ROCKINGHAM — Last week’s snowfall prompted Richmond County residents to share countless snow pictures on social media, but Jamie Moss thought they could do better.
Moss, a real estate broker with RE/MAX Southern Realty, posted a call for people to submit their best snow photos on Facebook for a chance to win a $100 gift card to a downtown Rockingham restaurant — Hudson Brother’s Deli, Pattan’s Downtown Grille, Kool Kakes or Henry’s Uptown Cafe — and the submissions came rolling in as fast as the snow fell.
She only expected to get 10 or 15 submissions but the contest went viral; her post got shared 175 times, and the one on RE/MAX’s page got shared 57 times. In all there were more than 500 submissions by Sunday, and she said the most any one person submitted was three.
“What a great thing for the community,” Moss said Tuesday in Harrington Square, after giving the winners their prizes. “Every photo sent was that person’s memory of the snow.”
The contest, which had to be organized fairly quickly, was divided into two categories: scene shots and shots of people or pets, which would each have a separate winner. The judges were City Councilman John Hutchinson, Susan Kelly, president of the Rockingham Downtown Corporation and RDC member Robin Roberts. Each judge picked a photo for each category, narrowing the wide field down to six finalists, and Jimmy McDonald, founder of the Rockingham Photography Club, picked the winners.
In the people or pets category, the winner was Kathy McCroskey Wolford, who submitted a picture titled “Snow Blowing” featuring her grandson, Liam, 4, blowing snow out of his hands. The winner of the scene category was Ann DePrizio, a member of the Rockingham Photography Club, whose photo “Snow Globe” was taken looking through a glass ball at her snow-covered backyard.
Moss said it was a “heart-wrenching” choice to pick from the submissions.
DePrizio said she’s made photography a hobby over the last eight years, but only started taking it seriously by going to club meetings in the last three. Despite her formal training, the winning photo — the only one she submitted — was taken with an iPhone 6.
She had been playing in the snow all day freezing bubbles and then pulled out a glass ball — she had to see how it inverted the image on the other side. She said she snapped the winning photo without much thought.
“Photography makes you get out in the community and see it in a different light,” DePrizio said. “It’s an escape.”
She assured the judges and the media present that she does, in fact, have a real camera. McDonald said that from his judgement of the submissions, most people were taking photos with cellphone cameras, which have seen exponential improvement in quality over recent years.
“It’s really the composition of the picture itself that matters, not how nice your camera is,” McDonald said.
Moss said she told DePrizio she was the winner over text, to which she replied “seriously” followed by an unknown number of “y’s.”
With so much engagement from the community, Moss said she will hold more photo contests in the future. The next theme, she said: Valentine’s Day.
Reach Gavin Stone at 910-817-2674 or [email protected]