Photograph: Dan Wang/GM

For automotive photographers, one amazing photo can mean a huge following in the industry, as well as national recognition and future jobs. But for three New York college students, photographing Chevy’s brand new 2015 Corvette Z06 convertible before it was shown to the public was not about a job or future magazine covers. Rather, it was about a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and now it’s time for you to help vote which resulting gallery is the best.

Photograph: Mike Finkelstein /GM

To help debut the future Z06 convertible, Chevrolet invited three college students who are all studying forms of photography to shoot the yet-to-be-revealed ’15 convertible. Whoever produced the best images from the exercise would receive $5,000.

Even for the most experienced photographers, photographing a vehicle before its reveal to the industry would be a major deal, but for these students it was even more tricky, as none of them had ever photographed a vehicle before.

Though their automotive photography experience remains largely limited at this point, the three young men, ages 22 and 23, pulled through with amazing galleries, even surprising Vice President of GM Global Design, Ed Welburn, in many ways.

Photograph: Nico Sforza /GM

“The students had a challenging assignment because the work I see being done on a daily basis by our Design team is so good,”Welburn stated in GM’s recent press release.

“So for the students to go into this area was obviously going to be tough by comparison – but they came through. Even more, in some cases the students came up with lighting techniques and angles we have not seen before.”

Now that the photo shoot is done, now it’s time to help GM choose which student should receive the cash prize.

Check out the galleries and a bit about each photography student below.

Mike Finkelstein

Studying fine art photography, Mike Finkelstein is set to graduate from Pratt Institute this summer. But before he walks across the stage with his diploma, he hopes to get top honors in the Z06 convertible photo shoot.

For his shoot, Finkelstein chose to shoot with film, giving his images a sense of history, Stephen Gray, creative manager, GM North America Design explained in the press release. He also mentioned that Finkelstein’s images seemed to bring the Corvette alive.

Dan Wang

Studying advertising photography, Dan Wang is a senior at the Rochester Institute of Technology this year. For his shoot, he opted to portray the vehicle as it would be out in real life, like on the road. To do this, he used things like smoke machines to really fill the scene around the Corvette as well as bring out the unique convertible’s features.

Gray mentioned Wang’s use of strong angles and his emphasis on some of the car’s distinguishing features as key elements to his photo gallery.

Nico Sforza

Studying still-life photography, Nico Sforza currently attends the School of Visual Arts. For his photo shoot, he opted to portray the Corvette in a new light, literally photographing the car coming out of a ray of life like it was the birth of the vehicle.

To do this, Nico used shadows and negative spaces, Gray stated, as well as unusual lighting, like illuminating the opposite side of the car’s hood for some of his photographs.

All three students currently have their full galleries up on Corvette’s Facebook page for viewers to look through and vote on. There, you can also see behind-the-scenes photographs taken during each student’s shoot. 

Voting is open now through April 23rd. The winner will be announced on April 24th. You can also see all three galleries at the New York Auto Show this week.