The 2019 Uhills Photo Contest Winners!

University Hills recently held its first annual photography contest and the results are in! This inaugural year’s theme was “Community and Diversity”. 

We received a total of 16 submissions (2 child, 14 adult). Judging was based on overall impact, uniqueness of concept, and originality. The theme was specifically set to help community members start thinking about what the topic truly means on a personal level. 

The topic of community seemed easy enough, but to address diversity was a bit more challenging. We learned for some, the term ‘diversity’ applies to one’s race, religion, culture, etc. We also learned that many see diversity in more general terms, including distinctive experiences, ideas, and identities. As a result, we received beautiful photos with an amazing understanding of different perspectives! 

And the winners are…

Adult Division: Alice Berghof 


WINNER! Alice Berghof



“After having bought art supplies for my daughter, I noticed out of the corner of my eye the silhouette of a woman sitting on a bench in the Laguna Beach bus terminal, talking animatedly and rifling through a paper bag. I was struck by her beauty and grace. I could tell she was down on her luck, certainly in need of more than I could give her. I paused for a long time because I thought if I approached her to offer money I would seem impolite. At the same time I realized the little money I could offer her would not be enough help or the right kind of help, as clearly she needed a place to live, a livelihood, a second chance. I am an outgoing person in general, really talkative and buoyant, rarely hesitant. I stood staring at the ocean for quite a while before turning back to this person whose angular image had caught my eye. I asked her if I could take her picture, and I explained that I did not want to put her on the spot and that actually I would like to pay her for allowing me to take her picture, as I considered it to be a gift to me, the experience of taking a picture of her there in the sun. She was really happy to oblige, but when I took her picture, she covered her mouth with her hand, as, I think, she for some reason felt embarrassed. I said she had a beautiful mouth, and I said I found her to be quite graceful. In saying this she and I started chatting, and she began to smile easily. I took the picture I am submitting here. I am submitting it both as a memory of a real connection with a person who can smile in the midst of hardship, but also as an icon of my own ambivalence in having asked her if I could take her picture, rather than sitting there with her for the day, driving her where she needed to go, and trying to live a day in her plight. I am submitting a picture that I felt compelled to take yet that I feel ambivalent about having taken without giving more than a few dollars back. Even though the series of pictures moved from her self-negation to a real connection with me, I am unsettled now looking back on the idea that I felt I should go on my way, back home to my children, and that with my full-time job and my parents’ health problems I have enough to handle without taking on anything else. What this picture means to me is that all of us need constant reminders that the people we pity are strong and beautiful and needy all at once, and that a few dollars do not suffice to make a real change for the better.” – Alice Berghof

Children Division: Sienna Gillen 

“Community & Diversity is like baseball. Different people, opposite teams, and in the end, everyone just wants to go home.” by Sienna Gillen

Each winner has received a $50 Amazon Gift Card and will have their photos framed and displayed at the University Hill Community Center. 

Honorable mentions: 

Anna Kakaliouras

Amy DePaula 

Van Hoang

Ziva Bodenschatz 

Thank you to all who participated and shared their beautiful, insightful, and inspiring photos! We look forward to next year’s theme! Maybe you will be the next Uhills Photo Contest Winner! Sponsored by the Community Safety Diversity Working Group (CSD) and the Uhills HRB Entertainment Committee. 

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