Vanessa Gonzalez

“Pretty in Pink”

Gear & Settings: Canon EOS 5D Mark III + EF 35mm f/1.4 USM lens; f/2.2, 1/8,000, ISO 200

Our July/August 2020 Click Magazine photo contest theme was pastels and neutrals, and we think these three winners captured it perfectly. Wouldn’t you agree?! A huge congrats to our first place winner, Vanessa Gonzalez of Los Angeles, California.

Thank you to our judges, Click Pros Carrine Powers, Longwood, Florida and Vicki Smith. Today they are sharing their thoughts on the winning photos with us!


Carrine Powers: The subject’s beauty, together with the photographer’s use of light and shadow, creates a stunning portrait. Incorporating a sheer, patterned material strengthens the composition with layers of framing. Pulling the material towards the camera creates a dreamy, blurry effect in the outer edges. The out of focus areas pull my attention toward the center of detail, and to the subject’s closest eye, which is flawlessly uninfluenced by the criss-crossing shadows framing it. The added sharp focus and reflected light in the eye strengthen my connection to the image further. The bend of the subject’s raised arm repeats pleasingly with the nearly mirrored fold of the material on the opposite side, creating another interesting frame. The subject’s expression and line of sight out of what we know and see adds an element of mystery, and the warm tones are a perfect choice to impress.

Vicki Smith: This photograph stopped me in my tracks. I was completely drawn to it and find it quite breathtaking. I love how the light shines through the dress to create lines that add texture and shadows to the face. The way the girl is looking away from the camera and the way the arms are used to frame the subject help make a perfect composition. The beautiful tones and color give a romantic feel.


Katherine Elaine Spooner

“A Day at the Fair”

Carlsbad, California

Gear & Settings: Canon EOS 5D Mark II + EF 24-70mm f/2.8 II USM lens; f/7.1, 1/1,250, ISO 500

photography magazine photo contest second place winner, carousel spinning
Photo by Katherine Elaine Spooner


Carrine Powers: The point of view, along with the compositional intention of this image, is what stood out to me at first glance. Any time  an image can immediately transport me to the moment, I’m a fan. This image did just that with a few choices by the photographer. The photographer’s placement of the camera and the timing of this capture both add to the impression of movement. By clicking the shutter at this exact moment, the angle of the highest chair is a smidge above the rest. Because of these choices, the single frame of information, seamlessly empowers my mind’s eye to continue the progression of the scene as if I was there, using my own memories of seeing and riding myself. The added decision to point the camera towards the sun, had me enduring the heat just to experience the thrill again. The empty swings, and the ambiguity of the surroundings, allows any viewer with a similar fair experience, to slide into the seat with ease.

Vicki Smith: This photograph makes me reminisce about simpler times. The movement of the carnival swings evokes emotion and makes me feel like I’m there. I like how the positioning of the subject in the lower bottom third of the photograph creates an additional point of interest. The negative space showcases the beautiful blue sky which allows the colors of the swing to pop.


Rudney Novaes

“The Floral Umbrella”

Washington, D.C.

Gear & Settings: Contax 645 + 80mm Carl Zeiss Planar T* 80mm f/2.0 lens; Fujifilm Pro 400H film; 1/60 at f/2.8

Photo contest winner third place, woman with flower umbrella
Photo by Rudney Novaes


Carrine Powers: This is such a stunning portrait. What I appreciate about this image the most are the choices the photographer made with the subject to tell a story. The juxtaposition created by the body’s intended direction and the turning back of the subject’s glance, as well as the view of the dress’s open back and flirtatious nature of the subject’s expression are all clues of unfolding events. As an outside viewer, much is left a mystery, which is what makes it interesting. What takes this image over the top is the impressive floral umbrella. An artfully crafted arrangement, it’s a crown of royal beauty. Such a statement piece begs the question, “Which character in this mystery is the most deserving center of attention?”

Vicki Smith: This is such a gorgeous portrait. I love the way the colors of the umbrella are placed against a lighter background which makes the flowers stand out more. The placement of the model’s arm in the center of the photograph pulls my eye right up to her beautiful face. I like that the center composition is used because it draws attention to the subject in a powerful way. The beautiful tones of the pastel color palette add to the overall beauty of the portrait.