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Photo Contest

One Book is excited to congratulate the winners of this year's photo contest! Check out the winning photos below, and visit our Facebook page to view the rest of the entries.

1st Place & People's Choice Winner: Jesa (제사)


Yaurie Hwang, SESP

"Can those who’ve passed away taste food?

Every year, my family offers food to my mother’s spirit. We prepare fruit, jujube, fish, soju, and other things that supposedly nourish her. We laugh at how these ancestral ceremonies, “jesa (제사)” in Korean, are exhaustingly complex and chore-like. Yet, we conduct them every year on her death day without fail. The apples are organic, the soup simmers for days to reach perfection, and we drive to the closest H Mart (which is three hours away) to buy her favorite soju. We will never know if my mother can actually taste our food, but we try anyway."

2nd Place: Pollo con vegetales


Micah Sandy, Medill

"This is a photograph from my time in Bolivia of my grandmother and my aunt, her daughter, preparing a chicken dish to go in the oven. The dish, pollo con vegetales, is not a traditional Bolivian dish, but it is prepared with traditional condiments such as ají colorado. Everything seen in the photo was made from scratch. Partially on the right is a glimpse of my grandmother’s domestic worker. She has lived with the family for over 40 years and is like a daughter to my grandmother and like a sister to my mother and her sisters. Just outside of the door is the family dog. Although no one’s faces are in the photo, you can see my grandmother and aunt’s hands. As their positions suggest, my grandmother is paying attention to my aunt as she prepares the chicken. Although my grandmother is typically the one to give cooking lessons in her home kitchen, pictured in this photograph, my aunt took the role of cooking instructor and taught us how to cook this dish. Cooking or baking in my grandmother’s house is rarely a solo task, making each dish a labor of love. Given this specific photograph and meal, though, love only shown from a parent to a child can be witnessed by not only doing most of the preparing, but also teaching in order for it to be replicated and become a staple. The dog usually is not attracted by human food, for which we are very thankful, so we were surprised to see him join us from outside. However, that only elevated a feeling of family bonding, and it felt like everyone was together.

Thus, this picture makes me feel like I am home and that everything is and will be okay. Although I was born and raised in Queens and have since acclimated to life in Evanston, Bolivia has always felt more like home than anything. By looking at it, I can still smell the food, recall reciting the steps in order to recreate the dish in New York, remember the hugs from those in the photo and forget the trouble of the day, just as I had momentarily forgotten about my flight back the United States for later that evening."

3rd Place: Mango picker


Siyuan Feng, McCormick

"This is an image of my dad picking mangos using a homemade apparatus fashioned from two metal pipes and a white trash bag, into which mangos are destined to fall. There are so many dimensions to this picture that evoke home for me. First, I am the daughter of Chinese immigrants who uprooted their lives to settle in Puerto Rico. There aren’t mango trees in Shanghai, where my family is from, but there are so many mango trees in San Juan, full of fruit that anyone can gather, as long as the fruit-gatherer is willing to try. Having grown up poor (subsiding on a diet of mostly plain rice and dried bread through college), my father is still amazed every summer when the mango trees fill with fruit, even though he’s lived in Puerto Rico for, now, two decades. Never mind that we can afford to buy mangos at the grocery store, or that the picking can be quite challenging in the tropical heat –my dad picks mangoes every summer. This is home for me – Puerto Rico, mango trees, homemade contraptions, all of it centered around a middle-aged Chinese man who continues to share his sense of wonder.

Looking at this picture as an engineering student, I also always feel struck by the ingenuity in this makeshift stick-trash bag apparatus. My father assembles this device in the back of the car before each of his mango-picking endeavors, although it is never quite exactly the same each time it’s set up. It makes me think about the long line of ancestors that have preceded me, who have taken whatever resources they had to survive famines and political violence (or, in this picture, just to pick mangoes.) It also makes me think about the importance of not taking yourself too seriously – one of the core tenets in my family. This picture is actually taken by the parking lot at my father’s workplace – he’s a professor at the University of Puerto Rico. How many professors do you know who show up on weekends to pick mangos from the college parking lot?

Lastly, this is an image of sacrifice. Who do you think my dad is picking mangos for? Me."

One Book Photo Contest 2024 – Crying in H Mart, by Michelle Zauner

Connecting with the themes of this year's One Book selection, Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner, One Book One Northwestern is hosting a What Looks like Home photo contest. We invite you to submit an image and explanation by Friday, January 19th at 6 pm.

Photo Contest Prompt

Take a photo that depicts food and family, whether biological or chosen. In your description, explain the emotions depicted in the photograph and the emotions that the photograph evokes for you when you look at it.

Contest Rules

This contest is open only to Northwestern students. One entry per student participant.

All photo files must be a .png, .jpg, or .jpeg file. Images of photography, drawings, paintings, digital art, etc. will be accepted. Videos or moving images will not be considered for this contest.

All photo entries must be your own original work.

All entries will be posted on One Book's Facebook page, and winners may be announced on our other social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram). All entries will be displayed at Northwestern’s Main library in the One South.


First Place: $300
Second Place: $200
Third Place: $100
People's Choice: $50 Amazon Gift Card


A committee selected by One Book will review each submission. The public will have the opportunity to vote for the "People's Choice" winner on Facebook after January 18, 2024. The winner of the contest will be announced in late January.

Deadline (extended!): Friday, January 19, 2024 at 6 pm Central Standard Time


Questions? Contact