Richards grabs Double Take
Randy Richards loves taking pictures. He always has. He's a 22- year-old student at the University of Technology (UTech) where he's studying to be the next computer whiz, but his true love is photography.
"My dad always had cameras around the house when we were growing up, so my sister and I were always around photography," Randy said.
Randy's friends all know about his passion for taking pictures so when his girlfriend learned of a photo competition on Facebook, she passed the link on to him.
It was the first Smirnoff Double Take Photo competition. Conceptualised by the Smirnoff Team at Red Stripe and creative agency, Britton, Britton and Company, the aim of the competition was to identify an amateur photographer who could bring to life the 'Smirnoff lifestyle' through vivid imagery.
It was the perfect opportunity for Randy.
"I definitely want to make it a career so I was excited. I was ready for the challenge," he said.
The competition was launched on Smirnoff Jamaica's Facebook page on January 9 and immediately there was a flood of entrants.
"We were impressed not only by the response, but the quality of photos and how each photographer interpreted what the Smirnoff brand and lifestyle means to them," read a statement issued by Smirnoff Jamaica.
Randy was selected as a finalist, along with Michele-Anne Hamilton, André Young, Ann-Loy Morgan and Robert Harriot.
All five were given challenges to complete. One was to capture candid shots of patrons enjoying themselves at the Smirnoff-sponsored Bacchanal series at Mas Camp and the other was to create the perfect beach setting at picturesque Lyme Cay. The pictures had to revolve around the enjoyment of Smirnoff Vodka.
A judging panel, which included veteran photographer Roy Sweetland, then met and took all photos from the five finalists into account. Randy was named the winner, and won for himself a Canon Rebel T2I camera and lens kit, and a cash prize, which has a combined value of $300,000.
Hamilton won second place and Young came in third.
"I was really happy when I found out that I won. It's very exciting," said Randy.
For him, one of the best parts of taking part in the competition has been the exposure and experience he has received as a budding photographer. Also, he will be the official Smirnoff photographer for one year. This means he will be at all Smirnoff events capturing images that represent the brand. His photos will be posted on Facebook.
"That's a really great part of this thing. Even though my studies are with computers, my love is really in the arts so I'm going to make the most of this opportunity," said Randy.
For Smirnoff Jamaica, the experiment has been a success.
"We're ecstatic with the results of the inaugural Smirnoff Double Take competition and we'll definitely be doing it again next year," said Marsha Lumley, Smirnoff brand manager.
"Our Smirnoff Jamaica Facebook page allows us a unique opportunity to communicate with our consumers and the feedback and results have been fantastic."