West Michigan Photographer Wins National Audubon Society Award
He was a photojournalist for over 30 years but during the pandemic he changed focus. Steve Jessmore is now a winner in the 2021 Audubon Photography Awards. He won 2 awards!
The West Michigan native received recognitions in two categories: Professional Award Winner and Professional Honorable Mention. His professional Award Winner photo featured a northern cardinal which was taken in rural Muskegon. The Professional Honorable Mention showed a red-tailed hawk at Kensington Metropark in Milford Township.
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"This is such a well known organization and everybody knows who the Audubon Society is. This contest is kind of referred to as THEE contest for birds. To enter it and to actually win and then win both awards was unbelievable."
Jessmore says the win is "surreal". As a photojournalist he mostly took pictures of universities around Michigan for web-sites and brochures. When the pandemic took over, he and his wife discussed how he would spend his time with his open calendar. She assured him with this gift of time, he should do something to benefit himself. So he started taking pictures of birds from his back patio. He did it to learn something new and help his craft.
Jessmore's winning photos are featured on the homepage of the Audubon Societies web-site. In their twelfth year, winning entries and honorable mentions emerged from 2,416 entrants from all 50 states, Washington D.C. and 10 Canadian provinces and territories.
This was the first time the Audubon Society awarded for Female Bird Prize and Video Prize. The Female Bird Prize was introduced to draw attention to female birds and the video prize was aimed to illuminate unique and fascinating ways birds behave and interact with their environments.