Teens step behind the lens for photo contest

© Can Stock Photo / vnlit

Local teens will once again have the opportunity to showcase their photography skills during a contest.

The Lambton County Library and the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery have partnered for this year’s “Take Your Shot: Teen Photo Contest.”

Public Services Coordinator of Youth Programs and Outreach Vanitia Campbell said the contest has been around for a few years but didn’t take place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In 2019 we had over 30 submissions, then COVID shut us down for a bit, and then there was a little less success in 2021 because we were unable to partner with the art gallery as it was closed,” she said. “We’re hopeful that this year we can recover for a little bit more participation and hopefully build on those 30 plus submissions.”

The contest is open to teens between the ages of 13 and 18.

The theme for this year’s contest is “Feels Like Home”. Campbell said there are three subcategories to help teens express what home means to them. The categories include people or pets, places, and things.

Unlike in past years, a winner will not be chosen through a public voting process.

“We’ll have a jury of industry professionals taking a look at the photos and looking for elements of photographic composition, looking for subjects and how subjects are framed and how well the picture tells a story and kind of encapsulates that idea of home.”

The jury will consist of photographers Natali Bravo and Richard Beland, and JNAAG Curator/ Supervisor Sonya Blazek.

Also new this year is a gallery exhibition that will feature contest submissions.

“In the past, we’ve had some of the submissions at the art gallery. This year, we’re setting aside an entire gallery space and we’re going to have potentially up to 30 or more photographs professionally matted included in the exhibit,” said Campbell. “Even if somebody doesn’t end up being the grand prize winner or one of the category winners, there’s still lots of opportunity for this to be an experience that helps them along their path with photography.”

The exhibit will be on display at the Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery from August 12 to October 8.

Campbell said the art gallery is also planning to host an intensive workshop in July.

“There are also a number of photography courses available through the library’s online resources, through Gale Courses,” she said. “There are different courses on how to take better pictures and different types of photography.”

The grand prize winner of the photo contest will receive their choice of $100 to Mainframe in Sarnia, $100 to Carman’s Foto Source, or a virtual one-hour one-on-one session with award-winning photographer Peter Power.

Contest entries must be submitted online at lclibrary.ca/teenphotocontest by July 10. Winning photos will be announced on July 18.