Photojournalism students do 'what they do' best in image contest

Apr 18, 2017

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Thumbnail for Photojournalism students do 'what they do' best in image contest

Thumbnail image by Brittainy Newman. The photo on the left by Daniel Vasta was entered into the Portraiture/Illustration category of the "What We Do" competition, which Vasta placed first in.


Judging of the RIT chapter of the National Press Photographers Association’s 16th annual “What We Do” photojournalism competition took place last weekend, and many College of Imaging Arts and Sciences students were honored for their dynamic images.

All entered work was submitted and judged digitally, and eligibility was restricted to either RIT photojournalism students or members of the RIT chapter of the NPPA. There were 11 categories, with a three-person panel consisting of RIT alumni Seth Gitner, Michael Schwarz and Meg Handler judging the contest.

Bryan Bennett was this year’s biggest winner, claiming first place in an eye-popping four categories — including Sports Features, Sports Action and News. That was in addition to winning the Nikon Portfolio Award, given to the entrant with the best portfolio sans the Gitner Family Award recipient.

Bennett received a Nikon KeyMission 360 camera for his portfolio award.

The Gitner Award, given to a returning student deemed to have the best portfolio, was won by Daniel Vasta, who received $1,300. Vasta also took first place in Portraiture/Illustration.

JuliAnna Patino was also a double-winner, earning the top honor in Picture Editing Event and Picture Editing Research.  

For the former category, the submission criteria called for the use of as many as 25 Associated Press photos to create a gallery that told the story of February’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and Falcons. The research category asked entrants to again utilize AP images to produce a slide show depicting events and developments related to President Donald Trump’s first 50 days in office. Patino's collection of photos for the research project is on the right.

Patino’s sequence for each was considered tops in the competition. As a result of her first-place showing in the research category, she won free tuition for the Kalish Workshop, an editing and visual storytelling seminar held June 20-25 at RIT.

Dominique Hessert was first, second and one of the honorable mentions in Multimedia, winning a prize package that includes a Zoom recorder, wireless microphones and accessories in the process.

Other winners included Brittainy Newman in Photo Story and Traci Westcott in Features. They will also receive prizes for coming in first place. One of the images from Newman's victorious photo story is on the left. 

Visit here for the full list of first-, second- and third-place finishers, plus honorable mentions, complete with photos.

The top three photos in each category are set to be displayed for an exhibition on May 5 at Booksmart Studio, 250 Goodman St. #1, Rochester.