Local teens impress at statewide photo contest

Local teens impress at statewide photo contest


Teens Malia Means and Aidan Yu are constantly on the lookout for the perfect picture. It’s a search that takes patience, a lot of exploring, and a little luck. Recently, it all paid off in a big way.

“I was really happy but I really wasn’t expecting it so it was a great surprise,” said Yu.

“I read the email and my jaw dropped,” said Means.

Both teens were named top 10 winners in the 10th Annual “Adventures in Nature” Photo Contest sponsored by the Nature Conservancy of Arizona. 16-year-old Mean took second place and a $2,500 prize for snapping a beauty near the Superstition Mountains.

“The mountain was covered in fog, you could barely see, so we start walking into it and we see this rock face, and it’s covered in fog and you’re like wow it looks like it’s from a different planet,” said Means.

“This year, we had 200 students from ages 13 to 18 across Arizona submit almost three hundred photos,” said Bretta Nelson with The Nature Conservancy.

Judged by professional photographers, Yu caught their eye with two of his photos. One from the Salt River draped in vibrance at sunset. The other captures a rather stealthy bird that calls Arizona home.

“I got incredibly lucky with that shot, honestly. I was laying in the dirt, and it just so happened the roadrunner came toward me, and I got the perfect shot,” said Yu who walked away with $500.

Many found that perfect shot including Arianna DuPont of Tucson who captured a Rare March Snow in Sabino Creek. She celebrated her first-place prize over Zoon with her photography teacher.

The whole experience left these up-and-coming artists even more focused on finding that next great photo.