The Mitford Museum Announces Youth Photography Award

HUDSON, NC (March 29, 2023) — North Carolina literary landmark The Mitford Museum is launching the Candace Freeland Photography of Merit Award to be presented to a young photographer this fall. U.S. photographers up to the age of 18 are invited to enter black and white photos based on the theme: My Family. Distinguished jurors including Sam Abell, Tim Barnwell, and Jen Fariello will select the winner of a $5,000 cash prize. Two runners up will receive $1,000 prizes.

The award honors the legacy of photographer Candace Freeland who gave the founding gift for the award. Candace, daughter of museum founder Jan Karon, passed away in 2021. She discovered her own passion for photography at the age of sixteen when she was handed a clunky Hanimex Praktika camera and exposed her first roll of Tri-X film.

Candace wrote, “My passion for the medium grew as I discovered the work of the photo-journalism masters: W. Eugene Smith, Henri Cartier Bresson, and Dorothea Lange. They were concerned photographers…with an eye attuned to those who suffer the snares of war and poverty.”

Inspired by their legacies, Candace went on to launch an award-winning photojournalism career, which included work with the Associated Press, the Charlotte Observer, US News and World Report, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other leading journals. Her photo exhibitions included Forced Out – The Agony of the Refugee in Our Time, sponsored by Amnesty International, and The Concerned Photographer, sponsored by the International Center of Photography.

Photo credit for Happy Girls: Candace Freeland

The Mitford Museum is honored to carry forth her legacy of encouragement to young photographers through this heartfelt outreach to youth. For rules and to upload entries, go to

Founded by #1 New York Times bestselling author, Jan Karon, The Mitford Museum’s mission is to advance the common good through literacy, creativity, and community. Often called Jan’s “book without covers,” the museum is a place of common ground, where people from varied backgrounds can come together to feel welcomed, cared for, and at home. To learn more, visit

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