The Laker/Lutz News brought home a total of seven reporting and photography awards from the Florida Press Association 2018-2019 Weekly Newspaper Contest.
Staff photographer Christine Holtzman, and freelance contributors Richard K. Riley and Fred Bellet accounted for five of those awards.
Holtzman won first place feature photo for an image she captured of a young girl from Land O’ Lakes, eyeing a giant bubble.
“This entry has everything I want to see in a pic,” the judge wrote. “Focal point into bubble is spot on. The colors pop. Her concentration is on point. What’s not to love? Great job. Seriously perfect photo.”
Holtzman also won second place for a collection of photos, which included a sunset over an East Pasco pasture, a couple dancing at a Latin Festival, a color war at a Lutz church, a blessing of the pets at a Dade City church and the little girl with the bubble.
Riley won first place photo series for a wide selection of images he captured at the Pasco County Fair.
“These photos bring a reader right into the heart of the fair. The lights, the games, the rides and entertainment. Nice variety,” the judge wrote. “Special kudos on the delayed exposure and the sunset shots. Beautiful photos that are clear and crisp, and really tell a story.”
Bellet won second place photo series for images he captured of ukulele players enjoying a jam at Ukulele Brand’s in Land O’ Lakes. The judge appreciated “the sheer joy of these photos,” and added, there were “some great angles coupled with interesting subject matter.”
Bellet also won second place in the sports photo category for his image of a jubilant reaction after a championship victory secured by Academy at the Lakes.
Staff writers Kathy Steele and Brian Fernandes teamed up on a series of stories about the Ridge Road Extension to win a third place in the roads and transportation category. The judge noted the reporters’ “extensive coverage” on the topic.
Staff writer Kevin Weiss also claimed a third place in the education feature category for his story entitled, “This summer camp offers insights into solving crimes,” based on a summer camp offered for youths by Saint Leo University in St. Leo.
The competition drew a total of 1,386 entries from 56 weekly newspaper. Experienced editors and publishers from Arizona, California, Colorado, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York judged the entries.
The awards were presented on July 12 during a luncheon at The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club.
Published July 17, 2019