VISIONS Photo Contest 2019

Summer Program Photo Contest Winners

Each summer teenagers join VISIONS on truly unique programs filled with indelible memories. One of the ways we hold these experiences dear is through the art of photography. Although students sideline their phones during our tech-free programs, we encourage them to bring a traditional camera to capture these moments.

This fall marks the third annual VISIONS Photo Contest. It’s an opportunity for students to share their experiences and perspectives, and for us to recognize their creative talents. Followers of @visions_service voted on the submissions through Instagram. Voters had their work cut out for them due to the wonderful quality of all the pictures!

The top three entrants win VISIONS apparel and will be featured in our brochure. The first place winner will also receive a $1,000 gift certificate for a future VISIONS program for themselves or someone they wish to designate it to.

Without further ado, meet VISIONS Photo Contest winners!

3rd Place Shots:

Photographer: Claudia Craig

Hometown: Asheville, NC

VISIONS Program: Peru I 2019

What do you enjoy most about photography? And what do you like to capture in your photos?

I like how photography can be shared with others. I enjoy capturing photos of nature, especially landscapes or animals. 


How did your summer(s) with VISIONS change who you are or the path you’re on?

VISIONS shifted my focus to the importance of helping others more in my everyday life. It allowed me to feel connected to another culture without distractions such as technology. 


What is something that makes you hopeful for the future?   

I am hopeful when I see people around the world implementing solutions that help combat climate change. We need to do more, but every single effort counts. 


What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths that you have to offer the world? 

I have a strong sense of integrity in everything I do, and I try to find solutions that work for everyone. 

2nd Place Shots:

Photographer: Sierra O’Brien

Hometown: Lexington, KY

VISIONS Programs: Nicaragua 2016, Peru I 2017, Cambodia 2018, DR I 2019

When did you first get into photography?

I first got into photography when I returned home from my first Visions trip. I was stuck relying on everyone else for photos and hoping they captured what I wanted to remember, so every trip after that my camera has been glued to my hand.


What do you enjoy most about photography? And what do you like to capture in your photos?

I love being transported back to a moment when you look at a photograph. I especially love capturing people and setting when they’re untouched and uninfluenced. Everything remains genuine and how it was in the moment.


How did your summer(s) with VISIONS change who you are or the path you’re on?

VISIONS has given me more perspective then I could have hoped for. I feel right in the world when I’m serving and exploring internationally, which I never would have discovered without the opportunities Visions has given me. This organization has given me purpose and a career path that I am so grateful for. 


In what ways, big or small, would you like to change the world?

My goal is to be apart of a truly global community. That means cultural exchange, refuge, and a common understanding. I really believe this is key to solving a lot of the problems we keep dismissing as “too late or too hard to solve.”


What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now?

After college and a tour in the Peace Corps, I would like to be working for Amnesty International, raising awareness to global issues that require attention from everyone.

1st Place Shots:

Photographer: Amanda Warwick

Hometown: Olympia, WA

VISIONS Program: Montana Blackfeet II 2019

When did you first get into photography?

My mom has taken pictures of me, my family, and our adventures since I can remember. She gave me a point and shoot camera when I was just three years old. I would run around our house taking pictures of my pets. The joy I had when I was three continued throughout the years and transpired into owning many cameras, creating my love for photography. 


What do you feel is one of your greatest strengths that you have to offer the world?

Exploring, maturing, and flourishing over the past seventeen years, I have come to realize a strength that is a big part of me is leadership. I have learned that leadership has been a positive trait of mine throughout academic studies, extracurricular activities, and my personality. Being a leader is by far one of my greatest strengths, as well as honestly having an ever growing passion for it. 


What do you hope to be doing 10 years from now? 

I may not be sure yet what career I would like to pursue, but I do know for certain that traveling and educating will be an underlying theme as I move forward through my next steps of life. I see myself pursuing a career working with people and children, out exploring the world, and learning as much as I possibly can from the people around me. 


How did your summer with VISIONS change who you are or the path you’re on?

I will never fully be able to explain the experience I had this past summer in Montana, neither will any of the leaders with me. By the end of our 25 days together, what meant the most to me was hearing a leader who has worked for VISIONS for many years, say to us that we were one of their most special groups. There were belly laughs, tears, and emotions shared in the blazing sun and under the stars. Every connection that was made with community members, ranch puppies, and new friends around me, made the summer one of my most influential. 

Thank you leaders and VISIONS for the growth, memories, and opportunities in Montana. I hope to be a participant in the future as well as a future leader.

4th Place Shot

(Runner Up):

Photographer: Kiki Cooper

VISIONS Program: Ecuador 2019

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