College Place HS student’s photography wins him trip to D.C.

'I could actually go somewhere with this.'
College Place HS student’s photography wins him trip to D.C.

Alex Kjeldgaard, an incoming senior to College Place High School, is headed to Washington, D.C. at the end of the week, a prize he never expected when submitting his photo to a competition.

Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers released names of several high school students last week for excellence in the arts during the 2017 Congressional Arts Award Fair.

Kjeldgaard’s photo of a clock in downtown Walla Walla earned him first place.

“I am so proud of all our talented students here in Eastern Washington,” McMorris Rodgers said. “A special congratulations to Alex Kjeldgaard, this year’s winner. I look forward to meeting you, Alex, when you are here in D.C. for the reception and to seeing your beautiful photo as I walk to the U.S. Capitol each day.”

Kjeldgaard’s photo will be displayed in the Capitol for a month.

“It’s the farthest I will have been out of state,” Kjeldgaard said. “I will take a lot of photos.”

Kjeldgaard now uses a Canon camera to take his shots, but a few years ago, he started with taking photos on his Apple iPod.

“It was just the most amazing thing,” he said. “I could go take pictures of things.”

Now he’s pushing to become a professional photographer with his own studio, with plans this year to offer affordable senior photos to his classmates.

“To kickstart my realization that I could actually go somewhere with this,” he said. “It won an award. I can continue to produce better and better stuff until I make my way to be where I want to be.”

Kjeldgaard and his father will fly to D.C. on Sunday for the award ceremony.

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Finalists also include:
– Charlie Hein, a freshman at College Place High School.
– Samantha Sidorak, a senior at the Southeast Area Technical Skills Center in Walla Walla.
– Dakota Shafer, a senior at Slkirk Junior and Senior High School in Ione, WA.