About a month ago we announced the AUTHENTICO Photo Contest so the public could have an opportunity to express, through photography, what makes Downtown El Paso (DTEP) so AUTHENTICO? Over the course of 4 weeks, we the Downtown Management District (DMD), received nearly 100 photos from over 30 participants. Our panel of local celebrity judges (Estela Casas, Patricia Martinez, Mike Martinez, Nacho L. Garcia, and Brian Wancho) chose 3 winners that clearly expressed the raw authenticity of our downtown.
Winners will receive gift certificates to varied DTEP businesses totaling five-hundred dollars collectively with their photographs published online for people to enjoy.
Third place – Christopher Enriquez
Christopher is a 25 year old full-time student with an adventurous attitude. He told us why he thinks DTEP is so AUTHENTICO, “It’s so rich in culture and beauty! There’s so much entertainment and adventure, from the Union Plaza District to San Jacinto Plaza, it’s a stroll like no other.”
“The girl in the photo is a long-time friend of mine, Danitza Pedregon. The location of the photograph is a spot I’ve always wanted to capture. To me it’s perfect, it displays the iconic Downtown El Paso skyline but I wanted to add my own creativity to it. That’s where the light painting of the heart came in. Home is where the heart is,” said Christopher.
Second Place – Esther Duncan
Esther Duncan, 47, is a stay-at-home Mom, and an aspiring photographer. Esther (a native El Pasoan) returned to El Paso with her family after her husband retired from the Army. Esther told us she’s an active member of the Photography Enthusiasts of El Paso (PEEP) and always strives to improve her photography.
“There are so many contributions from our Mexican neighbors and our Mexican heritage that most El Pasoans share. There is a certain flavor that the shops downtown offer like the best Mexican food in the U.S.,” Esther expressed.
Esther told us more about the inspiration for the photo, “I am always inspired by the great street photography in New York, so I knew I had to take a photo with a cab in the scene. I don’t think you’ll find a ‘Border Cab Co.,’ anywhere else. Our border is what makes us unique and special.”
First Place – Patrick Craig
The winner of our first place slot is Physical Therapist, Patrick Craig, 45. Husband and father of three, Patrick told us he enjoys walking the streets of El Paso, (primarily downtown) photographing street life. “I try to include people in most of our photographs as they are the core of the city, the people are unique to our cityscape,” Patrick said.
According to contest judge, Estela Casas, “[the photo] exemplifies the downtown area’s mix of color, personality and culture.”
“We have the historic Plaza Theatre and Bassett Tower buildings that are great compliments to [newer] buildings. South of that [area] is the El Centro District that houses the many shops of downtown. The residents of downtown are what I love the most. They’re real, diverse, and bring downtown it’s very unique border culture,” said Patrick.
Be on the lookout for an honorable mention post of more great photos submitted to us that deserve to be seen. Keep it Authentico!