CMC students’ sports photographs earn international awards
by Hannah Johnson
Two Colorado Mountain College professional photography students recently were recognized for several outstanding images in the international College Photographer of the Year competition.
“This marks our 10th year competing in this competition,” said Derek Johnston, program director for the photography program at CMC’s Isaacson School. “ To date CMC students have earned seven medals and 12 awards of excellence. Our students continue to win acclaim on an international level.”
On average, the CPOY annually receives around 10,000 entries from more than 120 colleges and universities in 17 countries.
Telling stories through the viewfinder
This year, Paula Mayer received a bronze medal and an award of excellence in the sports action category for her images, which showcase the reality of bull riding at the Carbondale Wild West Rodeo in Carbondale, Colorado.
Mayer’s work gravitates toward photojournalism featuring western ranching and lifestyle content. “When I started at CMC, I had no idea it would lead to this,” said Mayer. “I am working today in a field that brings me joy.”
In addition to studying at the college, Mayer currently works as a freelance photographer and writer for the Sopris Sun. “I get to meet people and hear their stories and figure out how to tell them through images. I have access to places and events I never would have imagined. It’s a great journey.”
Capturing peak action
Another award winner this year is William McGrath, a second-year photography student from Gypsum, Colorado. McGrath received a silver award at the competition for his image, “A Wheelie Bad Day.” The image was captured this past summer during McGrath’s trip to Oregon as a volunteer photographer at Wheeliefest UTV.
McGrath said his winning photo represents his vision in photography, which is “taking images of peak action whether it is a crash or not. The image not only shows the action, but sort of tells a story of the event. CMC’s photography program is one of the best in the United States,” he added, “and the numerous times we have earned medals at CPOY is evidence.”
McGrath plans to become an action sports photographer, while Mayer’s goals following graduation are to continue working as a freelance photojournalist.
Colorado Mountain College’s professional photography program is under the umbrella of the Isaacson School for Communication, Arts and Media. Visit our professional photography page for more information.