From the amateur to the professional, from the young to the old and from landscapes to portraits, photography skills of Rim Country have been showcased throughout September.
Thousand of residents entered photos at the Northern Gila County Fair last weekend and budding photographers from Payson High School’s Photography Club were honored at the First Friday event on Historical Main Street Labor Day weekend.
While it takes some photographers years to make it into a gallery, students in Payson High School’s Photography Club, better known as the Shutterbugs, are already being honored for their talent.
Down the Street Art Gallery hosted the photography club and several students took advantage of the opportunity to enter two photos to be judged by a panel of newspaper photographers.
Minette Richardson, manager of Down the Street Art Gallery, gave judges a list of criteria to judge the students work. At the end of judging, students were given a critique from each judge that stated what they did well and what they could improve upon.
Richardson said she got the idea to host the students’ work at the gallery last year after meeting with one of the photography student’s mother.
“I thought what a great idea to have the kids display their work,” she said. “This was all of their first professional showing. This gives them a taste of what it is like as a professional.”
Richardson said students loved the opportunity to have their work displayed in a gallery alongside other artists.
“The kids were super and they all were involved and present at the showing,” she said.
Students selected which two shots they wanted to enter. Teacher Beverly Adams said the photography club met ahead of time to hash out which shots should be entered for each member.
Zane Wiles won best in show for a close up shot of a man wearing sunglasses, which reflected a cloudy sky above.
Andrew Kofile won second place for another extreme close up, this time of a crocodile’s eye he took at the wildlife fair earlier this year.
Paula Scott took third place with a street view shot of a vivid red door, which she took in Georgia.
Next year, Richardson said she plans to choose a subject that all of the students will focus on so they can compare their work.
While professionals did most of the judging, the public was also invited to vote for their favorite. Kofile took the people’s choice award.
Richardson said she was impressed to see the public take the judging seriously.
“They didn’t just walk over and circle one and drop it in a box,” she said. “They looked at each picture and the included bio.”
Two of the photos even sold that night.
Other students who entered include Samantha Nixon, Jocyy Leon and Scott Farnum
The students’ photographs will remain on display at the art gallery for the remainder of the month and is available for purchase.
Adams started the photography club in January 2007 with five students and it has expanded to a dozen.