Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Judging the Boys & Girls Club National Photo Competition

I was honored to be asked to judge The ImageMakers national photo competition for the Boys & Girls Club of America yesterday. All of the images in the contest had won both local and regional competitions in the United States and abroad and were up for some fantastic prizes with this final national competition. They had the opportunity to win $3,000 within each of the 5 categories and a free trip to San Francisco for the winners of the portfolio competition.

It was so much fun to look through images that the kids had taken. Their perspective on family, friends, the environment, poverty and nature left me awestruck. The creativity, vision and originality was impressive. The images were divided by category and age group (ages 6-18). The youngest group were kids 6-9 years old and I must say (I mean write) that their images were among some of the best. There is definitely some fantastic talent out there and it's great that all the kids are being encouraged to experiment and have fun with photography. One girl's portfolio explained how photography has become so much more than a hobby. She wrote that she suffers from depression and that photography is the only thing that makes her happy, that gave her peace. How amazing to find something that can do that for you and even better that she found it at such a young age.

The wonderful staff at BGCA who organized the contest are Jennifer Young and Cristin Cerda. My other judging buddies were Roberto Arevalo and Kelly LaDuke.

Roberto and Kelly debating over which image is stronger....

Roberto reading an entry in the Photo Essay category. All these entries dealt with "G'Local Issues. Global and Local issues impacting Our Communities."

Some of our favorite images. The goldfish that I'm holding was AMAZING! The photographer was able to capture bubbles coming from the fish's mouth. It is so difficult to do macro (close-up) photography on moving things like a goldfish. Kuddos!

Thanks again BGCA, Jennifer, Crista and Elaina!