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This weekend is the start of the Elkhart County Fair in Goshen, Indiana.  I’ve always loved county fairs.  Elkhart County has one of the biggest county fairs in the nation.

Last year, I took lots of photos to the fair and earned third place for this photo of horses nipping at one another.  Last year we got a lot of enjoyment out of watching these horses.  Hot sun or heavy rain, these three horses stood in the corner by the road watching the world go by.  On this visit, the one that was nipping wanted to be the center of attention.  If you look really closely, you can see the third horse in the background rolling its eyes.

For third place I won $2!

The fair hasn’t opened yet, but this morning I got a voice mail from someone at the fair.  I was afraid she was going to tell me that the hot and humidity melted my photos, or that I was disqualified.  Instead the news was good.

I won Best of Show!

Woot.  Woot.  Woo.

I felt like I was in fourth grade again earning a champion ribbon in 4-H.

This is the photo that won.

Either you love this photo or you hate it.  I don’t think there is really any in between.  I took this photo to school and hung it behind my desk, and two of my students told me to take it down because it was spooky.  I believe it was my mother that said that it has a “Children of the Corn” look to it.

Of course, I am in the loving it camp.

This is a photo of my daughter.  She wasn’t sad in the photo, just waiting for me to adjust lights and get her posed.  I caught her off guard and took the photo.  There is no fake smile, just a window into her soul through the eyes.  I think she looks beautiful in this photo as just herself.

I really debated a lot about which photo to take.  This was my other choice, shot on the same day.  Both of them are nicely composed, and have good lighting, but I kept coming back to the winner.

This time I went with my gut.  Photographers were judging, not a bunch of grandmas that want fake smiles, and nicely posed photographs.  I love this photo and I wanted to share it, and see how it did.

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