At a reception during First Friday ArtWalk at Nature Exposed Photography (Freeman Huber Law offices), the winners of the high school photography contest, Youth Lens, were announced. Youth Lens celebrates high school-aged photographers with an exhibition of their photographs and a contest that recognizes the best photos from it.

The winners for the 2015 competition are:

Grand Prize: Fire Eye by Amber Alonzo
First Prize: 1880 by Bailey Padilla
Second Prize: Eye Don’t Know by Erica Roberts
Honorable Mention: Amorphous by Taylor Moody

Youth Lens winners 2015

From right: FHS photography instructor Joe Cornett, Youth Lens juror Stephen Saunders, Grand Prize winner Amber Alonzo, First Prize winner Bailey Padilla, Youth Lens juror and founder Tony Freeman, Arts Council Executive Director John Tannous.

Many of the exhibiting students and their families were on hand for the reception. Flagstaff High School photography instructor Joe Cornett was also in attendance; each of the winners was a student in his photography class.

145 students from Flagstaff-area schools submitted photographs for the competition; only 26 could be selected for the exhibition. Youth Lens jurors were Tony Freeman of Nature Exposed, Stephen Saunders of the Framing Department at Hidden Light, and Tom Alexander of Tom Alexander Photography.

One award has yet to be revealed: the People’s Choice Award. Visitors to the gallery have voted for their favorite photo, and the votes will be tallied soon. The People’s Choice Award winner will be announced at September ArtWalk on Friday, Sep. 4, at 6pm at Nature Exposed Photography.

Photo 1

Second prize winner Erica Roberts with her photograph, Eye Don’t Know

The other students selected to show their photos in the exhibition were Nicholas Cowen, Brianna Bradley, Easton Beecroft, Danny Baca, Madeline Schepper, Alice Turner, Ben Anderson, Lauren Ulibarri, Aaron Delgado, Ryan Portillo, Malia Akela Tong, Tyra Bizardi, Camille McCollum, Galen Stern, Haley Turner, Joshua Coles, Ben Lasley, Jerrett Fritz, Colin Sanders, Statyn Johnson, Hayden Petersen and Jesse Stoney.

Tony Freeman founded Nature Exposed Photography and started the Youth Lens competition as a way to give back to young people in his community. His incredible encounters with wildlife and the beautiful scenery in Western Canada and Alaska has resulted in a passion for capturing unique glimpses of nature all over the globe. From the beaches in Mexico, to the wildflowers in the desert, the geography of southern Utah, the bears in Alaska and the lions in Tanzania, nature is exposed.