Updated Tue, Nov 1, 2011 9:04 am
Andrea Morales’ work in Glouster, Ohio, has won her the top prize in Time Magazine’s Next Generation Contest, announced Oct. 26.
This is a new award for Time, which asked for photographers of the class of 2011 to submit portfolios to the contest.
Morales submitted her project, titled Extracted Dreams, Implanted Realities, which dominated her time while at Ohio University.
"I kept going back to it," she said of her three years spent photographing young women in Glouster, located in one of the poorest school districts in Ohio.
Morales first heard about the contest from Stan Alost, assistant director of the Ohio University School of Visual Communication. Within a week of submitting, she had been contacted by Time.
"I never actually got confirmation of them receiving my submission," said Morales. "I thought it had gotten lost."
Morales was born in Lima, Peru, but her family moved to Florida after they won a visa lottery. She picked up an undergraduate degree in journalism, and then came to OU for graduate school. The decision to turn to photography was a whim.
"I wasn’t a super-good writer," she said. "I was touring the j-school when someone talked about the photo track." Having always had an interest in photography, she decided to try photojournalism.
Morales now works at the Concord Monitor in Concord, N.H. While she is happy to win the award, she also realizes that there is pressure that comes with it.
"I’ve put this work out there so many times, I’ve become a little neurotic. This work means a lot to me," she said.
Morales is required to keep Time informed of what she is doing over the next year. This stipulation is a large motivation to put more effort into the work she’s doing.
"It’s really easy to get complacent," she said.
Another OU graduate student, Brad Vest, was second runner up in the contest for his project following the struggles of a young man trying to stay off drugs and out of jail.