Tampa Bay student photography competiton honors memory of former Hillel Academy student

A new photography competition for Tampa Bay middle and high schoolers honors the memory of a former Hillel Academy student who died in May 2022.

The Jacob Kamis Photography Contest is accepting submissions through April 5th.

“Jacob Ari Kamis developed his talent for photography when he was still in middle school,” a description of the contest reads. “He continued to expand his skills in high school as he documented his travels and his love of cars. Jacob had many interests, including volleyball, baking, travel and flying planes. He was a fashionista who loved to dance, and had a wonderful sense of humor as well as a smile that lit up any room. We honor his memory by engaging the community in coming together to recognize and celebrate Jacob’s passion for photography.”

The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts in Ybor City will host a winners’ reception and exhibit featuring the winning works in May. FMoPA Executive Consultant Wendy Leigh formerly worked at Hillel. Leigh says the artist Debra Campbell, who taught Jacob when she was the art teacher at Hillel, reached out about FMoPA hosting the exhibit.

“It was really very meaningful for me to continue to support Hillel, to support the Jewish community at this time in particular, to support the arts and the cause of mental health and mental wellness,” Leigh says. “It’s always helpful, whether it’s theater, photography or music, to have that creative outlet. And education is one of the cornerstones of our mission so it was really a win-win-win.”

Students may submit up to three photographs that include a title and a 300 to 500-word description for each piece. The contest themes are photographic art and well-being;  personal growth; moments of discovery, growth and self-reflection; and how travel and exploration impact mental well-being.

Prizes include $500 for first-place, $200 for second place, $100 for third-place and $50 honorable mention in each category. Winners will be announced in early May and the exhibit will be on display at the FMoPA from May 22nd through June 16th.

FMoPA is also accepting submissions for the 2024 International Photography Competition through May 5th. The top entries will be on exhibit at Tampa International Airport from June 25th through August 25th. That competition is open to photographers from across the world. Last year, the 12th annual International Photography Competition, on display now at Tampa International Airport, drew 2,349 photographs from 542 photographers and 57 countries. 

For more information, go to Jacob Kamis Photography Contest and FMoPA International Photography Competition.
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Read more articles by Christopher Curry.

Chris Curry has been a writer for the 83 Degrees Media team since 2017. Chris also served as the development editor for a time before assuming the role of managing editor in May 2022. Chris lives in Clearwater. His professional career includes more than 15 years as a newspaper reporter, primarily in Ocala and Gainesville, before moving back home to the Tampa Bay Area. He enjoys the local music scene, the warm winters and Tampa Bay's abundance of outdoor festivals and events. When he's not working or spending time with family, he can frequently be found hoofing the trails at one of Pinellas County's nature parks.