Mar 9, 2012

Winning a photo contest

And figuring out what it was all about

Some students mistook this for our wedding photo

One of our first weekends here, our head teacher called early in the morning to summon us to a tour of the nearby Luzhou Laojiao factory - a historical hotspot that’s pretty much in our backyard. When we got there, we were met by a photographer and his assistant as well as a tour guide. The team took photos of us for two hours, and then we went home, baffled by what had just happened.

Months later, head teacher called to say that the photographer would like to enter the photos of us in a contest, and would that be OK? “Of course,” we said.

This week, we found out that a photo of us had been chosen as the first place winner! (It’s the one up top. You can see more of that photo set here.) There was a small ceremony this afternoon where we finally put the whole story together: This was a photography contest sponsored by the Luzhou Laojiao liquor company, asking photographers to take snaps of their beloved brewery.

The ceremony, in a normal-looking office building
See all of our photos from the ceremony here.

The ceremony was in a small conference room, and they had made up name plates for me and Peter - although, strangely, not for our photographer, who was also there. The manager of the company spoke first, they showed the winning photos, and then we were invited up front. The MC (through our friend) asked Peter what he thought of the historic Luzhou Laojiao square (“Very beautiful,” he said), and then they asked us to kiss. There were a lot of cameras documenting the whole thing. It felt very strange - kind of like we had been mistaken for famous people and were nervously playing along. They presented us with a gift box of their most expensive liquors and then we sat back down. The judge (or a judge) then spoke about the winning photos, calling the one of us “a masterpiece.”

Once our part was over, we sneaked out (which is ideally how I like to end all meetings - leaving immediately after the attention’s no longer on me) because we both had classes to teach.