Picture perfect!


Tropical flower taken at Como Park Zoo in St. Paul

Earlier this week, I submitted a number of photos to the Arts Exhibit at the Sioux Empire Fair (Minnehaha’s county fair). I am not a professional photographer, and I don’t intend to become one. I have never submitted photos before, so I was not sure what they would be looking for. I just take pictures for the fun of it, and so that I have a photographic reference of my life and history for myself and my family.


Sunset taken from my front porch in Sioux Falls

It was fun taking the time looking at the photos and trying to choose which ones I would submit. I decided that I was only going to choose photos from the past year, nothing older (the fair requires that they be taken within the past two years). They have a variety of categories that you can submit your photos in, but you can only submit two per category. I had plenty of pictures to choose from, but had to narrow them down to a select few and place them in a category.


Ainsley ballet dance at the Patrick Henry Middle School talent show

I chose my photos, get them printed and mounted, dropped them off at the fair office, and then I had to wait. I was surprised that I was a little more nervous and anxious than I thought I would be. Would they enjoy them? Would other people enjoy looking at them? Would they speak to anyone?


Stream running through Mary Jo Wegner Arboretum in Sioux Falls

The fair opened two days later, and finally I get to see my photos on display in the Arts Center. We chose to go to the fair on one of the busiest days of the week, and traffic was a nightmare. It took us over an hour to park and walk into the fair. By the time we made it to the Arts Center, it was right at closing time (they actually had closed about 5 minutes earlier than when we got there). Sadly, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to see my pictures this night.


Tiffany enjoying the lily pond in Chicago

Tiffany did not have the same thoughts though. She was going to see the pictures tonight. So, we went to the door and as others were leaving the building, we “snuck” in to see the pictures.


Ainsley downtown Sioux Falls

Although the lights had been turned down, we were able to find the pictures and sneak a quick look at the results that I had garnered. I had been awarded 2 blue ribbons, 3 red ribbons, and many white (participation) ribbons. Happily, we looked at the pictures, and quickly celebrated my small victory. It was nice to win a couple of ribbons to show that some of my photos had quality to them. I learned later that the judges had written critiques on the back of the entry forms, which I actually really enjoyed reading (although I may not fully agree with them all).


My cat Mishka exploring the Christmas tree

At the end of it all, I was happy that I submitted the photos. Not because I won ribbons, but because I participated in the fair. It was fun reliving the memories that the pictures brought back. It was fun getting the photos printed and mounting them. It was fun dropping them off and picking them up. I hope that my children see what I did and realize that they can do something similar. Hopefully they will have a hobby that they enjoy and share that with others. Tiffany was proud that I chose to share my photos with the rest of the Sioux Empire.


Tropical bird at Como Park Zoo in St. Paul

That was also fun!

Can you tell which of the photos were the two that won the blue ribbon? Comment your vote.


Corner of 12th and Phillips on New Years Eve in Sioux Falls


Cat in the Hat hat at Suessical the musical in Sioux Falls at the Orpheum Theater


Japanese flower at the Japanese Garden at Como Park Zoo in St. Paul


Church outside Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls


Honoring fallen heroes at the traveling Vietnam Veterans Memorial


Frozen Sioux River at Falls Park in Sioux Falls


Sunrise taken on the road to Omaha


Grapes taken at the Wilde Prairie Vineyard in Brandon, SD


Fleur de lis globe taken at home in Sioux Falls


Kodak Moment

Me taking pictures at Christmas time

Me taking pictures at Christmas time

I love photos. I take pictures all the time. I have a digital camera that I leave in my car that I keep for “emergency” photo ops. I have a camera sitting next to me on my desk as I write this.

I take these pictures for a number of reasons. I take them as this is my past. My dad took photos as I was growing up. He even developed them himself for a while. My personal history is preserved in these pictures. I see those pictures and I remember. This is my past and I enjoy.

I have old photos of school, where my classmates and I were together. I see them now, and remember times that we would play together. Their pictures bring many fond times to mind. I have photos of sports that I played. He would take pictures of his kids as well as other kids on the team. He would then make a print for the other families so that they would have pictures of their children. I do that as well.

I take pictures as these are my memories. I photograph my children, my family, my surroundings, all things. These are the times, places, and people who I wish to remember. Digital photography makes it so simple to capture these moments and hold onto them.

I take photographs for my future. My pictures will stay with me and my family for as long as someone wants them. My kids will have these photos for their lives and I hope that they look back on them in the future and remember. I will be able to look back at them and remember as well. I will share them with my kids, and their kids, as well as family and friends.

I will laugh, I will cry, and I will remember. For in life, the one thing that truly makes all of unique is our memories.