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Oh Snap! Photography has hosted its spring contest for a third year in a row, celebrating students' casual photography skills. 

Credit: Julio Sosa

Many spend hours taking the perfect Instagram photo — why not submit it to a competition?

Oh Snap! Photography is celebrating students’ casual photography skills — from Instagram posts to Spring Break shots — for the third year through its spring contest.

“Oh Snap! is all about empowering amateur and novice photographers to embrace their creative side and take photos of the outside world,” Blue Bookhard, a College junior and one of the managers overseeing the contest, said.

Students can submit photos in four categories: Spring Break, Mobile Phone/Instagram, Open and Penn Calendar. The best photos of Penn landscapes and events will be featured in the Official Penn 2016-17 calendar.

“The categories are very straightforward. The accessibility is definitely there for the Penn community to engage with Oh Snap! and submit their art,” Wharton junior and former contest winner Ayo Fagbemi said.

Submissions are emailed to Oh Snap! Photography, a digital photography service run by students through Penn Student Agencies. Their student photographers can be hired to photograph events, shows or portraits on campus and in Philadelphia. The service also creates the Penn Calendar every spring with Penn Student Design, College junior Araba Ankuma, Oh Snap! Photography manager, said.

A few of the service’s photographers will work together to select the top photos in each category, she said. The top picks will then be posted on Facebook, where all students can vote on their favorite. Those with the most votes, as well as randomly selected voters, will win cash prizes.

“Sometimes the photos are really exceptional,” Ankuma said. “It’s hard to nail down what is best.”

The deadline for submissions has been pushed back to April 13 due to a low number of submissions, Ankuma said. In the past two years of holding the contest, they have received between 30 and 40 submissions each semester.

“This may be one of our slower semesters,” Ankuma said. “We really have to push marketing.”

College sophomore Edda Haggerty said she competed last fall on a whim, having already taken and prepared photos to submit for Philly Photo Day. Though she submitted her close up from the Magic Gardens to the Penn Calendar, it won for the Holiday category.

“I am really interested in the phenomenon of color and light and how they work not just artistically and aesthetically, but also psychologically and in scientific matters,” Haggerty said. “With the Magic Gardens, it is just like the wonderful scene of someone using trash and debris to make wonderful shimmering art, so the photo that won zoomed in on a bicycle scene with Christmas lights. I think it is a good example of light playing with objects that are otherwise ignored.”

Fagbemi won the last Calendar category with his photo of the Penn toast during this fall’s Ivy football championship in Franklin Field. He said he thought it candidly captured a Penn tradition, yet he was slightly surprised to win, considering he hasn’t won many photo competitions.

“One thing that Oh Snap! does really well is that they give access to people who are not normally known as photographers to submit work through any medium,” Fagbemi said. “It allows a whole new market of casual photographers to submit their own work and potentially be winners of a competition.”

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