Carolyn Cole and Yovanny Martinez at the award ceremony today at Academia Avance in Highland Park | Photo by Alexandra Epstein for the Boulevard Sentinel)

Eleven NELA Student Photographers win CD-1 Hi Res Photo Contest

2022 Arts & Culture Editions More News

By Alexandra Epstein

The winners of Councilmember Gil Cedillo’s second annual photo competition were announced yesterday.  

 “What is your new normal?” asked the Councilmember of photographers enrolled in high schools located in Council District One. Over 100 students from 11 high schools submitted their artwork.

 The first place winner of this year’s competition was Yovanny Martinez, a junior at Academia Avance. The winning photo, shown in black and white, portrayed a lone figure standing at the edge of a cliff, overlooking a tumultuous ocean below. 

Yovanny Martinez took first place with this photo capturing the loneliness he and many others endured during the pandemic.

The Sentinel interviewed Martinez after the award ceremony.  Here’s what he told us about his winning photo and how it fit with his “new normal” when he shot it:

Daniela Perez, a student at Lincoln High School, took second place with her shot of an empty side street next to the school. The piece makes striking use of vertical composition. Andrew Lawrence of Loyola High School took third place with a capture of ocean water rushing over rocks at Topanga Beach.  

A panel of eight seasoned judges, including NELA’s Al Strange, identified 11 “local” winners. From those 11 students, Los Angeles Times Photographer and Pulitzer Prize winner Carolyn Cole selected the top three districtwide winners.

 All of the winning photos from this year’s competition can be viewed here. 


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Alexandra Epstein
Alexandra A. Epstein is a Los Angeles based filmmaker and journalist. Her focus is at the intersection of film, modern media, human rights, and local stories.

2 thoughts on “Eleven NELA Student Photographers win CD-1 Hi Res Photo Contest

  1. Bravo and congratulations to these young, talented photographer/artists.

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