Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Picture Perfect


Kinley's face said it all. 

She and I had a mighty good showing in open class photography at the Stafford County Fair.

This was Kinley's first year in 4-H photography. We worked together on it all year, and she also took several photos on her own. While the girls were here, we chose and mounted her eight 4-H entries for the Shawnee County Fair. (That was the maximum number allowed at her fair.) 

Kinley and her 4-H entries for the Shawnee County Fair

But, once those decisions were made, we still had "leftover" photos. Since the girls were going to be here for the Stafford County Fair, Kinley entered nine of her photos in open class.

Her colored pencil photo won Reserve Grand Champion overall - chosen from among all the youth, teen and adult entries. My photo of aspens, taken as we traveled toward the north rim of the Grand Canyon last fall, was Grand Champion overall.

"How would you have felt if I'd gotten the first place, Grandma?" Kinley asked as we stood in front of the exhibit.

"I would have been just as happy," I told her. And I meant every word. What fun it was to help Kinley with photography, a hobby I love to do!

In all, she got seven blues and two reds in the youth division at the Stafford County Fair. She got a ribbon on every entry, so she did better than I did. I had eight blues, four reds and two whites, with six of my entries not receiving ribbons.

She entered a similar photo in the 4-H division of the Shawnee County Fair. (It was just cropped off center for the classic Rule of Thirds photo principle.) And she got overall Reserve Grand Champion at that fair, too! (Grandma and Kinley were pretty excited yet again!)

And another of her 4-H photos - featuring Crayons - got reserve champion in the 0-3 years of experience color division. In all, she only got one red out of her eight photos entered in her first 4-H competition. All the rest were blue or purple.

We told Brooke that part of Kinley's success was due to her fantastic action model. (I also had some entries featuring Brooke on the soccer field.)


I think this was the first time ever that I didn't enter any photos in the "Agriculture" category. That's not to say I never will. We still own our ground, and agriculture is all around us. But the wheat wasn't pretty this year, so it didn't get paparazzi sessions like it usually does. 

I'd never had so many travel photos entered in one fair. 

From Zion National Park, Blue ribbon, Scenic landscape

From Arches National Park, blue ribbon, selfie
From Grand Canyon North Rim, black and white, blue, Human Interest

From Kentucky Horse Park, Lexington, black and white, Landscape

From Johnny Morris' Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium, Springfield, MO, jellyfish, color Miscellaneous
But I also had some blues in my own backyard ... literally.

Backyard nest, Blue, black and white, Nature

And even from my bathroom.

View from my bathroom window on a frosty morning, blue, black and white, miscellaneous

I was also pleased to place in the Stafford County Economic Development photo contest. The photo I took of story hour at the Nora Larabee Memorial Library won the Places category and a couple of others got honorable mention.

I also got a blue ribbon on the retirement book I gave to Randy last Christmas.

All in all, it was a great fair season!

It may be hard to live up to the "photo finishes" at next year's fairs. As I reminded Kinley, judging is one person's opinion on one day. Different judge, different day, different results. But we'll happily celebrate the results this year. 

More from the Shawnee County Fair in the next blog post.


  1. How absolutely wonderful to share this hobby with Kinley and, so successfully. Randy at the Grand Canyon is totally my favourite.

    1. She got some photo crystals as a prize for her finish at the 4-H fair. I haven't gotten to look at them yet, but I'm sure we'll have fun experimenting.