2017 WHNPA STUDENT ‘EYES OF HISTORY®’ STILL AND VIDEO PHOTOGRAPHERS OF THE YEAR AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED

0 Posted by - February 12, 2017 - press release

Nation’s Student Photographers Compete for Top Awards (download)

The White House News Photographers Association® announced that Harrison Hill, of Western Kentucky University, has been named the WHNPA Student Still Photographer of the Year and in the third year of the student video division Sophia Nahli Allison of University of North Carolina and Chapel Hill has been named the WHNPA Student Video Photographer of the Year in the 2017 WHNPA ‘Eyes of History®’ student contest judging on Feb. 11, 2017, at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC.

Additionally, students from University of Maryland won in other video categories. Full results are available on the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org.

The judges for the WHNPA 2017 ‘Eyes of History®’ Student still photography competition were: Jabin Botsford, Staff Photographer at The Washington Post, Bill Clark, Photo Editor of Roll Call, and M. Scott Mahaskey, Director of Photography at Politico. The video judges were Beth Brown of NBC Washington, Brian Hopkins of WJLA and Nate Luna of ABC News.

Judges said that Hill’s work displayed a strong and consistent vision throughout his portfolio. His essay, California’s Plague, was full of surprising moments that showed the photographer’s commitment to tell the story well. Judges were unanimous that all portfolios in this year’s contest would benefit from additional editing and encouraged students to seek the input of professors and mentors before submitting contest entries.

Student still photography contest chairman Al Drago, who was on assignment with President Trump in Florida for The New York Times, three-way called with the judges to notify Hill of his award. Hill said, “I am extremely honored and humbled. It is truly a blessing to receive this recognition.”

Video winner Nahli Allison won with a collection of stories, which Luna described as “having technical mastery of lighting and all areas of storytelling.” When told about her win by Student Video Chair Bethany Swain, Nahli Allison said “I want to continue being a better person and learning from the people who let me into their lives.”

“With entries coming from more universities than ever, students set the bar high this year with an abundance of outstanding work,” said WHNPA President Whitney Shefte. “Our top student winners are a testament that the future of visual journalism is bright.”

Sophia Nahli Allison and Harrison Hill will be honored at the ‘Eyes of History®’ gala on June 10, 2017, with round-trip transportation via United Airlines to Washington. Judging for the professional divisions of still, video and multimedia also took place over the weekend at National Geographic.

The top winners of the still, video, multimedia and student contests will be honored at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala on June 10, 2017, at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning photojournalists and the President of the United States. Nearly 1,000 guests, including government dignitaries and industry celebrities, attend. The White House News Photographers Association is a 96-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of Washington’s professional photojournalists. The WHNPA aims to provide professional and educational outreach to its members and the community through scholarships, programming, an annual competition and a celebration of the industry at the annual “Eyes of History®” gala.

For more information, please contact Whitney Shefte at or executive director Heidi Elswick at (301-606-8251). For further information about ‘The Eyes of History®’ and to view the winning images and videos, visit the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org.

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