Winner honored in first-ever library photo contest

By: Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published May 15, 2017

 Jourdan Rus said this photo, titled “Les Mis,” was inspired by her best friend, whose favorite book is the classic “Les Miserables.”

Jourdan Rus said this photo, titled “Les Mis,” was inspired by her best friend, whose favorite book is the classic “Les Miserables.”

Photo provided by Tera Moon, of the Bloomfield Township Public Library

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — The entries are in, the winners have been selected, and the images are certainly impressive.

The first-ever Bloomfield Township Public Library photo contest wrapped up April 1, and according to Assistant Library Director Tera Moon, the participation was better than expected for the inaugural competition.

“Forty-three people submitted 77 photos, and we had entries from ages across the board,” said Moon. “We didn’t ask for ages; we just had three categories: youth, teen and adult. But I know there were some kids who were, like, 8 who submitted photos, and one man who submitted was probably in his 90s.”

A common theme, Moon noticed, was that as much as people love their library and reading good stories, they also fancy animals.

“People like to take pictures of their kids reading to their pets,” she said with a laugh. “We even got a photo of a squirrel reading a Dr. Seuss book.”

Three judges — local photographer Laurie Tennent, marketing expert Dave Buffington, and amateur photographer and library volunteer Nancy Kulish — selected winners from the lot.

Taking first place in the youth category was Josette Nelson with her image titled “So many pretty books,” followed by Pia Zammit in second place with “Squirrel friends like reading, too,” and Sarra Brinjikji in third with “Devouring Harry Potter.”

Eighteen-year-old Jourdan Rus, a Bloomfield Hills High School grad and Wayne State University student, took first place in the teen category with “Les Mis,” followed up by Georgia Zimmerman in second with “Camarilla in the rain,” and Kosta Sergakis in third with “Reading on a sunny day.”

Rus also took the honor of Best in Show with another one of her photos, which earned her the grand prize of a high-definition camera.

“In the past, I’ve had success in other art competitions, so I’m always on the lookout for anything new that I can enter in. I think it’s great to put your work out there, even if you might not win,” said Rus, who’s studying business management and photography at WSU. “After brainstorming a bit, I decided I wanted to show that reading can also be a creative expression. I personally love reading many different kinds of genres, so for my piece ‘Bibliophile’ I included a lot of my favorite books that are each very different from each other.”

First place in the adult category went to Sally Matak for “The simple beauty of books,” followed by Jessie Gable in second with “Her two favorite things,” and Elizabeth Ford in third with “Clayton zoned in.”

All of the winning photos are available to see on the BTPL Facebook page, and the top entries will be used for promotional materials.

“Since the theme was the joy of reading and libraries, we’ll use these in pieces to promote the library. So anytime we need a photo of a cute kid reading or someone using the library, we’ll grab these,” Moon explained. “We had a theme and people captured just that, in our library, outdoors and in their homes.”

See all of the entries at