Amateur Photography Contest

Will Phillips–The Sam Houston Memorial Museum continues to provide great community programming, and the Amateur Photography Contest is one of our favorites. On October 15th, the SHMM hosted the opening reception of the Exhibit at the Walker Education Center, and the Junior Fellows were a small part of the volunteer force on hand to help out.

The Walker Education Center

While all of the Junior Fellows were eager to assist…

Taylor Parker and Deanna Tyler Helped Out

…Santiago Casas and I were perhaps most eager to participate because we submitted our own work in the contest.  The popularity of the event has increased considerably since its inception three years ago, and this year was the largest yet, with submissions coming from all over the United States as well as Poland and Australia.

A Beautiful Layout by Casey Roon and SHMM Staff

A big thanks is in order to Exhibit Curator Casey Roon, who supervised the event opening.   In fact, Mrs.Roon and Megan Buro did such a great job of promoting this contest that they were able to attract photographers of the highest quality, making  the competition, much to my chagrin, pretty stiff.

The exhibit room from where the photos are displayed, is a fairly big room… not so big when practically the whole community is packed in during the ceremonies of this popular event.

Museum staff established eight categories for the contest: Youth Category (limited to youngsters) Animals, Architecture, Huntsville, Museum, People, Landscape, and Floral. During the reception Mrs.Roon announced the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners in each category, as well as announcing the overall winner.

From left to right: Casey Roon, Leanne Woodward, and Elsie Davis


Youth Category:

1.) Alston Boyd

Youth Winner, Alston Boyd

2.) Landon LaPrairie

Landon LaPrarie Points To His Impressive 2nd Place Photograph

3.) Townsend Dick


“Animal” Category Winner, Robert Flatt

1.) Robert Flatt

2.) Matt Nobles

3.) Amber Zama


“Architecture” Category Winner, Derrick Birdsall

1.) Derrick Birdsall

2.) Angelo Labrador

3.) Emily Eisterhold


“Huntsville” Category Winner, Becky Jenson

1.) Becky Jenson

2.) Samuel I. Beard, Jr.

3.) Samuel I. Beard, Jr.


“Museum” Category Winner, Elizabeth Albert

1.) Elizabeth Albert

2.) Matthew Engel

3.) Cathy Martinez


“People” Category Winner, Nancy Ryan Keeling

1.) Nancy Ryan Keeling

2.) David Knuth

3.) Robert Flatt


2nd Place, “Landscape” Category Winner, Melissa Morphew

1.) Derrick Birdsall- Also Overall Champion (see photo near bottom of page)

2.) Melissa Morphew- Reserve Champion

3.) Robert Flatt


“Floral” Category Winner, Irfan Ahmed

1.) Irfan Ahmed

2.) Sarah Patron

3.) Melissa Morphew

Although Santiago and I were not selected, there was no doubting the quality of the winners’ photographs.  In fact, even the submissions to the youth category had me questioning whether I had what it takes to go up against the youngsters!  But really nothing could have prepared us for the quality of the “Overall Winner,” pictured below, by Derek Birdsall.

“Overall Winner,” Derek Birdsall

The reception was wonderful, and I think every visitor came away with a new-found respect for the artistic talents and skill of the area’s many amateur shutterbugs…

Santiago Casas and Taylor Parker Admiring the Art Work

…while having a great time…

Visitors Enjoy the Exhibit and Reception

And though I maybe out of my league in even an Amateur Photo Contest, I look forward to submitting photos to next year’s competition!

Derrick Birdsall (Left) and Mayor Mac Woodward. Birdsall had a lot to smile about, for he had 1st place finishes in the categories of Architecture, Landscape, and Overall Winner of the amateur photo contest. Congratulations Mr.Birdsall!

The Photo Exhibit will be on display at the Walker Education Center from October 15th to December 14th–and is highly recommended by the Junior Fellows.  For more information, contact SHMM staff at 294-1832.


2 thoughts on “Amateur Photography Contest

  1. Very nice write up! How fortunate to have so many interested amateur talents and no one minds missing out to that! Definatly, go for it again next year 🙂

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