A Gallery of Winners: SRM Photo Contest 2019

Winners have been announced in the Southeastern Railway Museum’s 2019 photo contest!

On January 1, submissions opened for the Southeastern Railway Museum’s annual photography competition. In years past, we have required that photographers submit their photos as 8x10s mounted on a white matte with an entry fee. This year, we decided to try something new – we asked photographers to send in their photos by email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Flickr to make it easier for everyone to enter. The result was very exciting: we had 122 entries to the contest – more than ever before!

Photos must have been taken at the museum on or after January 1, 2018. There were three categories judged by professionals: equipment, people, and macro. Another category, People’s Choice, was judged by the public both online and in person.

We hung up a trackside gallery of all the photos in our new exhibit space between the tracks in Building 1. Previously, this area had been used for storage. Now visitors can walk the full length of the center of the building.

Photos will remain on display temporarily, and in early April, our winning photos will be given prime exhibit space in the display case at the very front of the museum. We want to thank everyone for participating in the contest, especially those who submitted!

The idea of introducing this new category was to encourage visitors to get up close and personal with our collection and to consider objects from new, unique perspectives. The creativity in this category was inspiring. This category was judged by Norfolk Southern corporate photographer Casey Thomason.

First Place: Amanda Moon “The CTC”
Second Place: John Mace-Reeve “Flower Train”
Third Place: Gary Cullen “Got Sand”
Honorable Mention: Joy Lee “Aging with Grace”


The other two professionally judged categories are people and equipment. In the ‘People’ category, we had submissions from moms with their cell phone cameras to budding professional photographers who attended photo workshops at the museum from local businesses. Our judges for the People category are professional commercial photographers Natalie and Jason Hale whose clients include Ford, Porsche, Coca Cola and Dasani, the Mercedes Benz Stadium, and even Shaquille O’Neal. Submissions in this category included everything from the ‘cute’ factor to the ‘nostalgia’ factor – our winners in the People category today remind us of the golden age of train and trolley travel. Honorable mentions were selected by Casey Thomason.

First Place: Teddy Ferguson “Next Stop”
Second Place: Nichelle Kennedy Garrett “No Rush Hour”
Third Place: Jordan Hood “Draw of the Iron Horse”
Honorable Mentions: Nichelle Kennedy Garrett “Delivered”, Micheal Hoskins “All in the Family”, Instagram user @sage3creative “Happy Travelers”


The category with the most photos submitted was ‘equipment’. Over half of the entries were in the ‘equipment’ category, making it the most competitive. Many of the photos submitted were taken during special events, so you’ll see some recurring subjects: Mack, or Jeddo Coal #85, stopped by for a couple weekends last fall and made a big impression! You’ll also find photos from the return of Southern E-Unit 6901 (behind us), which had been undergoing repairs and refurbishment for almost 4 years. We also had many stunning interior shots from the train cars that had never been seen in contest photos before. We had our first night photo shoot in several years, and our first ever sunrise shoot. Casey Thomason of Norfolk Southern also judged this category.

First Place: Jordan Hood “Work Train”
Second Place: Kenneth Williams “Old Mail”
Third Place: Franklin Adams “Conductor’s Best Friend”
Honorable Mentions: Joseph S. Randall “Tank Engine Up the Hill” and “Nighttime Work Train”, Terry Lovell “SRM Overview”, “Tractor Crossing”, and “Georgia Railroad Work Train”


People’s Choice:
For the first year, we accepted digital submissions instead of photo prints. This made the contest much easier to enter, and we were also able to post a gallery online of all the entries. The people’s choice winners were selected by combining in-person votes with “Likes” from Facebook. The voting period lasted about a month, over which thousands of people browsed the digital gallery. In total, over 2,200 votes were cast!

First Place: Brian Jones “Still Standing Watch”
Second Place: Nichelle Kennedy Garrett “Class in Coach”
Third Place: Joseph S. Randall “Barney & Mack”
Runners up: Amanda Moon “C’mon Ride the Train”, Brian Jones “Jeddo Coal #85”, Amy Flynn “Toddler Thursday”



Winning photos received comments from judges, and some museum voters left comments on ballots submitted in person as well. We would like to extend special thanks to our judges Casey Thomason and Jason and Natalie Hales.


For next year’s contest, photos taken on or after January 1, 2019 will be eligible. Stay tuned to our website in early 2020 for more photo contest info!

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