It’s quite the challenge coming up with the right words.
Honored. Excited. Relieved.
Those are just a few.
But the most important feeling — humbled.
At the Hoosier State Press Association Newsroom Seminar and Better Newspaper Contest awards luncheon today in Indianapolis, I had four photographs receive awards; three earned first place and one was second place. One of my first-place photos was selected as the Division 3 (Dailies with circulation less than 6,000) representative for photo of the year. While I did not receive that honor, it is still pretty darn cool to come away with three first-place awards and even be considered a finalist.
After winning best feature story last year, I was shut out this year as a writer. Honestly, though, that doesn’t matter.
Prior to the start of the 2016 Jay County Fair (which ran from July 9 through July 16), I announced that I wanted to do something a little different than I had in the past.
This was my fourth time covering the far for The Commercial Review, and each year I have enjoyed it more and more; the 4-H shows, capturing photos of people enjoying the Midway rides, eating fair food and of course, the nightly entertainment at the grandstand.
In 2013, my first time at the fair, I hardly knew a soul. I was brand new to Jay County — I had only been around a couple weeks — so my time there was difficult. I didn’t know what the hell was going on with the 4-H shows and I didn’t know what to do. It wasn’t a fun experience.
But with each passing year, the number of people I knew — and saw — at the fair increased, as well as my knowledge of the wonder that is 4-H.
So before this year’s edition of The Great Jay County Fair, I had an idea.