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2016 CASE Platinum Award

Excellence in Photography - Jaren Wilkey/Brigham Young University

Story by BYU June 8th, 2016


The Council for Advancement and Support of Education announced that it has awarded BYU University Photography Manager Jaren Wilkey a Platinum Award for his portfolio of photographs at the 2016 Circle of Excellence Awards. Jaren’s images competed against the top entries from each of CASE’s 7 districts to capture the top award for photography in education.

The category judges said: “Jaren Wilkey’s portfolio showed great diversity, from action/event documentation to staged portraiture. His images were beautifully crafted, with excellent lighting, compositions and interesting perspectives. The portfolio was seemingly timeless, without reliance on heavy editing or post-processing. The presentation was very professionally done, which made reviewing the images and understanding their context easy. The clear explanations included on the pages added depth and context to the images. Wilkey’s overall presentation showed attention to detail and pride in his art.”


This image was captured before the sunlight reached the Joseph F. Smith Building; the clouds were lit up so that it created a beautiful reflection on the face of the building. I love the fact that the student is texting and unaware of the serene scene she is a part of.

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Junior running back Adam Hine celebrates after he scores on a 99-yard kickoff return to seal BYU’s win over The University of Virginia.

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Power Plant

This portrait was created to advertise an upcoming modern-dance performance. I wanted to show the juxtaposition of the beauty and grace of a dancer against the harsh background of the coal towers at our university’s power plant.

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Life Sciences Lab

This photo is of a student researcher in Dr. Jerry Johnson’s Life Science Lab and was created for an article highlighting the work that undergraduates do in advancing his research. I used back and side lighting to highlight shapes and to draw attention to the contrast of the straight mechanical lines of the microscope attached to the outline of the student researcher.

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This image was created to be used as a poster to advertise the upcoming schedule for BYU Women’s Tennis. I find that one of the best ways to draw attention to your images is to show people a perspective that they have never seen. I needed to stand on the top of a ladder and stick my camera out on the end of a monopod over the athlete to capture this unique view of a very common action.

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This image was captured at the opening of the new location of the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. This child was visiting the new exhibit for the first time with his family; I followed him on my knees so I could see it from his viewpoint. I was lucky enough to capture his priceless expression when he pointed out the sculpture of a turtle to his mom.

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I wanted to show the beauty of our campus and how it can provide an environment that is conducive to learning. Once again I felt the need to show a different perspective than people are used to seeing in order to grab the viewer’s attention. This time I was kneeling in the freezing river with my camera hovering just above the water to capture this frog’s view of a student studying on lower campus.

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This is a portrait of Christopher Lloyd posing as his character, Professor Stanley Hargraves, in BYUtv’s period drama “Granite Flats”. We needed to capture images of Chris to promote Season Three of the show in which his character would figure prominently. I decided to put his character in the familiar environment of the classroom, watching his students through the window. Because we are unsure if his character is good or evil, I used my lighting to give him two faces. One side represents the light of learning and the other side is the shadow of deceit.

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This photo was created to promote an upcoming concert for the Theatre Ballet Dance Company. I decided to use stage light to backlight the dancer in order to highlight the amazing shape she creates in this pose. I intentionally didn’t want to show her face so that the viewer would instead focus on the leading line created by her outstretched leg leading up to her curved arms.

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The highlight of our homecoming week is the True Blue Foam event hosted by our student association. It is a long-standing tradition in which we create giant waterslides of blue foam for the students to play on. This student dove headfirst into the slide and my camera was able to stop the action at 1/2000 of a second so that we could see every piece of foam frozen with the student in mid-flight.

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Footnote: Photos by Jaren Wilkey/BYU
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, United States