About Down's Syndrome : My Perspective 2020

Congratulations to the winners of this year’s My Perspective competition!

Peter Davison, our patron, announced the winners of the Judges’ Choice and Peoples’ Choice awards virtually on 5 August 2020…

Natalie Stevanus from Bloomingdale in Canada won the Judges’ Choice Award for her moving image entitled Companionship. Although Natalie has reached the finals of the competition three times already, this is the first time she has scooped one of the top prizes.

Natalie’s photograph captures a peaceful, atmospheric early morning scene. She told us:I love dogs!! On an early morning walk I saw the man and his dog walking. I liked how they looked crossing the bridge. With the sun and fog around them it made me wonder are they best friends, and where are they going? What story can this picture tell us?’

After she heard she had won, she sent us this video:

The Peoples’ Choice Award however, was voted for by the general public online. They chose Conor O’Dowd’s portrait entitled My friend Jason the model as their favourite. Conor, is from Drogheda in County Louth, Ireland.

A black and white portrait of a young man in a black tshirt and a leather jacket, sitting against a dark material background. The young man, who has Down's syndrome, looks directly at the viewer.

Conor’s striking black and white portrait is full of character. He 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 together fun taking the photo. I love taking photos.’

Conor had this message to share after he heard the news:

Each year, a special award is presented to a photographer who doesn’t live in the UK. It’s called The Stephen Thomas Awardand was established in memory of Stephen, a previous My Perspective winner who sadly died with his father in a tragic boating accident in 2015.  

Stephen Thomas’ brother, Paul, was able to announce the winner via video:

Houston Vandergriff, this year’s winner, comes from the USA.

A person pulling a small wheeled suitcase walks away from the viewer across a modern, canopied footbridge. Beyond the the sky is clear and atmospheric as the sun sets. The scene is reflected in a glass panel that runs the length of one side of the walkway.

Houston had also been one of this year’s 25 finalists but winning the Stephen Thomas Award was a surprise.

Houston’s winning photograph is entitled ‘Travelling Thru’, Houston said: I was at the train station early in the morning. We were going from Aix-en-Provence to Monaco. The sun was coming up. The reflection made it look like two sunrises.’

We’d like to say a very big thank you to all of our judging panel and to Nikon for their support this year.

Congratulations to all of this year’s finalists


  • Paul Wakeling, Swallow Falls
  • Robbie Snowden, Robin resting on church wall
  • Sarah-Jane McIndoe, Shipwreck
  • Christine Antunovich, Winter Sunset on the bay
  • Stephen Lucas, Kingfisher
  • Daniel Geeson, Cwmyoy Church
  • Alex Dodson, Bluebell Blanket
  • Jonathan Grosvenor, Egg Cups
  • Carlos Biggemann, Snowy Morning
  • Emmanuel Bishop, Marine Iguana
  • Howard Whitton, Skyward
  • Jenny Craven, Mysterious object
  • Emily Buck, Multicolored Me!
  • Adam Impey, Wild world ribbit frog
  • Sam Downing, Bee House
  • Emily M, My Dog Penny
  • David Cormack, Full Moon? The enchanted forest
  • Nicola Russell, The Squirrel
  • Conor O’Dowd, My friend Jason the model
  • Artyom Zenkov, Ermek
  • David Kenward, Fancy a game?
  • Houston Vandergriff, Caleb the Cowboy
  • Steven Padmore, Beach Huts in a Puddle
  • Gabe Kavookjian, Mr. Santini
  • Natalie Stevanus, Companionship

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