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Take Your Best Shot: Upper Midwest B & W Music Photo Contest Underway

Featured TCJF Twin Cities
Dave Hagedorn, image by Andrea Canter

Under the leadership of area photographer Steven Peterson, the Upper Midwest Black and White Music Photography Contest is underway!  Launched to support Midwest musicians and venues, the contest also celebrates the upcoming 2021-2022 concert seasons as well as the many fine music photographers in the region. It’s a totally non-profit, grass-roots contest, where small cash prizes will be awarded to the top photo winners. No one other than the winners get paid. The project is a non-profit, cooperative effort of photo clubs, music venues, community radio stations and musicians.

Image by Benny Moreno

The Contest. Open to anyone residing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota or South Dakota, photographers can submit up to two black and white photos that include Upper Midwest musician(s) – any style/type of music, any professional level, and formal or informal images of  backstage, portraits, rehearsals, performances, studio shots, etc. Images must include resident musicians captured at any venue in these four states at any time.

Cash prizes include the $500 winner, $300 second place, and $200 third place.  The three winning images will be posted online and published in area newspapers and relevant websites. First round judges include photographers Andrea Canter, Jim Vasquez, John Botkin, Michael Ruth, Steven Peterson and Tim McGuire, with musicians Paul Cebar (Milwaukee – R&B artist) and Mary Louise Knutson (Minneapolis – jazz pianist). Final winners will be chosen by Public Ranked Choice Voting, using a multi-winner voting method to arrive at 3 winners. Voters rank their choices, and re-vote until the top 3 remain.

Social Media Ranked Choice Voting. Any public voter can select the winners of the photo contest and practice ranked choice voting.  Ranked choice voting (RCV) allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference: first favorite, second favorite, third, etc. Benefits of RCV include:

  • Reduces polarization because voters select more than one candidate. Candidates compete for second, third or fourth choice votes instead of a single group of voters.
  • Provides more choices for voters.
  • Promotes majority support.
Zacc Harris © Andrea Canter

 Submitting Entries. Submissions must be from photographers residing in Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota or South Dakota, and the photos must include at least one musician from one of these states. Photographs may have been taken at any time.  Email up to two photographic images to Midwest-bw-photo-contest@centurylink.net. Include your name, name of the musician(s), name of the venue, and city/state. Optional but not required—include a link to your website or social media; a few comments about why you selected these images; a short bio to introduce yourself (1-2 sentences).

All accepted entries will be posted on cooperative websites, social media and:

Entry Deadline: March 1, 2022