Denham wins national photography contest

Kaelyn Denham, eighth grader at Mexico Middle School, recently won first place in the Middle School/Junior High division of the national photography contest sponsored by Jostens/Wolfe's Camera.
Kaelyn won $500, and camera accessories from Wolfe's for her photo of fellow student Dakota Hicks wrestling. The photo was taken for The Bark, the yearbook at MMS. Kaelyn is co-editor of the yearbook.
"I am extremely proud that Kaelyn has gained this national recognition for her photograph," Cindy Allison, yearbook adviser said. "Kaelyn was willing to take time to go cover the tournament and had the patience to wait for a photo that really had impact. Since good photographs are one of the keys to a strong yearbook, I really appreciate that effort and dedication."
There were 367 entries in the junior high category, and more than 5,000 entries in the combined junior and senior high school photo competition.
All entrants in the competition were required to write a short explanation of the process they went through in taking the photo. Kaelyn said:  "Having not taken many wrestling photos before, I wanted to make sure I got the wrestler's face in the picture, so I got down eye level with the mat. This angle made it hard to move with the wrestlers since they twist and turn so much, but I knew I would have to just be patient and watch for photo opportunities. My waiting paid off and I finally got the kind of shot I wanted when the action turned my direction."
Principal Deb Hill-Haag said she is proud of Kaelyn's accomplishment. "Kaelyn's picture is truly worth a thousand words," she said. "It makes you want to know what the wrestler is feeling, and if he won. It is amazing that a middle schooler can take a photograph that invokes such curiousity."
Kaelyn is the daughter of Chris and Robbin Denham.