High school students across California recently submitted entries to the LegiSchool Project’s “California Through My Eyes” photography contest. This contest tasks students with capturing images that are pertinent to California and accompanying them with a brief artist’s statement. Shared themes were California’s unique diversity, our stunning landscape, and post-drought shots of the snow!
This year was also a record breaking year! We ended up receiving 520 photos. A selection of judges were then required to narrow down the photos to the top 12% (featured below). Our top photos were judged by interim Director Elisia Hoffman, Sacramento State’s Media Production Specialist Jessica Vernone and Sacramento State’s Photographer and Design Coordinator Bruce Clark.
Many thanks to the 57 schools that participated in our contest! We also want to thank the district and legislative offices that did outreach to their constituents!
These photos will also be on display at the California State Capitol from July 10th-August 10th (originally June 15th-July 15th), located on the third floor of the annex.
And without further delay, the results:
Grand Prize Winner ($150)
Elysse’s winning photo, “Source of Activism” shows a mother and child marching for immigration rights in Los Angeles. Elysse, in her statement, notes how hard immigrants work and fight for what they believe in. “The mother represents the source of activism; the child is receiving a flag from his older sister and you can see the happiness it brings to be in that environment….people of different cultures came together fighting for many different issues in the community, which are all important to California.”
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)
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.”
Every year, LegiSchool hosts our California Through My Eyes Photo contest, where we ask students to step behind the lens and capture an image that represents California. One grand prize winner and four runners-up receive cash prizes. All winning photos and honorable mention entries are displayed at the Capitol during the summer.