Photography Issue 2013 

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Judges' Choice Winner

About the Winner

Jess Williams, the winner of the judges’ prize in the 2013 Nashville Scene Photo Contest, came to his new career as a fashion photographer via an unexpected route: the military. During his deployment to Afghanistan in 2006, the East Nashville resident took up photos while serving with the 10th Mountain Division out of New York. When he returned home, he began work as a military photojournalist, now assigned to the National Guard’s 118th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment.

Inspired by native Nashville photographer Bo Streeter, Williams says he started shooting bands and fashion once he returned from overseas. Asked if his military training gives him unusual skills in that regard, Williams chuckles. His fashion work, he says, benefits from being “a little more fast-paced and organized … a lot of attention to detail.” But he sees camera-ready images around him all the time — including the source for this year’s winning photo.

“I’m always mesmerized by East Nashville’s landscapes at night, especially right after it rains,” Williams says. “The fog in the air, the street lights, the dark alleys, the wet pavement, and the all-around grunginess of East Nashville really makes for a strong photo. This alley behind my house always catches my eye and I decided to take the time to capture it.” See more of his work at jesswilliamsphotos.com.

click to enlarge Jess Williams (jesswilliamsphotos.com), “Dark East Nashville Alley”
  • Jess Williams (jesswilliamsphotos.com), “Dark East Nashville Alley”

Readers' Choice Winner

click to enlarge Matt Blair (mattblairpictures.com), “Amélie,” Fabric Care Center
  • Matt Blair (mattblairpictures.com), “Amélie,” Fabric Care Center

Judges' Runner-Up*

Evan Spencer Brace, “Brothers,” Jefferson Street
  • Evan Spencer Brace, “Brothers,” Jefferson Street

Judges' Honorable Mention*

click to enlarge Scott Simontacchi, “Eloise,” Bowling Avenue
  • Scott Simontacchi, “Eloise,” Bowling Avenue

The rest of the finalists

click to enlarge Jon Vaughn, “The Sun behind by Son,” Honeysuckle Hills Farm
  • Jon Vaughn, “The Sun behind by Son,” Honeysuckle Hills Farm

click to enlarge Shannon Stevens, “Outback,” Shelby Bottoms Greenway
  • Shannon Stevens, “Outback,” Shelby Bottoms Greenway

click to enlarge Brandon Greer, “Matthew Paige’s Boots,” Nashville
  • Brandon Greer, “Matthew Paige’s Boots,” Nashville

click to enlarge Chris Wage, “Union Station”
  • Chris Wage, “Union Station”

click to enlarge Andrea Cothern, “Sink or Swim,” East Nashville
  • Andrea Cothern, “Sink or Swim,” East Nashville

click to enlarge Patrick Casey, “Untitled,” Downtown Nashville Subway
  • Patrick Casey, “Untitled,” Downtown Nashville Subway

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