In what for most of us has been the most challenging and saddening of years, NIAF’s 2020 Photo Contest continued to attract more than 200 high-quality entries from amateur and professional photographers.
Perhaps that’s because the theme of this year’s contest was Non Mollare (Don’t Give Up)! The submissions reflected a vast diversity of images expressing perseverance and resilience under the circumstances: one showed three generations of an Italian American family celebrating, with covid masks on, nonna Norma Cammarata’s 80th birthday in Brooklyn; another a lovely yellow flower growing from a roll of toilet paper; then, a poignant dark silhouette of a family looking from Ellis Island to the distant Statue of Liberty; a nearly magical Redwood tree illuminated by a golden sunset in West Sonoma County; a happy young boy stirring a pit of red sauce. So many remarkable, heartfelt images!
Our judges chose this year’s winners from a narrowed field of 16 finalists. With a tie for the final winner, NIAF congratulated six 2020 Photo Contest winners instead of five, all of whom were featured on the NIAF website (www.niaf.org) and in NIAF’s social media. All winners were awarded a one-year NIAF Sustaining Membership.
And, so, NIAF is honored to present the NIAF 2020 Photo Contest Winners:
Stephanie Saraceno Roadruck
Stephens City, Va.
Photographic equipment: Canon 6D
This is a photo of my 9-year-old son, Ryan, swimming in his one and only meet of the Covid-19 Summer Swim season. His first race, his googles fell off and he hit his head on the wall. He wanted to give up because he was scared and embarrassed, but instead, he dove in determined and won his next race. Non Mallare!
Photographic equipment: iPhone 11 Pro
This picture was taken in October 2020 at Lake Paradise. The picture captures the theme “Don’t Give Up” because it focuses on the beauty of the present, on looking at what is right in front of your eyes, of enjoying the moment, relishing the sunset, taking stock in the day, knowing that the sun will rise tomorrow…and with it, the promise of a new day.
Christine M. Saladino
West Melbourne, Fla.
Photographic equipment: iPhone
My mother was born in Napoli and met a young American sailor who was stationed there. As Dad liked to tell it, he courted my mom and her family, and they got married on Dad’s birthday in Napoli in 1957. Mom was just 18. They eventually moved back to the States, had four children, and stayed deeply in love with each other.
My Dad was a good man who cared deeply about my mother, right up until he passed away in July 2019. This photo was taken when she brought him flowers for his birthday and their anniversary in October of 2020. Why this image represents resilience and hope is because my mother, now 81, has shown so much courage in the wake of my Father’s death. She has continued on, with strength, faith, grace, humor and even joy. In my view, she epitomizes the theme of Non Mollare!
Cabella Ligure, Italy
Photographic equipment: Android ASUS Zenfone
The Senora Maria in San Gregorio Magno, a small town in the province of Salerno, has overcome the war and the hunger by working the land hard. You can see it from her hands. She is of the generation with only an elementary education that made Italy and has paid the highest price with Covid. She still helps her children and grandchildren today and never gave up.
Photographic equipment: iPhone 11 Pro Max
The photograph was taken on September 12, 2020, the day that my husband and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. This year, we choose to celebrate our 13th anniversary with a trip to NYC, and specifically to take our two beautiful children to visit the Statue of Liberty, for the very first time. As Italian Americans, this was an emotional and inspiring day, within a quite emotional year. The top moment of the day was this exact second, when my daughter Federica, 4 years old, raised her arm in resemblance of Lady Liberty that was towering right in front of her, and I was lucky to immortalize the moment. My heart was, and still is, full of pride, joy, liberation when I look at her in this photo: for me, it symbolizes past and next generations, forever inspired and intertwined by our histories and cultural heritages. And in this especially difficult year, it means “Don’t Give Up!” because difficult moments like this one we are currently living will make us stronger as citizens, individuals, humans. We will soon regain our freedom to hug each other, travel freely, visit places all over our amazing planet. All with a more conscious realization that we are
“All in This Together.”
Photographic equipment: Canon 5D Mark II
Being farmers during the pandemic means little changed to our daily lives.
The chores must still get done—chickens and pigs to be fed, eggs collected, lambs put out to pasture, emails to be written to customers about when and where to pick up product, the garden must be watered, fences moved, barns mucked, etc.
In fact, this year we’ve been busier than ever. With grocery stores selling out of food staples, many people in our community turned to us to provide them with their food. We sold out of most of our meat supply within days (amounts that would usually take us months to sell) and had every product for the upcoming year sold before we even butchered them. This year has been an especially hectic one, among years that are always very hectic.
The photo is of two of our lambs this year, in a cuddly embrace, which I think each and every one of us needs this year, to help us keep going.
Non mollare mai!