Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Enter this vintage photo contest October 21, 2011

This contest promo image of Mary Nachicas and Don Anderson comes from Nina Hedin of Glencoe, who blogs at ArtsyNina. As part of the prize package, Nina is offering a $25 gift certificate to Camp Honeybelle.

TODAY WE’RE GOING to talk photos.

First, I’d like you to dig out your old photo albums or shoeboxes full of vintage black-and-white images. I am looking for a candid photo (not a formal portrait) that portrays love.

Easy, right? Perhaps you have an old snapshot of your parents or grandparents together. How about a mother-daughter picture? Cousins? Siblings? A person with a favorite pet?

Anything that depicts love will do as long as the photo is vintage, black-and-white and candid.

OK, once you’ve found that single image, I want you to enter it in the Minnesota Moments magazine “Snapshots of Love” contest. You’ll find complete information about this competition by clicking onto the website, minnesotamoments.com, here.

You’ll need to do a teeny, tiny bit of writing to complete your entry. Simply state in a paragraph of 75 words or less what your photo tells you about love. Easy.

If your entry is selected as the winner—and, yes, I’m one of the judges—you will win a prize package valued at $150.

Here’s the prize list:

You do not need to subscribe to this magazine to enter the contest, although we’d certainly love to have you as a subscriber.

The first contestant sent a sweet image of her and her sister riding their shared tricycle on their Otter Tail County farm in 1948. I’m not sharing her story with you, but suffice to say her words moved me to tears.

Entries must be received by November 15.

OK, NOW THAT I have convinced you to enter “Snapshots of Love,” I want to assure you that, yes, indeed, it is possible to win a contest.

Here’s proof. Last year I entered an image in the Thrivent Financial for Lutherans 2011 calendar photo contest. My photo of the cross-topped cemetery fence at Urland Lutheran Church near Cannon Falls was selected from among more than 300 entries to grace the October page of the calendar. Judges were seeking “unique and inspiring images,” according to a letter I received from Thrivent.

My winning image of the Urland church cemetery fence.

The really interesting thing here is that when I took this photo, I didn’t know about the contest. I shot the image when my husband and I stopped at the country church and cemetery while on a Sunday afternoon drive. Months later, when I learned of the “Connecting with the Cross” themed calendar photo competition, I knew I had the perfect entry.

Urland Lutheran Church, rural Cannon Falls

So if you have one of those Thrivent calendars hanging on your wall, that’s my photo you’re looking at during October. You can click here to learn more about the image.

This is not the first time I’ve won a calendar photo contest. My close-up of autumn leaves in the woods made the November page of River Bend Nature Center’s 2007 “Sights and Seasons” calendar.

Prior to that, I won first place, and $100, in a national photo contest sponsored by National Mutual Benefit for a close-up image of a butterfly in my daisy patch.

So there, enter. You could win, too.

TELL ME, RIGHT NOW, in a comment to this blog post, that you will enter the “Snapshots of Love” contest. That would make me happy. If you have questions, ask away. Be sure also to check out the sponsor websites. That would make me happy, too.

© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


Diamonds & Guns

SO, I’M GOING to assume you’ve heard of the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, right?

How about Diamonds & Guns?

I thought so.

I ran across the combo yesterday while browsing the local newspaper, The Faribault Daily News. We’re talking rock here, just not music.

For four days this week, through Saturday, if you spend $1,500 or more at Paffrath Jewelers in Owatonna, you’ll get a Weatherby Upland 12 gauge pump shotgun.

Dole out $3,000 or more on a purchase and you get a Browning full Camo 12 gauge shotgun.

“When you get that special gift for the woman in your life you should get something too!” the ad for Paffrath Jewelers reads. It’s aimed at guys looking to buy a diamond engagement ring.

Apparently the future hunter husband types appreciate this incentive as the ad states the sale is “back by popular demand.”

If this sales approach works for Paffrath, and apparently it does, good for this family-owned business with three stores in Minnesota. The other two are in Willmar and Alexandria. I’m uncertain whether this promotion applies to all three stores or just the one in Owatonna, which, by the way, has a Cabela’s store, every outdoorsman’s shopping paradise.

“You better hurry,” the ad urges.

Guys, just a little word of advice here: If you buy a diamond engagement ring at Paffrath during this Diamonds & Guns sale, you might want to keep that gun incentive part to yourself.