If you were to open one of the big, leather photo albums in my parent’s living room, you’d quickly realize the Gwinnett County Fair has been a family tradition for a long time. There are pictures of me as a toddler being held-up beside an award-winning watermelon picked straight out of our backyard. There are also bright and colorful pictures of me enjoying the rides with friends and family in elementary school.
As I entered middle school, instead of racing to the rides, you would most certainly find me standing in front of all the photography entrees in the Exhibit Building. I still remember examining each image carefully. Most pictures were clearly entered just to receive the free ticket that came along with entering. However, there were a handful of images where the beautiful light, shadows and reflections inspired me to, one day, be able to capture those elements as well.
As a high school student years later, I remember heading straight to that same Exhibit Building and anxiously approaching the glass wall that was lined with hundreds of photos. As I started scanning the images with prize-winning ribbons attached, I was thrilled to find my photos had won! Winning the photography contest I had been admiring for years was ALMOST as great as the hot, cinnamon mini donuts that were waiting right around the corner!