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Rare Disease Patient Photo Contest

Eurordis, the European patient advocacy group, invites people around the world to take a photo that “visually expresses what it means to live with a rare disease.”

Photo of a child in an illustrated scene
An award-winning photograph from the 2023 Black Pearl Photo Contest - courtesy of Eurordis. The 2024 contest is open to entrants through January 31.

Just in time for Rare Disease Day in February, hundreds of photographers soon will submit their photos to compete for the Black Pearl Photo Award, presented by Eurordis, Europe’s patient advocacy organization for those who have rare diseases.

There’s still time to enter the contest, which is has no age limit and entrants can be from anywhere in the world. The deadline to submit a photo is January 31. Online voting begins in February. The EURORDIS Photo Award “is an opportunity to visually express what it means to live with a rare disease and to share your story with the rare disease community and beyond,” the advocacy group said.

Eurordis will announce the winners on February 20, the night of the Black Pearl Awards event in Brussels. The Black Pearl Awards recognize leading advocates who raise awareness and make a difference in the rare disease community.

Award-winning documentary photographer Marcus Bleasdale will judge the 2024 contest. Bleasdale, who is a contributing photographer to National Geographic, has traveled the world to cover wars and document human rights abuses. To take the best possible portrait of someone who lives with a rare condition, he offered this: “I advise getting to know your subject as well as possible. Know them and try to represent their personality and reality in your photography with gentleness and humanity.”

Eurordis will award three top prizes, including photo equipment and other tech gifts.

Learn more about how to enter the photo contest.

See the Flickr album featuring previous submissions to the contest.