Al Drago recently won first place in a monthly contest sponsored by the North Carolina Press Photographers Association and 10th place in a Hearst competition.
Junior journalism major Al Drago was recognized with two top-10 finishes in a pair of major photography competitions. His photo story “Rising from the Ashes” placed first in the North Carolina Press Photographers Association’s October 2013 clip contest. Drago was the only student to enter the competition, in which his entry competed against those from professional news photographers across the state.
He also finished 10th in Photojournalism News & Features Competition of the Hearst Journalism Awards Program. For the contest, Drago submitted five news photos and three features photos he freelanced or took for the Raleigh News & Observer and the Burlington Times-News.
The photos include an injured solider coming home from Afghanistan, Moral Monday protests, the first day of school, and an Afghani 8-year-old preparing for a heart procedure. (An array of those photos is below.)
“I am very honored and excited that I placed in the top 10 for the Hearst competition and that I can represent Elon photojournalism,” Drago said. “I am friends with a few of the other photographers that also placed and continue to look up to them to see how we can all advance our craft.”
Other top 10 finishers in the Hearst competition come from schools such as Western Kentucky University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Ohio University.
Drago has interned at several newspapers, including most recently the News & Observer, for which he now freelances.
He also takes photos for Elon University and worked previously as photo editor at The Pendulum.