Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Boston Press Photographers Association hosts judging contest at college

Judges Lauren Steel (left) and David Goldman (right) came to the college for the Boston Press Photographers Association annual photo competition. Photo by Hongyu Liu / Beacon Correspondent

The Boston Press Photographers Association held its annual photo judging contest at the college for the first time from Feb.19-21.  

Photojournalists working in the Boston area, such as members from The Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and WGBH, participated in the contest the BPPA held in room L151 of the Piano Row residence hall. Fifteen categories, including the Photographer of the Year Award, made up this year’s competition.

For each category, three judges browsed through submitted photos and narrowed down a list of potential winners. The number of photos in each category varied from dozens to hundreds. Eventually, the three best photos in each category won an award. The judges also gave honorable mentions in each category.

The Photographer of the Year 2018 was offered to Craig Walker, a photojournalist from The Boston Globe. His photo showed two children in red shorts jumping into a community swimming pool. The judges liked the photo because the blue swimming pool made a great background against the children in red.

This year, Lauren Steel, a visuals consultant, David Goldman, a national enterprise staff photographer for the Associated Press, and Robert Deutsch, a veteran photojournalist from USA Today, judged the contest.

The BPPA welcomed observers to witness the judging process in past, however, this is the first year they chose to invite students.

Goldman, one of the judges, said he thought having students observe the judging process encourages the judges to talk more about their decisions.

“We all know why we didn’t vote. If [the other judges] say no to something, I have a good idea of why. We are all kind of on the same page,” Goldman said. “Having people here forces us to defend our decision.”

Joanne Ciccarello, an adjunct visual journalism professor at the college, invited the association to hold the contest at the college.

Ciccarello initially approached the association in December to find photographers to speak to her students in class. However, BPPA asked her if the college would like to hold the judging portion of the contest and Ciccarello accepted, along with the Journalism Department.

“Students can learn what editors look for in photographs,” Ciccarello said in an interview.

Deutsch said a good picture must impact a person immediately.

“[The pictures] should stand alone. They should hit you right in your face,” Deutsch said.

Steel said that in her mind, a good picture connects to the audiences.

Sophomore Aya Faham observed the judging and said hearing what professionals think about each of the photos was interesting.

“It is interesting to see what the professionals’ opinions are comparing to what I think,” Faham said. “Because there’s some things that I agree with while I disagree with other things. There was a couple of photos they didn’t like but I thought was the number one.”

The judges offered some advice to students interested in photojournalism.

“Stay involved in the community, find any opportunities you can, embed yourself further to see what you really want to do.” Steel said. “It’s a small world but it is also a big big world, and you have to make sure that you are very proactive. Nothing will just be handed to you.”


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About the Contributor
Hongyu Liu
Hongyu Liu, Multimedia Managing Editor
Hongyu Liu, graduated in 2022 with a journalism degree. He holds strong passion in photojournalism. Liu is from Beijing, China, and previously served as a news correspondent, photographer, and multimedia editor at The Beacon.

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