Anna Bell Young, Jillian LoTurco, Emma Vaughan and Alexa Rind have a great eye for a good photo and all of them possess the skill to get the shot they desire. The four Huntington High School photographers captured awards in the Huntington Camera Club’s annual contest.
The teenagers are all studying with art teacher Pamela Piffard in Huntington’s well-regarded photography program. Taken individually they are all outstanding artists. Taken as a group they are simply spectacular. Their techniques and talents have grown by leaps and bounds along with their creativity.
Ms. Vaughan earned an award in the open category for her photo of a girl crying as a phone is held near her ear. Ms. Young received honors in the windows and doors category for her sunglass reflection photo. Ms. LoTurco won recognition for her haunting COVID-19 lockdown photo of a nurse (or woman) looking out a window with a street reflection. Ms. Rind took an award in the open category for her incredible color photo that includes three young woman.
There is a story behind each of the award winning photos. The Huntington Camera Club’s annual contest is considered by many to be Long Island’s most prestigious.
“This photo was taken for our Celebrating Black Artists project,” Ms. Young said. “For this shoot I tried to emulate the style of photos taken by photographer Adrienne Raquel. I really enjoyed learning about her as she works to include women of color into fashion. I am not surprised we had four award winners from Huntington! Mrs. Piffard is an amazing teacher that has worked so hard to create fun and exciting assignments for all her classes. I really appreciate all her hard work through this tough year and am really looking forward to taking her class next year too.”
A panel of judges reviewed every image with an eye on their technical aspects and creativity as well as their ability to fit the category in which they were entered.
“Mrs. Piffard always encouraged us to be creative and think outside the box when taking pictures,” Ms. LoTurco said. “Clearly, her students took her advice since we had four winners from our school. We received the assignment during the initial stages of the pandemic. I was feeling very nervous when the pandemic began and tried to create that eerie feeling through my photograph. I included the sign to show people that ‘we are all in this together’ since I knew many people were feeling alone.”
The annual contest typically draws more than 1,200 entries from over 600 students representing a long list of Nassau and Suffolk high schools and studying with more than two dozen photography teachers.
“If I hadn’t participated in the photography program at school, I don’t think I would be as social or have met and hung out with as many cool and amazing people as I have this past year,” Ms. Vaughan said. “Portraiture photography has definitely given me an excuse to have fun and meet new people while simultaneously bettering my craft with each shoot. Being among the four award winners has given me even more confidence and it’s all thanks to Huntington’s only photography teacher, Mrs. Piffard. She’s actually the one who entered me into the contest in the first place. I’m so happy about my journey as an artist and I can’t wait to see where I go from here.
Nikon, Inc. once again signed on as a major sponsor of the contest, donating equipment, books and educational materials, which were awarded as prizes.
The Huntington Camera Club has hosted the competition since 1991. Since then more than $40,000 in prizes have been presented. “The club is proud to shine a spotlight on the talents of these young photographers and their teachers,” according to the organization’s website. “A competition of this nature is only possible because of the generosity of the local business community and club membership.”