shaoyi Zhang for The Artist—Hongtu Zhang. His work attempts to dispel the “continuing, often stereotypical perception of Chinese Americans as low-level workers.” Zhang does this “through environmental portraiture of Chinese and Chinese American professionals—scholars, teachers, and artists—living and working in New York City.”

The Artist—Hongtu Zhang © Shaoyi Zhang

The public is invited to view the complete 2024 NCOA Gallery of all selected photographs and artists, and to rate their favorite photos for the Public Choice Award. The voting system is open until May 30. People can also visit a virtual exhibition for a more immersive experience. NCOA will be releasing regular posts on Instagram, highlighting the winners and invited participants. Follow us on Instagram to learn more.

About NCOA:
The National Council on Aging (NCOA) is the national voice for every person’s right to age well. We believe that how we age should not be determined by gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Working with thousands of national and local partners, we provide resources, tools, best practices, and advocacy to ensure every person can age with health and financial security. Founded in 1950, we are the oldest national organization focused on older adults. Learn more at and @NCOAging.