Garland High School student’s picture worth $1,000

"Photo Booth in the Sky" captured by GHS student Tori Moss-Desormier

(Garland ISD – November 12, 2012) Taking a picture requires only the simple push of a button, but capturing a memory requires skill and creativity. That’s exactly what Garland High School senior Tori Moss-Desormier used to win $1,000 and a brand new iPad.

Just one month after buying his first “professional” camera, Desormier snapped the winning entry of the 2012 State Fair Photo Contest hosted by NeighborsGo—a Dallas Morning News publication.

With an interest in photography that began last year, Desormier’s camera used to be an iPhone. But as his hobby grew, so did his desire for better equipment. At the beginning of the school year, he sold a first-generation iPad to fund a Nikon D3100. One month later, the State Fair of Texas opened and Desormier planned to go by himself for the first time.

“I got online to figure out directions and saw ads for the photo contest on the Fair’s website,” he explained. “I took 100 pictures while I was there, mostly trying to capture the action of the rides as well as the faces of those who were on them.”

Tori Moss-Desormier

Desormier entered 24 pictures in week 2 of the contest. But he—along with friends and family—had their favorite. Named “Photo Booth in the Sky,” the picture captured a couple taking their own photo while riding the Stratosphere. The Dallas skyline also fit nicely in the background.

“[I] began taking pictures of all the other riders, trying to catch their expressions as the ride picked up speed,” said Desormier in an interview by NeighborsGo. “Somehow I kept coming back to this couple because of how cute it was. I didn’t even notice how perfectly the skyline fit in until I’d gotten home.”

On Oct. 12, “Photo Booth in the Sky” was named the week 2 winner out of more than 800 entries. Desormier received a $500 gift card to Arlington Camera and was automatically entered into the grand prize round. Two weeks later, judges again chose his picture as the 2012 State Fair Photo Contest winner.

“I was shocked when I learned that I had won,” commented Desormier. “I never anticipated making it that far. Especially after the Big Tex fire, I thought for sure a photo of him would win. One of the judges said my photo was his choice from the beginning, so that was a really big deal.”

Chosen from more than 1,000 contributors and 3,300 images as the grand prize winner, Desormier received another $500 gift card to Arlington Camera as well as a new iPad. But replacing the one he sold to purchase his camera wasn’t the contest’s only benefit. Desormier now has confidence in a future career plan.

“I was contacted by the Art Institute of Dallas after they saw my picture featured in NeighborsGo,” he said. “I’m going to look into attending because I really like photography and the challenge of capturing things the way that I see them. It’s one of those things that you can never quite master, and I like that.”

Submitted by Tiffany Graber, Communications Specialist, Garland ISD.

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