RIT Master of Fine Arts Graduate Wins Grand Prize in Prestigious Photography Contest

Photograph shot by Paul Van Hoy II bests more than 15,600 entries

Paul Van Hoy II

Apocalyptic Summer, by RIT alumnus Paul Van Hoy II, the grand-prize image in Microsoft Corp.’s Future Pro Photographer Competition.

Paul Van Hoy II, a 2006 graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, has won the grand prize in the Microsoft Future Pro Photographer Competition. More than 15,600 student photographers submitted entries from 90 countries.

Van Hoy’s winning image, Apocalyptic Summer, was taken in Rochester in the summer of ’06. The prize package entails a $20,000 cash award and a digital workflow package valued at $5,000.

“I’m a portrait photographer, a hunter/gatherer of forms, faces and expressions,” says Van Hoy. “I am most interested in vulnerability and rare moments of discontinuity in which defining moments materialize and disintegrate almost simultaneously. For me, this is what street photography is all about. Interaction with strangers through an image capture device changes the dynamic of an already ambivalent relationship. It is crucial that the photographer be improvisational not only on a technical level, but his or her spontaneity should also extend to the persuasions necessary to gain the momentary trust of a desired subject.”

Van Hoy’s work has been published in various photographic magazines, including CMYK Magazine, Photographer’s Forum, Professional Photographer, Camera Arts and Creative Quarterly. He currently operates his own commercial photography business, Fotoimpressions, while also working as an educator and exhibiting artist in the western N.Y. area.

Van Hoy earned a master of fine arts degree in imaging arts from RIT. A native of Evansville, Ind., Van Hoy received a bachelor of art degree in graphic design from the University of Southern Indiana.

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