Riding on the strength of his spot news and sports photos, Bryan Bennett, a student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has been named 2016 NPPA Student Clip Contest Photographer of the Year based on his wins accumulated in the contest.
Jacob Wiegand of Southern Illinois University finished in second and Andrea Cornejo of the University of Florida was third. All of the individual entries that won last year can be seen at competitions.nppa.org/student-quarterly-clip-contest
Bennett credits his winning photos to his a year-long internship at the Kalamazoo Gazette in 2016.
“I was able to get out and shoot just about every day,” Bennett said. He also said his internships have been central to improving his photography. He is spending this summer at Players’ Tribune, the online sports magazine started by former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
Bennett’s success can also be traced to his demeanor and his work ethic, said William Snyder, one of Bennett’s professors at RIT.
“He has that ability to get into situations and make his subjects comfortable with him,” Snyder said. “He works really, really hard.”
The quarterly student clip contest is one of the National Press Photographers Association’s competitions for its members. The NPPA also sponsors quarterly competitions for multimedia and picture editing, the TV clip contest and the long-running monthly clip contest for still photography.
The judges for the student clip contest this year were:
First Quarter: Calvin Hom, Alan Hagman and Rob St. John, all from the Los Angeles Times
Second Quarter: Freelance photo editor Kevin Martin, Freelance photographer Josh Biggs and Arizona Daily Sun photojournalist Taylor Mahoney
Third Quarter: Alex Lancial and Jim Tuttle, co-founders of Scale Storytelling
Fourth Quarter: Judy Walgren, Abby Connolly and Taz Lombardo, all from ViewFind