The city of Sherman is looking for a few photographers to help fill its collection of images and photographs from throughout the city. The city announced a contest throughout January for area photographers to capture their vision of Sherman today.


For the contest, the city is partnering with Austin College. It is part of the ongoing Focalpoint project and ongoing effort to produce high-quality images of the region.


“What we are really trying to do is develop and image bank that has 1,000 or so images in it that has been collected over the course of a year from amateur photographers and professional photographers of what life in Sherman looks like,” Sherman Community and Support Service Manager Nate Strauch said.


“That includes our great public buildings like Kidd-Key Auditorium to the neighborhood level. What does it look like to live in a neighborhood in Sherman? What does your neighborhood say to you,” Strauch continued.


The idea for the contest came out of talks regarding the ongoing redesign of the city’s website, which was last updated about five years ago. As a part of this redesign, city officials wanted to include new pictures that represent Sherman in 2020.


“Part of this was to refresh the pictures on our website and we wanted to make sure it is representative of what has been going on in Sherman over the past couple years,” Strauch said. “Rather than having a city employee go out and take pictures, we felt it would be a better idea to crowd source it. … It is better to use a couple thousand people with cameras than it is to use one person with a camera.”


For the project, the city is partnering with Austin College and its ongoing Focalpoint project. For this ongoing endeavor, Focalpoint has provided classes and skills training for area photographers with the goal of creating high-quality images of Sherman.


The first phase of the focal project will culminate in a festival later this summer, with exhibitions of photographs later this spring. Focalpoint Director Cary Wacker said the contest will give area photographers yet another opportunity to showcase their work in public through the city’s website. All pictures accepted for the contest will also go on to be included in the Focalpoint project.


The contest will be ongoing through Feb. 1 and entries can be submitted through the Sherman Cultural District’s website at shermanarts.org/focalpoint or through the city’s web page. The top three submissions will receive utility credit with the city.