On Thursday, November 7 I had the amazing opportunity of attending the final portfolio judging for the College Photographer of the Year (COPY) competition. I had attended an earlier round of judging last fall, but this was my first time being in the room when the actual winner was announced.
My editing emphasis is a pretty good indicator of how much I know about photography: very little. I could go on and on about grammar, AP style, sentence structure, and spelling errors; I knew nothing about photography, however, until I took multimedia journalism this semester.
The skills I learned this semester gave me an entirely new perspective on COPY this year. When the judges were critiquing each set of photos, I was much more aware of the terminology used. I also was able to see things in the photos–both positive and negative–that I wouldn’t have otherwise noticed.
The tension in the room was almost unbearable; even though the names and universities of the photographers remained anonymous, I still couldn’t help but feel emotionally connected to them and their work. It was at this moment that I realized the final portfolios, despite their journalistic nature, we’re true representations of art.
While I wasn’t completely excited to attend the judging, I’m extremely glad that I did. It really was an excellent way to connect what I’ve learned about photography thus far to seeing it’s real-world effects in the field of journalism.