Annual Amateur Photo Contest open to novices, experienced photographers

For 13 years, UAA Parking Services has hosted the Annual Amateur Photo Contest. The contest is open to current students, staff and faculty.


The grand prize winner will receive a 2018-2019 annual full-day parking permit, valued at $350. Three runner-ups are also chosen and will be awarded a semester full day parking permit, each with a value of $180. All four winners will have their winning photo featured on the different types of parking passes next semester.

Aside from the physical rewards of the competition, the photo contest offers recognition for amateur photographers, as well as the opportunity to take a closer look at the university’s campus.

“[The contest] started as a way to encourage pride in our campus and encourage folks to experience campus and share their perspective with us. It helps build a relationship between Parking Services and the UAA community,” Brandon Moore, marketing director for Parking Services, said. “It’s also a friendly reminder to everyone about making sure they have an up to date parking permit.”

Diane Hirshberg, professor of education policy, was one of the runner-ups for the 2017 competition. She entered to take advantage of the unique opportunity to showcase her talent and provide recognition to the lesser known areas on-campus.

“I applied to the contest in part because it was fun to think about what kind of campus photo would look good in a two or three-inch square. It is also a fun opportunity to recognize the talents of campus faculty and staff and encourage us to share our different views of the campus with each other,” Hirshberg said.

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Hirshberg’s photo was inspired by her own department building, the Bragaw Office Building. She feels the office is not widely known by those attending UAA because it isn’t located on-campus and wanted to give it recognition. Hirshberg entered multiple photos in the 2017 competition and plans to again in the future if she finds just the right photo.

“As long as I have an iPhone or my little camera with me, there’s always a chance I’ll get that winning shot,” Hirshberg said.

For Trevor Sprague, electrical engineering and computer systems engineering major, inspiration came to him sporadically.

“I was taking an early morning walk and thought the colors of the bookstore lights were cool. At the time, I wasn’t thinking about how it captured UAA. In fact, I didn’t know about the contest at the time,” Sprague said. “In retrospect, I think it shows how UAA and its students shine and stand out from everyone else.”

Sprague’s photo of the bookstore’s lit up sign won a runner-up title in last year’s competition. Sprague plans to enter again this year or in the future, with hopes of winning the grand prize.

Other criteria of the amateur photo contest include not allowing recognizable faces in submitted photos. Pictures must be originally taken by the entrant.

Kathleen Lawton, medical assistance major, won one of the runner-up titles in 2017. With a passion for art and photography since middle school, Lawton’s last-minute decision to apply ended up with a semester full day parking permit.

“I like capturing moments in time, and small details,” Lawton said. “Photography is a good way to do that.”

This year, all submissions will be placed into a poll and voted on by the UAA community. Access can be found on the UAA Parking home page after the collection of the entries. Anyone with a UAA email is allowed one vote. Voting will begin on Feb. 20 and is open until Feb. 26. Final selection is made by the director of parking services. Winners will be announced on March 6.

To apply, and for more information on the rules and regulations, visit Parking Services’ page on the UAA website. Submissions, up to three per applicant, are open to all members of UAA and are due on Feb. 16. by 5 p.m.