Frank Fortune wasn't sure what to expect when he entered several of his photographs in the annual Council for Advancement and Support of Education contest.
"I wasn't sure if it was like a beauty pageant in which you had to submit pictures for a few years so people got to know your work before winning anything."
As it turns out, it was nothing like that as Fortune was selected photographer of the year from 27 entries by CASE for his work at Georgia Southern this past year in his first year entering.
"We were looking at the photographer of the year from last year and my boss was saying 'your stuff is that good,'" Fortune said. "That wasn't to say their shots were bad, but we thought ours was just as good."
Fortune said he submitted a variety of photographs for the contest, including science and research pictures, scenic shots and sports photos.
He said it was an honor to win the award.
"I was happy for about five minutes before another deadline came up," he said. "It was really an uplifting thing to have your work recognized like that."
CASE is an international organization of more than 3,300 colleges, universities and independent elementary and secondary schools from 54 nations with a mission to advance and support education worldwide. Its "Circle of Excellence" awards recognize "outstanding efforts in institutional advancement," according to its Web site. (www.case.org)
Fortune credits his boss for encouraging him to enter the contest.
"I want to thank my boss, Stephen Ward," he said. "He pushed me to do it. He believed in me and said my shots were good enough and I needed to do this."