I was super excited to walk into the photography/art building at the Ladson Fair Grounds this week to find that my photo above, taken for Eco Fitness in Mount Pleasant, won 1st prize in the division 1 photo contest at this year’s Coastal Carolina Fair! Two of my other photos received honorable mentions as well.

This is one of my favorite shots I made this year, which was at the Change For Change benefit art show:


This third entry was from the photo shoot I did last month for Stella Nova Salon & Spa. I’ll share more about that shoot in a future post.


While I was extremely flattered to receive these awards, the big win for my family was to see my daughter take 3rd place in the division 3 contest with this photo that she made during the recent Worldwide Photowalk:

Mac Shem Creek-2
Photo by Mackenzie Nienstedt

And she also received an honorable mention for this photo:

Mac Shem Creek-1>
Photo by Mackenzie Nienstedt

We had prepared my daughter as best we could for a loss since this was her first time entering an art competition like this. We did the same with my son Kegan, who had entered a 3-D art sculpture through his art class at school. So when she won, it was truly a fantastic moment as a parent to see her surprise. Not only that, but Kegan received a 1st place ribbon for his piece as well!

Photo by Amy Nienstedt

What a fantastic day for our family! We are so proud of our kids, and it made the rest of the night a blast as we were so happy about the contests. I left my DSLR at home for this trip, opting to hang with the family instead of hanging behind the lens. I did have my iPhone and couldn’t resist snapping some shots like this sunset using iOS 6’s new panoramic photo feature (be sure to click on it to open up a larger version):

Sunset Pano at the Fair

My wife, who had been having one of “Those” days, turned it around completely at the fair. I love how happy she looks here:

Amy at the Fair

Finally, I have never had a caricature done of myself before. I was walking by the caricature booth, and this pretty young artist was looking at me with puppy dog eyes. She enticed me! Well, not really, I walked over and asked her how much. I’m sure she was thrilled to have such an easy target subject. So without further ado, here I am as a cartoon:

Caricature from the Coastal Carolina Fair

I think everyone needs a little bit of kitsch in their life, it makes me smile. I’ve got a lot more to share with you all, so check back soon!

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