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Cleveland’s Rory Doyle earns first place in Smithsonian Magazine photo contest

Rory Doyle
Photo courtesy of Ph Museum

Cleveland-based photographer Rory Doyle has been recognized by the Smithsonian Magazine for his art.

Doyle was given the first-place title in the magazine’s American Experience category for his photo titled “First to Vote.”

Photo by Rory Doyle

On assignment for an Amsterdam newspaper to document the November 2022 midterm elections, Doyle headed out before sunrise and came across this lone citizen in Atlanta, Ga., who had arrived at her polling place even before it opened. He proceeded to capture the woman sitting in a folded chair waiting to exercise her right to vote.

“The narrative of the lack of care or the lack of participation gets more attention than people who are willing to literally bring a chair and a book before the sun is up,” Doyle said of the story behind his photograph.

Doyle, no stranger to awards, was previously recognized by Smithsonian Magazine, Zeiss Photography, and Head On Photo for his ongoing project, Delta Hill Riders, which highlights Black cowboys and cowgirls.

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