National – January 2020 – Photo Story/Essay

Judges Comments

The Familia story had great access and great shooting. Good moving in and out and I liked the detail of the nachos with the hands which surprised me. They move well around the family and are good at moving in and out of the image. The only photo we all hated was the ender of the family photo. Dont take a perfectly good story with great photojournalism and put a christmas card at the end of it. You still won, but that christmas card shot at the end almost lowered the story. The band story had the opposite problem. It had a terrible opener. Seriously. That opening shot is a Dr. Pepper ad. Just lose it. The rest are so good and beautiful toning skills. The last few photos are a bit repetitive and again, the ender with the portrait. (But damn that's a nicely lit portrait, still, doesn't really work as an ender but Bravo for shooting it). The third and BMXboys were close for us. But ultimately the third place won out based on the photographer's ability to capture joy. The x boys have much better toning.

Judges: Sammy Jo Hester/La Times, Alisha Jucevic/The Columbian, Isaac Hale/The Daily Herald