EDA awards contest winners

by Jim Boyle

Winners of the Sandhill Photography Club’s Powered by Nature-themed Independence Day photo contest were recognized Monday by the Elk River Economic Development Authority.

The EDA awarded the top three finishers with Chamber Bucks for their accomplishments and help in promoting the city. EDA President Dan Tviete thanked the participants and the Sandhill Photography Club.

Winners of the Sandhill Photography Club were recognized and awarded Chamber Bucks from the Elk River EDA. Photo by Jim Boyle

“This is one more way to propagate our brand and to have people aware of what our Powered by Nature brand is all about,” Tveite said. “It’s outstanding to see the participation.”

Denise Lanthier, the winner of the contest, was awarded $100 in Chamber Bucks, while Wayne Matteson received $50 and Jennifer Wagner was awarded $25.

Lanthier’s photo, snapped one early, foggy morning at a VandenBerge Middle School baseball field in Elk River, caught the attention of judges from the Sandhill Photography Club who were looking for originality, composition, technical merit and impact related to the Powered by Nature brand.

Jay Grammond, founder of the Sandhill Photography Club, says Lanthier was an easy choice. “The winning picture scored well in all four of the criteria,” he said. “We also felt it had the most ‘wow’ factor.”

Wayne Matteson took his picture at the 2011 Sherburne County Fair.

Wagner took third with her shot of a girl named Ella who, along with her daddy, was enjoying a Sweet P’s ice cream cone in downtown Elk River.

She tagged her  photo “Powered by Nature. Energized by Sweetness.”

The Elk River Economic Development Department contributed the funds for this year’s cash prizes as part of its Powered by Nature branding initiative.

“This project really does highlight how Elk River is Powered by Nature,” said Clay Wilfahrt. “The photographers certainly did an excellent job.”

The Sandhill Photography Club plans to make the contest an annual one. The contest will be marketed all year long so photographers can capture what it means to be Powered by Nature during all four seasons.

Stay tuned for information and rules for next year’s contest by visiting the Sandhill Photography Club’s Facebook page or email Grammond at [email protected] The club gets together at least once a month for a photography shoot at a variety of sites, and gathers occasionally to learn new techniques.