This category had 13 entries. We were disheartened at the lack of strong images from a region that has such capable photographers. A handful of images looked like senior portraits, one had the subjects' toes cut off at the bottom of the frame, lighting was often poor if used and poorly harnessed if shot available. With everything considered, first place was our favorite just over all photo. We don't believe it's the best example of a portrait, but the moment and composition made it rise above the other entries. Second place has some sense of the subject's personality and is clean. We hated to not award third, because we too have thought before, surely one of our photos could have been third, but we honestly did not feel there was a worthy third place.
Judges: Melissa Sue Gerrits/The Fayetteville Observer, Andrew Craft/The Fayetteville Observer