June Winners: “Body Language”

Here’s your weekly photo dispatch with a list of last month’s Photo Challenge winners. Each month, the first-, second-, and third-place winners, as well as honorable mentions, are entered into the Hall of Fame. In October, they’ll compete to win the $2,000 Grand Prize.

Remember, if you want to go for the prize, October’s just around the corner. So you’ve got less than three months to enter your best shots. It’s free to enter and free to win. See details below…

-- Lori

Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

July 8, 2009
The Right Way to Travel, Weekly Photo Tip

By Shelly Perry in Portland, OR

Last month’s Photo Challenge theme was “Body Language.”

** First Place goes to ablehman for “Loving Expectations”

** Second Place goes to kmyers for “Baby Bird”

** Third Place goes to Treva for “Sisters”

** Honorable Mention goes to rosewin for “Mommy's Tummy”


Body Language

As always, we let our first-place winner from last month pick the first-place winner for this month. So here is what last month’s winner, David Adler, had to say about his choice for June’s first place photo:

“I was looking for a strong, basic and simple composition that used body parts to convey a compelling human story or truth. Many fine entries used hands to illustrate human relationships, but I thought ‘Loving Expectations,’ by ablehman, used them most effectively.

“This photograph reveals both the loving relationship between the expectant parents and their respective attitudes toward the impending birth of their child. The woman's clasped hands display a state of anticipatory repose, while the man's exploring hand discloses his curiosity and wonder. This simple picture captures an extremely rich, moving and complex moment.”

Thanks, David, for picking out the first-place winner. Here are my favorites -- our second- and  third-place winners and an honorable mention…


I think Baby Bird is a successful photo for a number of reasons. First, I like the interaction. Not only between the two subjects, but also between the subjects and the viewer. See how both the boy and the bird are looking at the camera?

I also very much like the color consistency. Notice the gray tones of the bird reflected in the boy’s eye and t-shirt, as well as the wall. And again, the warm colors of the boy’s skin appear in on the underbelly feathers of the bird.

I also enjoy the composition. It's pretty non traditional (cropped right on the boy’s eye) but I think it works well in this case.

The last thing I will mention is the shallow depth of field. The focus on the bird, which softens up on the boy, works very nicely here. It's a sweet shot, and could sell as a stock photo.


Sisters in another tender shot brought to us from Treva, who has a real knack for capturing those special childhood moments. The sisters’ arms display the relationship, and an expression of love, caring, friendship, and togetherness. The girls seem to be looking slightly up and I feel an air of expectation. These little details give the image a story -- and that’s a big interest and selling point.

It has nice composition, even though the girls’ heads are in the center. The overall image is balanced, as the arms emerge as the more dominant subject. Here, again, nice use of depth of field, providing separation of the swing ropes from the blurred trees in the background.


Mommy's Tummy would probably make an excellent stock shot. It’s simple and clean, with no clutter and no distractions. The perspective, looking over her shoulder and down to her hands, gives a lot of depth and dimension to the shot. By using a shallow depth of field, and focusing on her hand and belly, the photographer draws the viewer’s attention exactly to the point of interest. It also informs us like an ah-ha moment, "oh she's pregnant."

This is a perfect example of using a person and yet composing and structuring the image in such a way that she is completely non identifiable, and therefore would not require a model release. It would also be very easy for a designer to run copy over this image. Very well executed image.

Congratulations to our winners!!

The first place winner will receive a $30 gift certificate to the AWAI online bookstore. All monthly winners (and honorable mentions) will be entered to compete for the $2,000 Grand Prize in October.


Remember, this month's theme is "Wet ‘N Wild." Submit your photos by 8:00 a.m. EDT, Monday, July 27, 2009. If you're a first-time user, you'll need to register first on the "register" link on the right side bar, here: http://www.thephotographerslife.com. Once you have a username and password, click "Enter to Win" to upload your photo. Only one photo per applicant will be considered.

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can turn your pictures into cash in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Selling Photos for Cash: A Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]