WAY photo competition: making memories

August 2023

This summer, to mark World Photography Day on 19 August, we invited members of our charity WAY Widowed and Young to share their photos with us inspired by the theme: “Making memories”.

We received nearly 30 poignant entries from WAY members who have been making memories around the world – from the streets of Japan to the lakes of Canada and from the beaches of Cornwall to the Highlands of Scotland.

It was really difficult to choose our winning entries, but we’ll be sharing four on our social media feeds on World Photography Day. 

We wanted to share some more of the entries with you too, alongside captions that explain the significance of each photograph.

We hope you enjoy this beautiful collection of memories as much as we have. Huge thanks to everyone who took the time to take part.

Adam's photo taken in Kyoto, Japan


“I took this photo on the first part of my journey to scatter my fiancée’s ashes in Japan. Blossom season was beautiful and I felt this image captured the vibe of Kyoto perfectly.

I’m scattering the ashes all over the world and I hope to get more amazing pictures in honour of ‘my person’s’ memory.”

David's photo of the Northern Lights


“My images are from my travels after reading that those we loved can use our eyes to see the world after they have left it. 

This one is from the beach on Emma Lake in Canada showing the Northern lights.”

Catherine's photo taken in Mid Wales


“This is five minutes from my home.

It’s the place where I walk to find peace in Mid Wales.”

Emma's photo of the Angel of the North

Emma C:

“Angels are all around us. We’ve been frequent visitors to the Newcastle area for many years and regularly used to visit the Angel of the North with my late husband.

We still come back without him to continue making memories and keeping up with family traditions.”

Here are some more of the incredible images that were entered into the competition:

Montage of competition entries
  1. “My daughter Demelza and my late wife Katy having fun on Looe beach in Cornwall on the day before Christmas Eve several years ago.” - Jim
  2. “View from Bigton in Shetland. My husband Owain had been to Shetland on quite a few occasions whilst working up in Scotland and always spoke very fondly of it. We never managed to go there together but I wanted to see it for myself. Whilst I was there I felt very close to Owain and completely fell in love with the place, as he had done. The sense of community, friendliness and strong connection to sea and elements really struck me and Owain would have felt similarly.” - Rachel

  3. “On lunch break from work, I walked over to the South Bank and found the tide was out. I’d never walked on the banks of the Thames before. I picked up stones from the beach and skimmed them over the water. I took this photo but thought it looked better in black and white.” - James

  4. “Menorca. Our first beach holiday abroad since 2016, and since losing my husband.” - Hayley

  5. “This was taken on the plane back from Jamaica. It was our first Christmas without my husband/her father, who died unexpectedly in May 2022 (on her birthday). We took a cruise to the Caribbean to have a ‘different Christmas’.” - Meredith
  6. “Me and my dog Chewbacca from a trip to the Highlands. Me and my husband always wanted to visit but always put it off. On the trip I scattered some of his ashes at Loch Oich whilst Chewy was playing in the snow. It was such a beautiful and peaceful day.” - Jeanna
  7. “My daughter has been a student at the University of Nottingham. When my son and I brought her home for Christmas, we went to see the lights at Wollaton Hall.” - Emma M
  8. "This picture was taken on our honeymoon in March 2022. We were together for 20 years but only had one year of being married. Claire passed away on 10 April 2023."- Royden
  9. “This is my daughter and some other WAY children at the beach at the end of an amazing week. Despite the apprehension of our first holiday after my husband died, me and the children had an amazing week and made some new friends…we are even planning to back again.” - George