Authentic storytelling doesn’t always need direction. For this year’s Photography feature, we let the professionals take the reins. We supplied a starting point with a list of themes and then allowed the artists to construct their own narratives. What we were given is a series of short vignettes that tell us not only about the theme chosen, but also the photographers themselves.
After scrapping the idea of doing a coffee-based cocktail in honor of one of the world’s greatest photographers, Yousuf Karsh, a Turkish Canadian immigrant, an old party favorite was remembered. Named in honor of Ben’s photographer friend who has a fondness for denim jumpsuits, July’s cocktail is nearly effortless. Don’t skimp on making your own honey lemon mix – it’s a small step that makes a big difference in this crushable summer beverage.
1 oz honey lemon mix*
½ oz Giffard Passionfruit liqueur
Rob Walker, 33, is a Petal native and Jones County Junior College graduate. Walker loves fishing and kayaking on the river and you can usually find him at one of the bars in Downtown Hattiesburg. After getting his first camera in middle school, nearly two decades passed before his love affair with photography came into full bloom. Specializing in live music photography, Walker was named Best Event Photographer in this year’s Best of the Pine Belt awards. His portrait is compliments of fellow photographer Grant Hobgood.
For the third year, Signature Magazine inducted four new members into the Best of the Pine Belt Hall of Fame. Inductions were made during a dinner at 206 Front and sponsored by First Bank, prior to the Best of the Pine Belt Awards Show at the Saenger Theater.
Eight years ago, Signature Magazine instituted the Best of the Pine Belt Awards, designed to showcase the Who’s Who of the Pine Belt’s businesses, personalities, cuisine and charitable organizations. That was followed four years later by the Best of the Pine Belt Awards Show, where the awards were given to spotlight the people, places and businesses that make the area unique.
Home is typically the place that still brings out a smile in all of us in the darkest of times.
“As we started planning this year’s Laughs 4 Life event this idea of celebrating home became an idea we wanted to embrace,” said Kent Oliver, who oversees the Hatttiesburg event.
The 68th Miss Hospitality Competition will be held at 8 p.m. July 20-21 at the Historic Hattiesburg Saenger Theater in Downtown Hattiesburg.
In its 21st year as host city, Hattiesburg will showcase this year’s best and brightest young women as they compete for the title of Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality. Thirty-one women, who represent all regions of the state, will vie for the title of Mississippi’s Miss Hospitality, with the winner serving for a full year as the state’s official ambassador for economic development and tourism.
Best Unsung Hero
Andrea Saffle • Kathy Garner
Dr. LB Bell • Sarah Newton
Best Local Instagrammer
Alex May (@mindful_yet_mindless)
Smellin Keller Moreno (@smellin_keller) • Tyner Sullivan (@mr_todd_tomorrow)
Bridget Prater Smith (@blendingbybetty) • Larran Ulmer (@ripeweb)
Best Musical Group
Pine Belt Pickers