The Stand's Photo Contest is open now. The deadline to enter is Aug. 9. | File Photo

Summer Photo Contest Returns

By Sydney Gold

After more than a year of social distancing due to COVID-19 restrictions, finding ways to connect with the community has proven difficult — and crucial. 

As the nation reopens and vaccinations continue, we’ve never been more eager to celebrate the faces and stories that define our community. To do so, The Stand will once again hold a Syracuse Summer Photo Contest, open to all. 

We’ve also reinstated Photo Walks. This July, there will even be five walk options! 

This annual event offers participants an opportunity to highlight and explore the beauty of Syracuse, especially in neighborhoods that often go overlooked. 

“Last year, because of COVID-19 restrictions, we rethought plans to avoid large gatherings,”  said Ashley Kang, director of the project. “I still wanted to find a way to capture this moment and how life continued in the city despite the pandemic. Thus we offered our first Photo Contest as a way to still collect images and document this truly unique moment.”

Ruthie Angrand, communications director for the city of Syracuse and one of four photo judges this year, says for her the Photo Walk is a way to showcase every aspect of the city, especially neighborhoods not often featured on a city website or visitors guide.

“There’s so many photos of downtown when you google Syracuse. It’s really nice to have images that show people, the diversity of the neighborhoods, the architecture… Every experience, every house, every person in Syracuse looks different, but we’re all part of this cool city,” Angrand said. 

Jeff Perkins, a new volunteer and past Photo Walk participant, has consistently enjoyed the annual treks.

Rev. Mike’s funny personality shined through as soon as Photo Walk participants hit the steps to his house during the 2017 South Side Photo Walk. Seen here, he makes past Stand intern Sarah Perkes laugh. | Photo by Deborah Putman

“One of the things I experienced at my first walk was the fact that people in the South Salina Street neighborhood appreciated that others had an interest in photographing and showing where they live,” said Perkins, who has participated in three past Photo Walks. “It showed people’s pride in their homes and their neighborhood. For me that means a lot, to be able to give back in some small way to the community.” 

The 2021 Photo Walk will be split into five smaller events spread across the city and culminate in a photo contest where participants can compete in several categories for a variety of prizes. Photographers may also enter the Photo Contest by submitting images taken this summer throughout the city. 

Winning images will be displayed large and proud as part of the Urban Video Project, projected downtown on the side of The Everson Museum. Select images will also be published in the September issue of The Stand, online and possibly used in official city materials  — an even greater platform to celebrate all parts of the city. 

Contest categories include: 

Street Life — A shot that best captures an activity or summer life from a Syracuse neighborhood

Architecture — Capture our city’s angles, from Neoclassical Styles to the Arts & Crafts movement

Portrait — A shot of the many faces of those who call Syracuse home

Scenic — Capture Syracuse’s essence from a new vantage point 

The five guided walks throughout the community will have up to eight participants each. Other community members are encouraged to organize their own walks as well throughout the summer in order to assure everyone’s comfort as the community begins to reopen. Photo submissions will be accepted through Aug. 1, and can be submitted online or directly to Ashley Kang at

Weekend 1:
South Side: July 10
North Side: July10

Weekend 2: 
Historic Sedgwick: July 17
Downtown: July 17

Weekend 3: 
Southwest Side: July 24

July 31 will be reserved as a rain date.

Now, go dust off those cameras and start capturing Syracuse!

Sydney Gold is an intern for The Stand and a Newspaper & Online Journalism student at the Newhouse School

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