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KC R. Sandidge Photography Scholarship

Funded by
1 winner$1,000
Next Application Deadline
May 1, 2024
Next Winners Announced
Jun 1, 2024
Education Level
High School
Recent scholarship winners
Eligibility Requirements
High School Senior

Distinguished photographer Dorothea Lange once said that, “The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera.”

Pictures can often tell stories that words cannot. Photographers use their skills and artistic eye to focus on details that help enhance the little aspects of life. The KC R. Sandidge Photography Scholarship will support one high school senior who strives to make photography a part of their future. 

Any high school student with an interest in pursuing photography is encouraged to apply for this scholarship. 

To apply, submit a collection of 3-5 images from your photography portfolio that relate to one another in a way that is entirely up to you. Editing is allowed as long as the integrity of the subjects photographed are maintained.

Selection Criteria:
Ambition, Need, Boldest Profile
Published November 6, 2023
Essay Topic

Tell us about your journey in creating the portfolio you submitted.

200–400 words

Winning Application

Abrar Mahmoud
Tottenville High SchoolStaten Island, NY
I wanted to create a collection of photos that provoke the warmth that delicious food has. The overall mode I tried to create with these pictures is coziness. Starting with the breakfast scene photo and the family gathering around the breakfast table. The movement in the photo communicates a science of energy and vibrancy. Moving on to the stuffed grape leaves, the action shot of the lemon squeeze allows the audience to taste the savory of the unique dish. The pizza preparation shot has the vibrant tomato sauce color creating the vibrancy of the scene and adding a needed pop of color to communicate the playfulness and warmth of the scene. Finally, the cake preparation shot has a dark and moody scene that adds a moody vibe to the shot and helps the viewers feel the depth of the scene. The common thing between all these pictures is that they remind me of my memories with my family around the kitchen table. Homemade food has something special about it. It has the element of love and warmth. Food for me isn’t just a way for us to satisfy our basic needs but rather a medium to communicate love, warmth, and culture.
Poppy Lokowich
Minneapolis College of Art and DesignMinneapolis, MN
When creating the portfolio I submitted, I was looking for photographs to express a specific mood. I looked and looked through my best shots, and found a few that I particularly like. All of them I believe show emotions such as sadness, dismay, and discomfort. First, I included a moody photograph of a blue bathroom. The way the light is hitting the white sink in the dark and quite literally blue room, in my opinion, plants feelings of despair and sorrow. While the room is literally blue, the photograph's colors and lighting make the viewer feel a bit 'blue' as well. My second photograph is a self-portrait. I chose this because it carries along the theme of blue in my eye, and the look on my face is that of discomfort and concern, another strong emotion sometimes associated with sadness. As you can see, my iris is not in focus, and that was in order to show the feeling of situations being skimmed over and not paid attention to, in which people don't want to look into the eyes of someone who's grieving or experiencing a difficult situation. The third image I chose was one that I took in Iceland. Rain is mostly associated with sadness as well, and I really loved the way the raindrops fell on this window outside of a hotel in Reykjavik. The image overall is a bit miserable with underlying hints of hope possibly. The fourth and final photograph I chose was a still life of some purple tulips and an open book. I chose this because of the moody lighting similar to the blue bathroom photo. In addition to this, tulips can symbolize deep love, so I like to think that someone had just experienced heartbreak since they are beginning to wilt. Maybe someone was reading a book and admiring some flowers from a lover, but suddenly was notified that their significant other had passed away and they rushed out, leaving the book and ambient lighting in its place. In conclusion, the four photos I chose convey emotions of sadness, discomfort, misery, and grief. Yet, the hints of bright light in each photo, such as that on the sink, on my face, in the window, and the small amount on the tulips, signifies hope and that things will turn out alright in the end.
Alex Yunda-Raijer
Glenbrook South High SchoolGlenview, IL
The five photos I submitted for this scholarship are all a part of my AP Art sustained investigation, where through a series of photo memoirs I try to share with the world my experience with growing up gay. The project as a whole stemmed from this place of yearning; yearning for the want to stop feeling so alone because no one understood my story. A partial part of this loneliness I think is my fault because I don't enjoy talking about my sexuality, which I think comes from years of staying in the closet and being afraid to be myself. The beautiful thing about this project is that, although it's very scary to examine deep parts of myself that manifest in different ways in my current life and although it will be scary to release the project at my AP Art show in April, it's something that I'm forcing myself to do because I feel that it's necessary for my personal growth and development. Through the project, I'm able to examine and learn from the experiences of my life I've never really dealt with up to this point, and I get to show it to the people in my life that I haven't had the strength to come out to yet. It's also easier for me to communicate visually and through art than it is for me to communicate through my words. Through creativity, we are able to communicate things that seem so hard and complicated through words. By looking at a photo I make, I'm laying out the blueprint and guidelines of the conversation that comes after the viewer has time to sit with the themes. That conversation could be with me, but it could also be with someone else in their life that they thought of when they viewed my work. From day one I knew that I wanted this project to 1. be a way for me to reflect on my life as I said before, but also 2. serve as a way for other people to learn from my experiences and see themselves change because of it. In whatever way that comes. Art, in whatever form it comes in, is a way for our society to learn from one another and to celebrate our differences which in turn leads to a more enlightened and understanding world.


When is the scholarship application deadline?

The application deadline is May 1, 2024. Winners will be announced on Jun 1, 2024.

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