Bernards Photo Contest returns to Starbucks


Shane Rich

Setup of the photos in Starbucks

For the past few years, BHS students have looked forward to submitting their photography to the Starbucks Photo Contest. Starting in October, students were allowed to submit up to ten photos for a small fee to be reviewed by an anonymous board of judges. Out of all the photos submitted to the contest, around forty were chosen to be shown at the local Starbucks in a gallery-like display for about a month. This year, the chosen photos will be displayed from December 14 to January 12.

While having their photography displayed at a local coffee shop is a thrilling incentive for many students, there is additional incentive for students who produce the best work. Out of the photos which are displayed at the show, the anonymous committee chooses three winning pieces. The first place student wins $100 cash, while the second and third place students win gift cards.

Bernards students have been participating in the contest for around a decade, but the increase in its popularity, as well as a desire for students to participate more in the logistics of the show, have caused the contest to evolve.“We started the contest back in 2007 as a very exclusive show,” Mr. Babicke, the photography teacher said, “but the problem was that students would submit their photos for the prize, and then not participate in setting up the shows, framing the photos, they wouldn’t even attend the show!”

Now, in order for students to have their photos shown and qualify for a prize, they have to help set up the gallery, frame their photos, and they must attend the opening ceremony.
“Now kids participate in the whole process, because they know that there are ten other kids who are ready to take their spot” Mr. Babicke said.

The amount of photos submitted to the contest has also increased massively since the show’s inception. Originally, students who submitted their photos to the contest would automatically have their submissions displayed at Starbucks. Now, so many photos are submitted that the contest judges have to narrow down which ones will be showcased.

“It’s definitely more competitive now,” Mr. Babicke said, “and that’s a good thing. The students love competition, and it really pushes them to do their best work.”

The photography community has flourished at Bernards over the past few years, and it’s easy to see why. Along with the Photo Contest, many Bernards students have had their photos and other artwork displayed across the hallways. Students at BHS have ample opportunity to express their creative side, and the Photo Contest is just another way for students to showcase their art to the public.

“I think it fills students with confidence in themselves and pride in their work,” Mr. Babicke said.

If you want to see the student photos which were selected, then stop by the Starbucks in Bernardsville, where the photos will be on display from December 14 until January 22.