FW talks to Bill Regardie about the Spirit of Washington Award

Along with our many categories for Professionals, Students and Amateurs in the FotoWeek DC contest, we have one catch-all category that anyone can (and should!) enter: the Spirit of Washington, DC.

With one image, capture the spirit and essence of Washington, D.C. Find that visual expression of what makes this city, our nation’s capitol, unique among American cities, and what distinguishes its singular character.

The whopping $5,000 prize was donated by Bill Regardie, who will also be the judge for this category. In 1981 he founded Regardie’s Magazine: The Business of Washington, which was known for both its crack coverage, breaking stories on several financial scandals in the 80s, as well as its top-notch photography. Bill told us, “At Regardie’s, both the editor and art director reported to me because I believed both kinds of content were equally important.”

Bill has lived in Washington, DC his entire life, attending both undergrad and graduate school at American University. On his staff at Regardie’s, he oversaw some amazing talent. Photographers Rhoda Baer and William Coupon snapped their shutters for the magazine, while art directors such as Fred Woodward and John Korpics cut their teeth at Regardie’s before taking the reins at publications like Rolling Stone and GQ. In other words: Bill knows talent when he sees it.

We asked Bill why he chose to fund the Spirit of Washington Award for FotoWeek.

I felt that a $5,000 (winner take all) prize would make significant statement and encourage both amateurs and professionals to go for it. Further, the concept of The Spirit of Washington would hopefully capture what I feel about the city I was born in and has given me so much. I felt that a distinctively local photo competition would be appreciated by the talented (as well as the unknown amateurs) photographers, and stimulate participation by all.

We have no doubt we’ll see some incredible images in this category. Remember the final deadline is September 22, so click over to the Contest web site and get all the info you need to submit your photos that bring Washington, D.C. to life.