Union professor nominated for international photography award


When I walked into my first photography class last semester, I did not know what to expect. The professor was new to Union, at least in a teaching sense, so no one knew that much about him. I soon learned that Aaron Hardin, photography professor at Union University, was passionate about his classes. He wanted his students to learn about the technicalities and different aspects of photography, but at the same time be inspired by the work they were turning in each week.

“He inspires me to love something that I didn’t understand before,” said Sabrina Clendenin, sophomore public relations major.

Hardin is teaching a subject and skill that he is still actively involved in, and some of his recent work has captured the attention of people from across the world.

Last semester he occasionally mentioned something about a photography book that he was working on, and he even showed us a few pictures that would be a part of it. Now, the book has been nominated for the MACK First Book award.

The MACK award is one of the most prestigious photobook prizes in the world for first time photobook publishers. Photographers have to be nominated by a third party, and Hardin was one of only 400 nominees worldwide.

The book started out as his graduate thesis project and is titled The 13th Spring. Hardin describes the book as “a visual story of my experiences becoming a first time father.” It is an allegory about the fears and joys he has experienced through becoming a father. The collection of work took him over two years, and many of the photos were taken around his home in Jackson.

He was nominated by Diane Smyth, the editor of the British Journal of Photography.

“BJP shows some amazing work, so I was honored to be nominated,” said Hardin.

The top ten list and the winner will be decided by the end of the April.

The first edition of the book will be fifty handmade, signed copies, and will be released very soon. He is working on becoming a part of a few showcase events, but when asked about what is next for him, said “it is already time to start a new work.”