When reading about the Sony World Photography Awards competition, Katelyn Wang ’18 had never considered using her photos to compete. But after some convincing from her friend, she entered three photos. Less than two months later, Wang was named winner of the 2017 Youth competition, which attracted over 227,000 entries worldwide from photographers aged 12 to 19. Prior to announcing the winner, ten finalists from the Youth competition were selected to the shortlist in February, and the awards ceremony, which Wang attended, was held in London last weekend.
“I got to see my picture next to all these incredible pieces of art. It was a really cool experience, meeting a lot of the well-established photographers and the professionals in the field. There’s this one photographer from China, [and] he got third place in the professional portraiture. He did this series based off of these kids called ‘Left Behind Children’ [which] was more journalistic. I had always loved his work and… he just really inspired me and I learned so much,” said Wang.
Wang’s winning photo was taken in the Torres del Paine National Park in Southern Chile, overlooking Lake Pehoé. Her photo of the landscape corresponded to this year’s theme, “Beauty.”
“By that time in the trip, I was so in love with Chile, and I really wanted to pass on that feeling to my friends and family back home, the ones who didn’t get to come with me. I thought it was the most beautiful place in the entire world and I wanted to share it with them. I’ve seen the picture 1,000 times by now, [but] it still gives me the same feeling and it brings me back to when I was at that place,” said Wang.
While this is her first photography competition, Wang is a seasoned photographer, devoting most weekends off campus to taking photoshoots of various models and students, as well as capturing photographs in her frequent travels around the world during breaks.
“Katelyn and I have always done photography together and it’s really inspiring to see how hard she works and how much effort and time she puts into photography. Even if she’s experiencing a really academically intense Andover lifestyle, she still makes time to pursue her passion for photography and that’s very inspiring. I think she definitely, definitely, definitely deserved that award. I’m very proud of her. Her photos deserve exposure because they’re amazing,” said Rachel Kindangen ’18, Wang’s friend.