At the end of April, Sam Delaware, Pine Tree Academy class of 2015, was honored nationally at the Sony World Photography Awards. Sam's talent was evident early on when he completed a science fair project in which he photographed numerous birds and observed them over a month's time. He continued taking photographs of landscapes, animals, and even candids for the Pine Tree Academy website. Upon graduating from Pine Tree Academy, Sam received multiple scholarships to aid him as he continued education for his artistic skills. Sam was chosen for the Sony World Photography Award from over 200,000 applicants.
Sarah Delaware, 8th grade Pine Tree Academy student and Sam's sister, has been his "model" several times. In fact, the photograph that won best portrait is of Sarah. She accompanied Sam as his official date for the awards gala. Below is Sarah's account of the trip to London:
Going to London with my parents and brother, Sam,for the Sony World photography awards was an incredible experience that I'll never forget. I've been the subject of my brother's photographs many times in the past but this time was special. We travelled to London to meet up with Sam for a black tie gala where we sat with two other winners from the youth category. They were from Iran and Italy which was really cool because we got to meet people from all over the world that night. The gala was very elegant in a beautiful ballroom with fancy table settings, a four-course dinner, and even a red carpet with photographers taking our pictures as we entered. I was so proud of my brother. It felt like we were more than brother and sister that night - we were friends. We weren't little kids anymore. We have grown up. To be able to celebrate his achievements with him was really an honor. We toured London afterwards and visited the exhibit at London's Somerset house where Sam's winning photo hung on display. It was really unbelievable to see my picture hanging in such a prestigious place. There were over 500 photos hanging in the exhibit. They were all amazing. To be included among them was an honor and I am so proud of my brother. He is using his talent that God has given him. I know he is going to do great things with his gift as he travels the world to see it all!
Below are a few photographs from the international festivities. In addition, a couple of friends that attend college with Sam made a short film of his inspiration for this photograph. Finally, there is also a link to the article that Pacific Union College wrote about Sam.
We are so very, very proud of all of Sam's accomplishments and know that God will continue to guide him in his endeavors.
Freshman Sam Delaware Named Youth Photographer of the Year
Larissa Church, May 2, 2016
(c) World Photography Organisation
Pacific Union College is delighted to announce Sam Delaware, an 18-year-old freshman photography major, has been named Youth Photographer of the Year in the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards. The recognition follows his win in the competition’s Youth Portraits category. Delaware came to PUC from Pine Tree Academy in Freeport, Maine, as one of the college’s five Maxwell Scholar recipients in 2015, PUC’s most prestigious scholarship. He was senior class president, a member of the National Honor Society, a Phi Beta Kappa Award recipient, and first chair trumpet in the academy band.
PUC professor Brian Kyle, who is Delaware’s photography instructor, commended him on his win, saying, “Sam is a talented photographer and dedicated student of the arts whom I am thrilled to have here at PUC. The fact that such a young student is already being publicly recognized for his talents is a testament to his dedication, passion, and artistic vision.”
Delaware’s entry was titled “Sarah,” and is a portrait of his sister. When asked about the inspiration behind the winning photograph, Delaware shares, “After moving to a university across the country, I understood I’d miss my family; my mother and father, and especially my sister. Like so many millions of other young adults around me, I left my family and my home this year for the first time, and in an instant, they were no longer a daily part of my life. I wanted to somehow speak to the mixed feelings I was experiencing; excitement, for the life I was about to begin, and nostalgia, for the one I was leaving behind. Traveling back to Maine for a short time allowed me to create this somewhat spontaneous image of my sister, giving me the opportunity to express this change in the best way I knew how.”
The Sony World Photography Awards is the largest and most comprehensive photography competition in existence today. This year, the organization received a record-breaking 230,103 entries submitted from 186 different countries. The Youth competition of the awards is open to any photographer between the ages of 12-19 and is judged on just a single photograph within three categories: Culture, Environment, and Portraits. Delaware’s win in the Youth Portraits category positioned him to compete for the overall Youth Photographer of the Year title. He was joined by 17-year-old Sepehr Jamshidi Fard from Iran, winner of the Culture category; and 12-year-old Anais Stupka from Italy, winner of the Environment category.
The awards are organized by the World Photography Organisation, a global platform which features photographers with a wide range of abilities and provides them with the opportunity to promote their work as well as receive worldwide exposure and recognition. Competition winners received a Sony ɑ7R II camera and their winning photographs are currently on display at the prestigious Somerset House in London, England, from April 22 through May 8. Their images will also be published in the 2016 Sony World Photography Awards book.
To receive his award, Delaware was flown to London to attend an awards gala and ceremony.
“I'm extremely honored to be recognized at this stage in my career,” Delaware shares. “The World Photography Organization is an incredible platform both for young artists and established professionals, and I’m really quite grateful to be recognized along such immense talent. … Above all else, the award has given me some validation that I'm headed in the right direction—it’s strong motivation to keep making better and better imagery.”
To learn more about the Sony World Photography Awards, as well as to view Delaware’s winning entry and other competition photographs, visit worldphoto.org.