Feature
Chief Executive Officer of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS), Donna-Marie Rowe, applauds as The Mico University College student, Yone Gordon, hoists his trophy for winning the photography segment of the JIS's 2019 Heritage Competition. Occasion was the awards ceremony held recently at the Mona Visitors’ Lodge, University of the West Indies (UWI), St. Andrew.
Photo: Rudranath Fraser

Story Highlights

  • With the rise in the use of camera phones, photography is seen today as a dying profession.
  • However, Yone Gordon is not the least bit fazed by that view and still has his heart set on becoming one of the country’s most sought-after wedding photographers and videographers.
  • “That is my ultimate dream, because it's something I love. I like to capture good moments. I like to have those timeless moments where someone can look back and say, ‘Yone created that moment for me’. That's what I love,” says the winner of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) 2019 Heritage Competition in the Photo category.

With the rise in the use of camera phones, photography is seen today as a dying profession.

However, Yone Gordon is not the least bit fazed by that view and still has his heart set on becoming one of the country’s most sought-after wedding photographers and videographers.

“That is my ultimate dream, because it’s something I love. I like to capture good moments. I like to have those timeless moments where someone can look back and say, ‘Yone created that moment for me’. That’s what I love,” says the winner of the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) 2019 Heritage Competition in the Photo category.

Gordon was among 17 participants who were awarded prizes for their entries in the competition in the categories of Photography, Poster and Essay, under the theme ‘Reparation’.

The 33-year-old technical drawing teacher and self-taught photographer tells JIS News that his love for the camera started 16 years ago when he was first given a film camera by one of his high-school teachers and later a digital camera by another.

Since then, his passion for capturing precious moments and beautiful images has intensified.

Gordon tells JIS News that photography “is something I fell in love with and I constantly take pictures, pictures all over until I learn how to take pictures better”.

He credits Google and YouTube for much of his knowledge about photography and for helping him to better develop his skill.

Over the years, Gordon’s love for photography and his drive to succeed have led him to participate in various contests, which have facilitated his growth in the profession.

The Mico University College final-year student, who is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Technology and Construction, says it was three years ago while searching for information on the JIS website that he stumbled on information about the company’s annual heritage competition and decided to enter.

“I wanted to see how people would react to my photos, and I got some positive feedback,” he says, recalling that he found the other entrants intimidating, as they were seasoned photographers.

“Then last year, I entered again to see how much I had grown as a photographer, and it was fairly positive because I placed second, and then I entered this year and I actually won,” he says proudly.

The St. Andrew Technical High School graduate tells JIS News that he did not expect to win but was very hopeful.

“When I won, I was really elated and excited at the same time,” he says.

He notes that the JIS competition is seen by many in the field as a prestigious contest and he believes it will open a lot of doors for him.

Gordon says he is already seeing the benefits of winning the competition, as he is getting a lot of job offers.

“I think all aspiring photographers should enter this competition, because it not only promotes you as a photographer but I think it helps to give you an understanding of what people are looking for and helps to develop you. You can also use it as a stepping stone to track your growth,” he says.

Gordon’s winning photograph is one that he took of his best friend Nikollae Barham, who is captured with a locked chain around his head and the key to unlock the chain in his hand.

The winning photography entry that was submitted by Yone Gordon in the annual Jamaica Information Service (JIS) 2019 Heritage Competition.

 

Gordon explains to JIS News that he not only wanted to depict the reparation theme but also the need for people to be emancipated from mental slavery.

“Reparation means payout for what persons went through during slavery, but we also need renewal of the mind. We need to change how we view ourselves and see ourselves as equal to other races,” he says.

Gordon, who enjoys taking street scenes and portraits, says he plans to revamp his business page, Koncept Images on Instagram, and do a short photography course.

He tells JIS News that he still believes that there is a market for photography despite the rise in high-tech camera phones.

“I think it’s an art form. When you take a picture you can see everything communicated; you can see what the photographer is trying to convey, the messages, the emotions and what they were thinking when they took the photos.

“Photography is like a language you can communicate over different cultures, ethnicities, and barriers. It’s just a universal language, and, through photography, you can send different messages,” he adds.