Cindy YamanakaThe Press-Enterprise
Shmuel ThalerSanta Cruz Sentinel
Mindy SchauerThe Orange County Register
Judges: Stephanie Chambers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Stephanie Strasburg/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Allie Wimley/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jessie Wardarski/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Noor
We chose the cotton candy donut portrait as first place because of the beautiful lighting, perfect framing and the fun pose. This could have easily been boring if you had the subject only holding the donut instead. Great thinking to make this go above and beyond. Choosing how to order the second and third place images was a debate, but we decided the story behind the mask painter image was a little more developed than the kiss image. We loved the kiss image, but we wished it was composed better. Perhaps the photographer could have shot it tighter with the flag filling the background. We didn't like the awkward composition of his chin touching the bottom of the frame. Still, it was such a cute image and story that it deserved a placing.