Patti Werner submitted a photograph to the contest as a requirement for Dr. Gleason‘s Media Photograph II class, and it paid off. Werner received a letter from the publication informing her that she has been chosen as a finalist.
“I thought, ‘What kind of junk mail is this now?'” she said. “Low and behold, once I saw the company’s name and saw a ‘We are pleased to inform you…’ I literally started rambling off the situation to my sister.”
Her sister, Kate Unger, marketing manager at Reeve Union, was the inspiration for the photo. The unique picture is of Unger dressed as a man with a drawn-on mustache on her finger held up to her face.
Werner wanted to take the photo after the finger-mustache became a running joke in her family. She also wanted to give the picture a special twist by playing on the idea of gender roles.
“I liked drawing mustaches with sharpies on peoples fingers because later on in the evening, I guarantee you, they forget about it and put their hand up to their mouth, and it’s hilarious,” she said. “I wanted to use Kate’s left hand with her wedding ring as a symbol of femininity, and then dress her in a man’s shirt, tie and pants, and she even wore my little brother’s shoes just to fit the role.”
Unger said the special bond with her sister allowed them both to be comfortable and willing to try out such an eccentric idea.
“We just had a great time being goofy and trying to make it the best we could for her project,” Unger said. “This photo shows that she is willing to take a risk and try something that is out of the norm. I am honored to be a part of it and wish her the best of luck with this contest.”
Journalism professor Tim Gleason said he was proud that another Journalism student had become a finalist in the competition.
“I’m excited for Patti,” Gleason said. “She has done interesting photos, and I was surprised by every assignment she submitted. I encourage students to go for it, because we have a very talented crew and they should test themselves against students from other colleges.”
Werner is excited to hear the results of the contest and said even being a finalist was an honor.
“I was ecstatic to find out that Photographer’s Forum chose this photo as a finalist selection group and even more happy that Dr. Gleason urged his photo students to enter,” Werner said. “I guess no one can resist the mustache.”