Announcing Our Photo Contest Winners!

The caliber of photos we received in this year’s “California Through My Eyes” contest was pretty amazing. Our judges had no small task in trying to select our winner and runners-up, all of whom received a cash prize. In addition, the judges helped select about 60 photos to be named for honorable mention. The final results (showcased below) are pretty incredible and illustrate the diversity and wonder of the state of California! You can also see all of these photos on display at the State Capitol building, starting June 20. They’ll be located on the third floor of the annex.

Hundreds of student photographers participated from 54 high school around the state, submitting not only their photo but an essay describing how their photo represents California. We want to thank the schools, districts and legislative offices that helped spread the word about the contest, which we hope allows students to exercise their creativity while thinking critically about what California means to them.

GRAND PRIZE WINNER ($150)

Puente
EMELY PUENTE, Bellflower High School

Emely was selected as the grand prize winner for her photo, Lost in Thought, a portrait of her grandfather sitting at his home. As she notes, her grandparents “made themselves a part of California when they arrived in the early 70’s. They had to support their 8 children together so they made a living as strawberry pickers, working as a mechanic and being a housemaid…My generation will never understand what it is like to struggle – we get things handed down to us instead of earning it. This is California through my eyes.”

RUNNERS – UP ($100), in alphabetical order 

Dou
CHAOYAO DOU, Palo Alto Hgh School

Chaoyao’s photo is a wonderful representation of San Francisco, and the essay perfectly complements the photo, describing the city as unique with a “profound history, a large number of scenic spots…fantastic beaches and sunshine, and enthusiastic people.”

Fraser
JULIANNA FRASER, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy

Julianna’s photo vibrantly depicts the Tower Bridge in Sacramento. She chose to photograph this bridge because it “provides people with access to being able to go boating, fishing, kayaking as well as running, walking and cycling. These activities and locations in Sacramento are what brings so many people from across the globe to this incredible state of ours.”

Morris
SYDNEY MORRIS, South Tahoe High School

In this photo, Sydney photographed a man who is the embodiment of the right to self-expression and the pursuit of happiness. When asked why he was dressed the way he was, he replied, “This is who I am on the inside and out. This is just who I am.” Sydney took this picture to show that “no matter what style, sexuality or ethnicity, you are free to express yourself and pursue your own happiness.”

Smith_T
TYLER SMITH, Monterey High School

Tyler was out walking around San Francisco when he saw “a shimmer of light from a hole in the wall.” He walked over and captured this scene, which he describes as “a reminder that beauty isn’t just in the Sierras, around Mount Shasta, or on the beaches of Los Angeles. Sometimes, it is just visible from a hole in an old wall.”

Venegas
ELANI VENEGAS, Downey High School

This photo was taken of the Santa Monica Pier at night. But Elani didn’t want to just capture the typical photo of this famed trademark. She went out into the water in order to “see the entirety of the pier with all the lights functioning with one another.” This photo represents the Golden State because “the light flows together in unity, yet each has its own direction, just like people do in California.”

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Arellano
KELCI ARELLANO, Bellflower High School
Asato
BRENDON ASATO, North High School
Avila
CASSANDRA AVILA, Downey High School
Balero
ALEXIS BALERO, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Bannerman
EMANI BANNERMAN, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Barnette
JEREMY BARNETTE, Downey High School
Bates
ARIEL BATES, Anderson New Technology High School
Bennett
ROSE BENNETT, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Bertolina
REBECCA BERTOLINA, South Tahoe High School
Binion
ALONZO BINION, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Bosnoian
NANCY BOSNOIAN, Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian School
Brown
AARON BROWN, Buhach Colony High School
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
ZEKE BUCHERT, Weed High School
Castellon
CALOB CASTELLON, Calipatria High School
Cervantes
LAURA CERVANTES, Calipatria High School
Dada
CARRIE DADA, Anderson New Technology High School
Davison
CJ DAVISON, South Tahoe High School
Demello
MIA DEMELLO, Granite Bay High School
Eoff
EMERSON EOFF, Frontier High School
Farris
TABATHA FARRIS, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Giles
JORDAN GILES, Oroville High School
Henry
KYLIE HENRY, Tesoro High School
Hernandez
ABIGAIL HERNANDEZ, William Finch Charter School
Khamphoumy
JACQUELYN KHAMPHOUMY, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Klaser
TRENT KLASER, West High School
Kountoris
ALEXIA KOUNTOURIS, Napa High School
Landry
BLAKE LANDRY, Highland High School
Larson
MIREAH LARSON, Kearny High School
Mai
LIEN MAI, Kearny High School
Martin
TANIA MARTIN, Downey High School
Masuda
MITCHELL MASUDA, Chadwick School
McCollum
KIVA MCCOLLUM, South Tahoe High School
Miles
NACH’E MILES, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
ARIYA MOMENY, Palo Alto High School
Montanez
CECILIA MONTANEZ, Napa High School
Morearty
ROSALIE MOREARTY, Sequoia High School
Navarro
STEPHANIE NAVARRO, La Cuesta Continuation High School
Peck
ALLISON PECK, Valhalla High School
Perez
LORENA PEREZ, South Tahoe High School
Piangerelli
ISABELLA PIANGERELLI, Granada Hills Charter High School
Ragus
ANGELA RAGUS, Frontier High School
Ratcliffe
ZHANAR RATCLIFFE, San Marcos High School
Reyes
LEILANI REYES, Sergestrom High School
Saucedo
STEVEN SAUCEDO, Arvin High School
Schmidt
ANGELA SCHMIDT, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Simmons
MARIA SIMMONS, Kearny High School
Smith_L
LIAM SMITH, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
GILLIAN STARKWEATHER, Monterey High School
Uli
JESSE ULI, Granite Bay High School
Underhill
MARIN UNDERHILL, South Tahoe High School
Vales
MATTHEW VALES, Sacramento Academic and Vocational Academy
Varadarajan
KAMALA VARADARAJAN, Palo Alto High School
Vu
BAO VU, Mayfair High School
Wegner
JOHN WEGNER, Anderson New Technology High School
Wittman
NOAH WITTMAN, North High School

 

 

 

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