Talisman’s Phelps named student video photographer of the year

Brett Phelps, a Bardstown junior, has been named student video photographer of the year by the White House News Photographers Association.

Brett Phelps

Phelps, a photography and strategic marketing double major, is web visuals editor of Talisman life and culture magazine and website.

His winning work can be found at these links:

Like Father, Like Son: https://vimeo.com/865842847
A New Road To Travel: https://vimeo.com/893534280


Here’s the press release from WHNPA:

(WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb. 18, 2024) – The White House News Photographers Association® announced that Minh Tran Connors of the University of Missouri has been named the WHNPA 2024 Student Still Photographer of the Year and in the 11th year of the student video division, Brett Phelps of Western Kentucky University has been named the WHNPA Student Video Photographer of the Year in the association’s annual ‘Eyes of History®’ visual journalism competition student contest judging.

Additionally, Lukas Flippo of Yale College was also recognized with an award of excellence in the student still contest. Nicole Aponte of Syracuse University’s entries were highlighted from the student video contest, along with students from University of Maryland, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and The George Washington University. Full results are available on the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org

When told about his win, Connors said, “It is an honor to have been recognized as this year’s student photographer of the year among compelling and thoughtful work from my peers. I want to thank the people in my photos for letting me into their lives to capture these moments, it’s a true privilege that I am forever grateful for. I also want to thank everyone who has supported me through this journey, which includes many members of the WHNPA! They believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself.”

The judges for the WHNPA 2024 ‘Eyes of History®’ Student still photography competition were Nathan Howard, Julia Nikhinson and Kent Nishimura, all independent photojournalists based in Washington.

The WHNPA is proud to support student visual journalists across the country.

“The quality of student work in this year’s contest was impressive – it may be some of the most dynamic work we have seen,” President Jessica Koscielniak said of the caliber of student work. “Visual leaders around the industry should know that the future of visual journalism looks bright.”

Commenting about Connors’ work, Nishimura said: “The work in Minh’s portfolio showcased a variety of nuanced, beautifully seen work. I’m excited to see his vision and work continue and stories he’ll tell in the future.”

When told about his win by Student Video Chair Bethany Swain, Phelps said, “I am truly honored to have my work celebrated by this prestigious organization and to join a group of individuals I consider heroes in this profession. To be awarded this distinction is immensely humbling, and it reinforces my passion for bringing compelling visual stories to light through the lens of my camera.”

Judges for the WHNPA student video competition included Brian Hopkins of WJLA-TV, Lance Ing of WRC-TV, and Joann Sierra of ABC News. The judges reflected on the contest sharing, “Through their storytelling the student visual journalists let us experience moments of life as they kept us engaged throughout the journey. The vast scope of story topics was impressive and touched on many difficult topics that even some media networks might be more cautious to cover.”

The student video contest judging was hosted at the offices of Valhalla Sailing Project, a non-profit that focuses on veteran suicide prevention through teaching the sport of sailboat racing in Annapolis, Md.

The top winners of the still, video, digital and student contests will be honored at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala on June 1, 2024, in Washington. The black-tie event celebrates all the winning visual journalists.

The White House News Photographers Association® is a 103-year-old non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the efforts of Washington’s professional visual journalists. The WHNPA aims to provide professional and educational outreach to its members and the community through scholarships, programming, an annual competition and a celebration of the industry at the annual ‘Eyes of History®’ gala.

For more information, please contact Jessica Koscielniak at [email protected] or executive director Heidi Elswick at [email protected] (301-606-8251). For further information about ‘The Eyes of History®’ and to view the winning images and videos, visit the WHNPA website at www.whnpa.org.