My First Photo Contest Experience, Pt. 1

I'm finally entering a really truly local photo contest!! :) So excited. And the grand prize?  Not much...ONLY a Nikon 1 J1 camera! *dances* The theme is "Butterflies, Bugs & Bees." Here's what I'm entering:

It could have been better, but I think it's good enough for the teen category.  The prints are beautiful.

Speaking of printing, it was amazing where and what all we went through today trying to get this silly little beautiful, meaningful picture printed. The requirement for the contest is a 5x7 matte print.  Easy-peasy, right? Uhhhh. Not quite.

First stop: Our local Wolf Camera.  We drive up and it looks suspiciously empty with a sign on the door. On closer inspection, the sign coolly informs us that they've moved to a new location that is far enough away that we should have brought a picnic lunch.  Ok, nix that idea.

Second stop: Walmart photo center.  Our Walmart is notorious for not having a good selection of anything (you name it, we don't have it), and when we couldn't find the photo center with all the cameras and tech stuff back in the corner, we began to wonder if they had actually gone ahead and bulldozed it along with the wall back when they did their remodeling (I thought it was nicer before).  And then the girl told us that the photo center was just up by the customer service.  Right. So we trek back to the front of the store, dodging harried moms with toddlers on the way. When we reach the photo center, we discover that their "matte" printing is really just normal paper. And Mom didn't want to stand around for an hour waiting for them to print an over-priced 5x7 photo.  So we leave.

Third stop:  The Walgreens two blocks from our house.  They have 1hr printing, and we're so close we could easily come right back for it.  We walk in.  And, while I'm at it, may I add that our Walgreens is rather eerie?  There's never anyone in it (maybe because they have such inappropriate magazines and products right next to the counter. But that's another soapbox.).  Anyway, we head back to the photo counter, where a young man tells us that they don't provide matte finishes for their photos.  Aww.  Come on, Walgreens! This is serious stuff, this matte printing!  You could get more business!

So, finally, we head home exhausted, tired, spent, and frustrated.  After much deliberation, we decide to simply order the prints online at and have Dad pick them up at a different store on the road he drives on when he comes home from work.  And, surprise! they have a ridiculously easy, convenient ordering system that seems to work like magic.  And when Dad came home, he was bearing two of the most beautiful printed photos I've ever seen (or so it seemed).  :)

I did some more research as to the variety of photo products Ritz offers, and boy do they have a selection! One of everything, please.  I'll definitely be ordering from them again.

Photo contest, here I come!


Instagram: @inglenookadventures