Jeff Jordan grinds his skateboard at the Portland Skate Park in 2016. On Wednesday night, Bangor Daily News photographers spoke to a virtual audience about how to take pictures like a photojournalist. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

Nearly 60 people submitted their best shots for a Bangor Daily News photo contest this week with three being crowned winners.

The contest was part of a virtual event by BDN Events featuring staff photojournalists Linda Coan O’Kresik and Troy R. Bennett titled “How to take pictures like a photojournalist.”

The two veteran shooters explained the techniques and thinking behind making pictures that go beyond pretty and really tell a story.

The winners of the photo contest had shots that best told a story about Maine and Mainers.

Here are the winners and the judges’ comments.

Third place: Tom Hale

A teenage couple appear to be on their way to the prom in this third-place photo by Tom Hale. Credit: Courtesy of Tom Hale

This photo appears to be snapped from a car window in traffic. It also looks like prom night. What a great catch. This is a wonderful example of being ready when the picture presents itself.

The young man’s proud, beaming face really tells a story. He couldn’t be happier, with his elbow cocked sideways in a jaunty position. The sporty convertible is probably borrowed and the Dale Earnhardt “3” sticker is a really great detail.

The trucks and SUVs in the background lend a telling blue-collar feel as well and add to just how special the dressed-up night is for the young couple.

Second place: Tom Grogan

A pair of fishermen trudge through the mud in this second-place photo by Tom Grogan. Credit: Courtesy of Tom Grogan

At first glance, this looks like just another pretty picture of the Maine coast. Lobster boats and traps are a common subject for pictures. We’ve all taken our share.

But a closer look reveals more. A small pair of fishermen in the lower left corner make this photo a storytelling moment.

It’s low tide and it appears that they couldn’t get back to the dock without trudging through some mud. They’ve both got rubber boots on and one man grips a familiar Playmate cooler.

With the harbor full of boats and their slightly bent walking stance, viewers really get a sense of the end of a long day of work.

First place: Kate Cutko

Rich details abound in this summery, first-place photo by Kate Cutko. Courtesy of Kate Cutko

This photo is so rich in detail, it’s hard to know where to start.

First, the green grass screams summer in Maine. Second, the masks tell us even more. Also, there’s what looks to be a bookmobile in the background. The sign seems to confirm that. Along with the central figure of the boy reading, there’s another one browsing in the background. To the right, an adult stands with legs crossed, in easy repose. Her bag of greens suggests this is at a farmers market.

Kudos go to the photographer for getting down a bit, to the kid’s eye level. It’s a much better angle than staring down from a standing position.

Overall, it’s a great moment that brings us right there.

 The next BDN Event, “The First Five Years of Maine’s Newest National Monument and What’s Next,” is scheduled for Aug. 10, 2021, at 6 p.m.

Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.