Student Photojournalist Scores Recognition for Picture of Venice Woman Living in RV

The Woman Seen Is a Venice Beach Native Known by Her Friends as “Prophet”

By Zach Armstrong

Caylo Seals, a student photojournalist at Santa Monica College, was recognized with top honors for her work at the student-run newspaper The Corsair. Seals was named runner-up for the Student Still Photographer of the Year award from the Press Photographers Association of Greater L.A.

One picture which helped the young photographer score recognition captured Rebecca Dannenbaum, a woman who resides in a trailer within the Venice area of Los Angeles.

As described by SMC, the photograph depicts Dannenbaum, a Venice Beach native known by her friends as “Prophet”, who is seen searching for a phone charger on her bed in the RV in which she lives along Venice Blvd. The photo was taken on Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. Dannenbaum, the description goes on to explain, was adopted by a Jewish family at three weeks old and moved to Venice when she was nearly four. She has spent all except 14 years of her life “AWOL.”

Recipient of the SSPY award was Seals’ college at Corsair Jon Putman. About Putnam’s winning photos, the judges wrote: “The Photojournalist showed skill in all categories. The photographs were consistently well composed, including clean backgrounds helping to make the images immediately impactful upon viewing.”

“I am always enthralled by the professional zeal that students like Jon Putman and Caylo Seals apply to the craft of photojournalism,” said SMC photojournalism professor and Corsair photo adviser Gerard Burkhart in a release. “The PPAGLA is a professional organization with steep local competition. These two SMC Corsair photographers are joining an 18 year history of Corsair photographers dominating this competition.”

PPAGLA has recognized student journalists for 33 years, with student awards sponsored by the Past Presidents and Retired Members Fund along with Nikon USA.

in News, Upbeat
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