GRCC Student Photographer Wins National Recognition

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Michele BrautnickGrand Rapids resident and GRCC student Michele Brautnick received an honorable mention in the 34th annual College and High School Photography Contest organized by Photographer’s Forum magazine.  Her award-winning photo featuring her two-year-old son Oscar started as an assignment for a GRCC photography class.

Brautnick says, “The assignment was specifically around the topic of light – seeing it, finding it, and acknowledging the effect it can have on a subject.”

Photography professor Chuck Heiney says the light project is a technical assignment that he gives early in the semester.  “In one sense, the light assignment is to ensure students are making correct exposures with their cameras, but light can be used to go beyond merely making exposures of the scene,” he said.  “When photographers begin to literally ‘see the light’ in their photography, they have made a huge step forward in the craft.  Michele’s photo shows that point of release from basic exposure to seeing, responding, and interpreting the scene.”

Like many GRCC students, Michele Brautnick is a “nontraditional” student who already has a degree and career, but returned to college in 2013 as a means of broadening her skills and ideally leading to a more advanced career position.

Chuck Heiney says he finds it especially rewarding to work with students like Brautnick, saying, “Nontraditional students seem to have a laser focus of knowing what they want and working hard to get to the end of the game as fast as possible.”

All of the competition’s winners, honorable mentions, and finalists will be featured in the book Best of College and High School Photography 2014.  To see Michele Brautnick’s award-winning photo, click HERE.

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