Our Selecting Panel brings together a group of talented and experienced individuals from a variety of backgrounds; united by their interest in photography and raising awareness of heart valve disease.

Alex Rotas

Professional Documentary Photographer


Alex Rotas took up photography late in life after a career spanning education, health and academia. For the last six years she has been photographing men and women in the 60 through 100 year old age groups, who still compete in the sport they love. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and her photos have featured on the BBC national website and in numerous other online and print publications both in the UK and abroad. She has won awards for changing popular perceptions of the ageing body and for challenging the idea that competitive sport is a domain belonging to young people.

Inspired by the people she photographs, she took up running three years ago aged 65 and is currently an ambassador for England Athletics’ RunTogether campaign. She is also an ambassador for Active Ageing (Bristol) and is very proud now to be associated with the charity Heart Valve Voice, through their national photography competition.

Pat Khan

Book Reviewer, Writer and Charity Volunteer

Pat started out her career working as a local newspaper reporter, reporting at magistrates courts and inquests before moving into public relations. While working with a bed manufacturer, she was one of a panel of judges, including Design Council, selecting winning entries for the most innovative new bed design. She also spent two years in Dubai writing speeches for visiting CEOs of multi-national companies. Back in the UK she brushed up her cookery skills and spent nine years as a demonstrator for AGA cookers. She retired early when her mother was diagnosed with dementia, and around this time was also able to reconnect with her childhood love of ponies by volunteering at a sanctuary for abandoned horses. Since being treated for heart valve disease in 2013 she is an enthusiastic ambassador for Heart Valve Voice and an active member of their Patient Action Group.

Dr Harry Hall MA

Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society

Dr Hall began to take photographs while he was participating in mountaineering expeditions, his images were then used to illustrate magazine articles and books. He became interested in the culture of the communities who inhabited the isolated valleys of the Himalayas and undertook a number of projects documenting these societies. One such project, ‘Buddhism in the Himalayas’, gained him his Fellowship with the RPS. Returning to University to study an MA in Contemporary Photography, Harry investigated alternative documentary approaches to working with isolated communities. This led to a Ph.D. with research into the representation of the process of urbanisation as experienced by nomadic groups. Harry contributes the M.A. Photography Course at the University of Sunderland, along with academic conferences and publications. His work includes projects on food banks, the Salvation Army, volunteering, public spaces, and ancient trade routes.

Christina Bannister

Nurse Case Manager, Cardiac Surgery, University Hospital Southampton

Christina has worked in cardiac surgery for the past 23 years, first on a Cardiac Surgery and Cardiology ward, progressing to her current specialist nursing role. She has worked in hospitals around London before moving to Southampton General nine years ago. Christina’s current role consists of planning the caseload for Mr Steve Livesey, a Cardiac Surgeon specialising in mitral valve disease.

Until March 2017 she was the Nursing & Allied Health Professional Representative for the Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery (SCTS) in Great Britain & Ireland, and now remains as the link between the Society and Patients, working with organisations and charities, like Heart Valve Voice, to promote shared working and improve information for patients and their carers. Christina also sits on the National Cardiac Benchmarking Collaborative and the Cardiac Surgery Clinical Reference Group for NHS England.

At Southampton, she works within a team of four Nurse Case Managers and plans the surgical dates for the patients on the cardiac surgical waiting list and the inpatient transfers. In her work, she sees first hand the impact that valve disease treatment can have on patient’s quality of life and is very excited to be supporting this competition.

Helen Cathcart

Lifestyle photographer

Helen is a lifestyle photographer specialising in travel, food and interiors. After studying Photography and Art Direction she started her career as a Photo Director working on various titles including a short stint on British Vogue. She made the transition to full time photographer after a period living in Sydney and now shoots for top magazines and brands such as Conde Nast Traveller, John Lewis and the White Company. Helen also co-founded the successful website BOLDER, a project aimed at combating ageism and championing inspirational older people. She is based in London.

Competition timings

Submission Deadline: 10th of May 2019

Regional selection: 3rd of June 2019

Regional finalists photography documentary creation: 4th of June to 16th of September 2019

National final and exhibit at House of Parliament: Autumn 2019