By Etienne Lunetta
In December an estimated 60 Loyola students will submit their photographs to be judged in the Drexel University Photography Competition for high school. Commenting on the renowned photo competition, Mrs. Cristina Saggese, the chairwoman of the Fine Arts department, said, “This is pretty much the most prestigious art contest in the country for high school students, and they celebrate young talent very beautifully.”
Although Cubs have been submitting their photos to Drexel for several years, junior Tim Guiteras was the first to win the top prize. His photograph, a strikingly mysterious underwater picture, is on the front cover of the Drexel Photography Pamphlet this year. Guiteras also agrees that the competition is a fantastic way to get recognized. He said, “That was the first [competition]. Winning that motivated me to do other competitions.” Along with his photograph on the front of the new pamphlet, he received $500.
According to Mrs. Saggese, there are many other advantages to being part of any art competition. “If I was a professional artist I would like to get feedback. It raises your own perception of your abilities,” said Mrs. Saggese. “That’s one of the few ways to get your work out, because everyone thinks they are a photographer on Instagram. It’s more professional of an environment, and the judges are actually legitimate.”
There are many platforms for showing off one’s photography online, such as Instagram and Deviantart, but Guiteras said, “On Instagram, a lot of it is just colored photos, and people use beautiful scenes or landscapes and consider it a fantastic photo; but in reality, composition is more important. I like black and white photography—it focuses more on the photographer’s skill and composition.”
Another benefit of the Drexel Competition is that it helps to enhance college résumés. Many colleges, even Drexel itself, look out for entrants as prospective students. Mrs. Saggese said, “Drexel University called Mrs. Turner, Tim’s previous teacher, and congratulated him. They asked, ‘Where is he going to school next year,’ because they assumed he was a senior.”
Mrs. Saggese is very clear on the point that these competitions look great on a résumé. She said, “Several people who have won these types of competitions have gotten full ride scholarships, so if you have it, it’s a really good thing to show.”