Wartburg College student Haley Flores has earned a scholarship and an all-expense-paid trip to New York City for her skills in photography.
Flores, a sophomore from Dysart, won the Alamy Award from the Young Photographers Alliance. She is one of four photography students and one of 20 general art students among 500 applicants to receive a $2,000 scholarship and a trip to New York City, where the awards will be presented Oct. 12.
Flores submitted a 10-photo portfolio for the competition, giving unique perspectives on common sights - plants, mirrors, knots, lighting, and a child on the ground holding a political sign as adults marched by.
"Life is constantly continuous and photography can freeze everything for just a moment," Flores said. "The simplest things that go unnoticed can have so much detail and beauty."
Her exposure to photography dates back to elementary school, when her father gave her a camera. Her mother, a teacher who advised and won awards for a Nebraska high school yearbook, later taught her various photographic techniques.
In middle school, Flores went to a Bible camp and was introduced to printing pictures in a darkroom. She was hooked.
"I believe the darkroom contains one of the most fascinating processes in the world," said Flores. "In the darkroom, I decided photography needed to not only be my passion, but also my future."
A reluctant convert to the digital world, Flores is getting a head start on that future with her own photography business, taking wedding and family photos and senior pictures. She also shadows photographer Amy Hermsen of Mount Vernon, who took her senior pictures when Flores attended Union High School in La Porte City.
At Wartburg, Flores is majoring in art and communication design with a minor in intercultural studies. She was introduced to the college through her brothers, Blake, who graduated in 2005, and Ian, a 2009 grad.
"I didn't really want to go to a college specifically for a photography degree," she said, adding that her art major provides a background in colors, shading, placement and lines, which all relates to her photography.