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BYU Senior Named Student Photographer of the Year

October 2023

Brooklyn Jarvis Kelson wearing a blue shirt holding a camera and smiling.

Brooklynn Jarvis Kelson, a senior in BYU’s photography program, was recently named Student Photographer of the Year by the University Photographers’ Association of America at the annual UPAA symposium in South Bend, Indiana. “I was really grateful to be recognized,” Kelson says. “It was a little overwhelming because as I walked up to accept the award, they gave me a standing ovation.” 

Jaren Wilkey, director of BYU Photo, is proud of how much Kelson has grown in her time at BYU Photo. “Two years ago, she didn’t know how to use studio lights,” he says. “Two weeks ago, she helped teach a studio lighting workshop to dozens of full-time professional photographers.” 

Kelson has been taught by award-winning university photographers Wilkey and Nate Edwards, whom she describes as “the best mentors I’ve ever had.” Edwards humbly returns the praise, saying, “This award is a testimony to Brooklynn’s work ethic, her desire to learn, and the time she has dedicated to improving her skills.” 

Working with BYU Photo has given Kelson hands-on opportunities to photograph university events, devotionals, and athletic contests. Reflecting on her time at BYU, Kelson says, “There are so many moments when I’ve seen why Heavenly Father wanted me to come here.” She is grateful for the support she has received and the scholarships and aid that have made her time at BYU possible. 

“I have had some amazing teachers, whom I know I’ll remember not only for their passion for their subjects but also for their kindness and encour¬agement to me,” Kelson says. 

Kelson takes satisfaction in seeing her photos used across BYU websites and in other university publications. She is set to graduate in 2024 and plans to start a family and work while her husband, Landon, finishes school.

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