Photographers win numerous awards at ATPI Winter Conference

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Photo by Sara Vaughn

This image was a part of Texas High’s Best of Show School Portfolio. The theme of the portfolio was “Connected.”

Sara Vaughn and Madeline Parish

Last weekend, the Texas High Commercial Photography Club competed at the Association of Texas Photography Instructors’ Winter Conference held in Austin, Texas. The group won many awards in the various categories at the convention.

In the School Portfolio competition, teams of four students had six days to make a portfolio for one of the given categories. Texas High’s team of juniors Kayleigh Moreland and Emily Meinzer and seniors Sara Vaughn and Rachel Lewis won Best of Show for their portfolio with the theme “Connected.”

“We did a film noir style portfolio,” Moreland said. “I thought it was a good portfolio, but I didn’t think it would win best of show. When they called out first place and all that was left was best of show, I thought there was no way we were going to win, so it was a big surprise.”

In the Advanced and Beginning Portfolio competitions, students individually compiled portfolios of their best work. In the Advanced Photojournalism Portfolio category, Vaughn won first place and senior Misty Morris received an honorable mention. In the Advanced Art Portfolio competition, Lewis won third place. In the Beginning Portfolio category, junior Lauren Maynard won Best of Show, Moreland won first place and Meinzer won third place.

“It was a shock to win first place,” Vaughn said. “I didn’t know [the portfolio] was a competition until they started calling out winners. It felt nice to win because [photojournalism is] what I want to do with the rest of my life, so it was good to get recognition for it.

Several other individual competitions were also held at the convention. In the Digital Image contest, students were given the categories, “Space,” “Old,” and “Light.” Then, they produced one image for each category and submitted it digitally, with no editing. Maynard won first place for the categories “Space” and “Old.”

Maynard also won Best of Show in the Picture Package competition, where three themed pictures were submitted for judging. Maynard chose the theme, “In Motion” for her set.

“My original idea was unable to be completed, so I had to come up with something last minute [for my picture package],” Maynard said. “I was brainstorming with Emily and we were looking at motion pictures and came up with the idea to do dance pictures in flour.”

In the Cropped contest, students were given a category and a short time frame to produce an image that fitted the theme. Then, the pictures were judged and half of the photographers were eliminated. This process was repeated for several rounds until only a few photographers remained. Lewis won third in the competition.

“Last year, I only made it to the second round in Cropped, but this year, I made it all the way through, so I’ve improved a lot,” Lewis said. “I knew what to expect and my composition was much better than last year.”

The Digital Editing competition tested photographers’ skills in photo manipulation. Students were given an hour and 45 minutes to make an advertisement in Photoshop using stock photos. Senior Brianna O’Shaughnessy won second in the competition.

“I wasn’t expecting the second place win because I looked over and everyone else was doing really complicated things and I went more simplistic with my design,” O’Shaughnessy said. “It was a surprise, but I’m happy I won.”

In the B.I.G. 72 video contest, schools created a three minute long video in 72 hours. The theme was vintage, and a record had to be included in the film. Texas High won second overall with their video entitled “Pickup on Broad Street.”

“B.I.G. 72 was a really good learning experience,”  junior Madeline Parish said. “For this specific video, we learned the film noir style and how to light things for a cinematic effect.”

Adviser Clint Smith is happy with the club’s performance at the conference.

“The highlight was winning School Portfolio. This is a photography conference and if you win school portfolio it shows that your school is one of the best and we also won a camera as a prize for winning that portfolio,” Smith said. “I’m proud of the entire program because of their hard work and dedication and for continuing to be one of the top programs in the state.”