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Faculty and Staff

BYU photography professor’s tintype photographs win prestigious award

Paul Adams was recognized for his three pieces: “Breathe,” “#MeToo,” and “President Kevin Worthen, Brigham Young University”

BYU photography professor Paul Adams received three Honorable Mention awards from the International Photography Award competition (IPA). He won in two separate categories: Analog/Film Fine Art and Film Portrait. The IPA had over 13,000 entries from 120 countries, making Adam’s three wins especially impressive. Adam’s two entries titled “Breathe” and “#MeToo” won the Analog/Film Fine Art award. For these photographs, Adams used tintype photography to create the mood. “The photographs ‘Breathe’ and ‘#MeToo’ are meant to ask more questions than they answer,” Adams said. “They came during the COVID shutdown early this spring and the racial riots into the summer. I just felt like there was so much going on in the world outside my door, but I was locked away inside my house. I just felt like I needed to create something.” The third photo, a portrait of BYU President Kevin J Worthen, also uses tintype photography. Adams said he spent long hours working to produce the photographs because tintype can be temperamental and difficult to produce. He created a studio for tintype in his home garage and worked in it in the mornings and evenings because it got too hot during the middle of the day. Adams said his favorite picture is the one of President Worthen. According to the picture description on the IPA website, “the portrait was taken the week students protested on campus for policy changes concerning LGBTQ rights.” “When you think about how most men in positions of power are photographed, they are usually photographed with a noble stance in front of bookshelves or a globe, with a strong, sometimes stuffy, demeanor. I thought it speaks volumes to President Worthen’s personality that he allowed himself to be so vulnerable and authentic for this photo.”