Photogs outshine competitors

Texas High Photography travels to Arlington Texas to compete in photo contest


Photo by submitted

Texas High Photo Club members hold their awards at the ATPI Conference Award Ceremony. Students competed in different categories such as Picture Package, Environmental Self Portrait, Cropped Competition and more.

Story by Macy Maynard, Editor In Chief

The Texas High photography staff, along with publication advisers Clint Smith and Sara Vaughn, recently took a trip to Arlington, Texas for the Association of Texas Photography Instructors’ Winter conference. The University of Texas at Arlington hosted the event on their campus.

The photography staff didn’t have the opportunity to travel due to COVID-19 in past years. The conference started back up last year but was virtual. Until this year the senior photographers only experienced it through Zoom, so the opportunity of in-person brought many new advantages.

“This year we got to actually do classes and you got to see the people you were competing against, and meet people and make friends with people from other schools,” senior assignments editor Braylen Garren said. “It was a great bonding experience.”

Smith serves on the executive board of ATPI. Because of the past years being virtual, a lot went into planning the in-person event.

“The scheduling for everything takes months of planning by everybody on the board,” Smith said. “There is no other state organization like ATPI, so we get instructors, students and professionals from across the nation to attend this event.”

The conference consists of many contests and classes for the photographers to compete and learn new things. One class that is offered provides an opportunity to attend a University of Texas at Arlington Mavericks basketball game to take photos and shoot videos.

There is no other state organization like ATPI, so we get instructors, students and professionals from across the nation to attend this event.”

— Clint Smith

“I was actually able to attend the basketball game at the Mavericks Stadium,” videographer Jackson Haltom said. “The energy was electric, and it was a really good experience for me.” 

The staff walked away with many awards at the conference. The students walked away with five first places and 32 awards overall. Seniors Braylen Garren, Macy Maynard, Allyson Arnold, along with Juniors Kristina Colburn, Truth Dukes and Chassidy Davis and Sophomore Kelsey Head all received first place awards.  

“We always go into the winter conference wanting to place in school portfolios as well as the cropped competitions, and we placed in both,” Smith said. “My favorite part of the conference is when my students realize it is their images being projected during the awards ceremony and the pure joy of being recognized for their efforts.”

The staff won many awards and came home with a pretty good sweep in photography and videography. Garren and Arnold’s photos were featured in the Best of Texas Scholastic Photography book, and half of the Texas Imagemaker team consisted of selected Texas High students. 

“Winter Conference this year was a great opportunity,” said Garren “It was rewarding to see years of hard work recognized.”