They’re first and last.

As we mentioned over the weekend, this is the beginning and end of The CCC Awards photo category. But our pair of photo judges found infinite excellence to choose from.

“We wanted to recognize the advance thought that went into a visual concept, and the commitment of time and energy to find situations and subjects that illustrate an idea well,” they said. “We were also necessarily cognizant of where we were in this crisis when the photo was taken, and what our understanding of social distancing best practices was at that time.”

Mengshin Lin, The Columbia Chronicle

From Chicago to Honolulu: a photojournalist travels in the age of the coronavirus

When Mengshin Lin heard Columbia College Chicago would go to online-only classes, “I was crushed and cried on my couch for an hour.” Originally from Taiwan, she decided to decamp to Hawaii. But along the way, she photographed other anxious students. The photo atop this post is just one of the nine she published.

Judges’ comment: This was a notable example of a photographer seizing the opportunity to document their own experience, while at the same time using that access to reporting on the experience of the other travelers around them. The photographer enlisted a variety of compositional structures and color palettes to create visual variety in situations that could have felt redundant. The captions reflected a strong storytelling initiative.

Michigan has dominated the first two weeks of The CCC Awards. Last week, the University of Michigan and Michigan State won (with two other schools) for General Content. Now Central Michigan University joins the University of Michigan as our two honorable mentions…

Isaac Ritchey, Central Michigan Life

Living on campus during a pandemic

Isaac Ritchey, the photo editor at Central Michigan University’s newspaper, followed one freshman who stayed behind in his almost-empty dorm. “There’s always a possibility that I may have it now, and I don’t want to bring it back to my family,” the freshman told Ritchey.

Judges’ comment: We recognize the photographer’s commitment to visualizing the experience of his subject, through a variety of situations over a period of time. The photographs do an effective job of communicating the concept of solitude, but felt a little thematically repetitive. We appreciate the work of the photographer to follow the subject into a lot of different visual environments, but would challenge them to try and create more of a story arc.

Dominick Sokotoff, The Michigan Daily

Dominick Sokotoff is both a reporter and photographer for the University of Michigan. He traveled around campus and  Ann Arbor documenting the run-up to the shutdown.

Judges’ comment: A strong example of initiative as a staff photographer. The images illustrate a variety of aspects of the developing story in a visually compelling, non-repetitive manner. The COVID testing photo in particular shows both a commitment of time to wait for the image to happen and forethought in arriving to the situation with the appropriate equipment.

If you want to enter photos in The CCC Awards, you can still do so under General Content – and we’ll announce those winners tomorrow.


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