Arts & Entertainment

Instagram contest #ShootTheT asks students to celebrate Tacoma in photos

Local gallery owner challenges Tacoma to capture its scenic side

Are you one of the Tacoma Instagram faithful? Always stopping to smell and then photograph the roses?  Then Shoot the T, an Instagram photography competition created by Dion Thomas and Jason Gamboa, is for you (and for everyone else who loves to visually celebrate and explore Tacoma). Since the contest’s launch on February 4, Tacomans have responded enthusiastically. In the first two days alone, more than 1,500 entries had been submitted and shared with the hashtag #ShootTheT, according to Thomas.

The concept makes the contest accessible from every level, so be sure to stop, smell the roses, and share a snapshot on your daily commute. A view you find commonplace could be breathtaking from someone else’s perspective.

Submissions will be posted on the Shoot the T instagram account. The number of likes will be taken into account for final judging. People can visit Thomas’ Gallery of Ambition to vote on entries in person from February 20-22. The winner will be announced February 22.

Thomas said the hashtag was created by Perris Wright, creator of local fashion brand eTc Tacoma, whose work is on display at Thomas’ gallery. He says the hashtag started getting popular after taking a picture of Bob’s Java Jive. The idea came later to turn it into a contest.

“There’s so much beautiful scenery in the city,” Thomas said, “we take it for granted.” Thomas is an avid shutterbug, but admits that he wouldn’t say he’s at the professional level. When asked what part of Tacoma he thinks is the most photogenic, he replies “I love the Dome, there’s so many interesting angles you can shoot it from.”

Prizes include $253 in cash, a handmade camera strap from local leatherworker Black Anchor Workshop, and a one-year Photoshop CC subscription.

A complete description of the rules and guidelines for the contest can be seen at