|INDIANAPOLIS FAMILY WINS $10,000 GRAND PRIZE IN OFOTO'S NATIONAL CONTEST FOR BEST SMILE PICTURE|
Dad's Snapshot of His Son's Bucket Antics First Choice of 5,000-Plus Entries
Emeryville, Calif. - April 26, 2001 - Ofoto, Inc. (www.ofoto.com), the online photography service, today announced that Doug White of Fishers, Indiana won Ofoto's "$10,000 Reasons to Smile," a national photo contest for the best picture of a smile. From the 5,311 entries submitted, White won the $10,000 grand prize for a film snapshot of his son who had jumped into a large bucket to cool off. Michele Yurgaitis of Enfield, Connecticut came in second with a digital photograph of her son in a tub with a shampoo bubble-head and beard and won a Canon PowerShot S100 Elph digital camera. Clovis, California resident Carolyn De Anda's photograph of her friend's child driving a tractor took third prize, winning her a sterling silver 5 x 7" picture frame. All winning photos are featured on the Ofoto Web site at www.ofoto.com/smile.
Noted San Francisco-based photographer Jock McDonald judged the contest using criteria of both the smile in the photo and the picture's ability to make him smile. "It was very difficult to judge," McDonald said. "I was impressed by the quality of the pictures - there was some real creativity." McDonald said he chose White's photo as the winner because "the bucket kid made me laugh right away - the kid is so big compared to the size of the bucket. Compositionally this picture couldn't be better, it was taken at exactly the right place. If you moved the trees, or the swing or the house it wouldn't be the same. The color was fantastic and it was shot at the right level. I also loved the boy's 'farmer's tan.'"
White said that he was "shocked and speechless" when he received notification that he'd won and didn't fully believe it until Ofoto personnel convinced him it was true. "I'm still shocked," he said.
White explained the circumstances that led to his winning photo. "It was a hot summer day, and all the kids were playing in the backyard with hoses and buckets," said White. "My younger son just climbed into the bucket - I ran into the house, grabbed the camera, took a couple of shots and the photo just came out perfect."
White added that his plans for the grand prize are to "obviously set some of the money aside for taxes, but also put a few thousand dollars into savings for my sons' college educations, and then give the boys some money to spend on whatever they want to."
Second-place winner Yurgaitis said that she was "extremely excited to win a digital camera" when she found out that she'd won. Yurgaitis explained the circumstances that led to her winning photo. "My son was in the tub with the bubbles, and we just started putting bubbles on his head and he was cracking up -I just took the digital photo before the bubbles dissolved. He loves the bubbles." "I take my camera everywhere," Yurgaitis said. "It's like my security
blanket, and the Canon is the perfect camera to take everywhere."
De Anda, the third-place winner, said that she was "so happy to hear that I was one of the winners" when she received notification. "I'm going to surprise the boy's mother with the frame and tell her that it's now official that her son has one of the best smiles," she said.
De Anda added that she "loves to photograph people, and this boy had such a happy face. I took a series of pictures of him - on his grampa's tractor, in a wheelbarrow with hay, on horses - and all the shots came out beautifully." De Anda also noted that she uses Ofoto for both digital and film, and that she scanned and handpainted the photograph for the contest.
"$10,000 Reasons to Smile" was open to all members of Ofoto - both digital camera and film camera enthusiasts - and ran from February 28 through March 28, 2001. It was the first large-scale photo contest by Ofoto to offer a cash grand prize.
Ofoto, Inc. (www.ofoto.com) is an online photography service offering digital and film processing, top quality prints, private online image storing and sharing, editing and creative tools and frames, cards and other merchandise. Founded in July 1999, Ofoto runs its own state-of-the-art digital-photo lab and offers 24-hour customer support. Ofoto also prints for partners such as Amazon.com, Corbis, Excite@Home, Getty Images, HP, Intel, PhotosToGo and Sony's ImageStation. Based in Emeryville, California, Ofoto is run by an experienced team of owner-managers and is a privately held company with funding from Apple Computer, The Barksdale Group, Benchmark Capital Partners, HP, Index Ventures and the Rosewood Venture Group.