The Country Music Association has selected Lipscomb University junior student Caitlin Selle as the recipient of the 2012 CMA Close Up Award of Merit. The award was created in 2007 to honor the student journalist or photographer who demonstrated the most creativity, dedication, and promise in covering the CMA Music Festival on assignment from CMA.
Selle, 20, was presented the award during the backstage press conference coverage of “The 46th Annual CMA Awards” Thursday at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville.
“CMA is proud to foster up-and-coming music journalists and photojournalists by offering them the tools and opportunities to hone their skills,” said Wendy Pearl, CMA Vice President of Corporate Communications.
Candidates for the CMA Close Up Award of Merit were chosen based on recommendations from department heads in journalism, photography, and equivalent programs at several universities and colleges. The final team of five reporters and three photojournalists covered all aspects of the 2012 CMA Music Festival, under direction from Bob Doerschuk, Editor ofCMA Close Up. Their work was posted daily during the Festival and has been archived at CMAfest.com.
“Caitlin has solid journalistic skills, with plenty of impressive clips in her catalog,” said Doerschuk. “And as a photographer, she shows a rare gift for capturing everyday images, whether of live music or quiet landscapes, with originality and poetic sensibility. The fact that she works extremely well under pressure, with poise, confidence and patience under demanding circumstances, makes her an ideal candidate for our award.”
Born and raised in Tega Cay, S.C., 20 miles southwest of Charlotte, N.C., Selle was recruited by Lipscomb University and offered a scholarship for Cross Country and Track, which she turned down in order to major in Public Relations. But with her mother, aunt and uncle all having studied art, she developed a strong interest in photography. While planning to pursue a career in communications, she considers that photography will be a valuable source of future supplemental income and creative stimulus. Her work can be viewed atcaitlinsellebtlphotography.wordpress.com.
“Winning this award came as great surprise to me because I know I have much to learn as a photographer,” Selle said. “I strongly feel that it helps validate me as a photographer and it's encouraging to know that the CMA team sees promise in my work. I am truly honored to win the CMA Close Up Award of Merit.”