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The Zipper, Grand Prize winning photo, looking back

Grand Prize winning photo

Grand Prize winning photo

5 years ago Labor Day weekend I submitted some of my photos to a photo contest for the first time.  I was blessed to receive a phone call that my photo won the Grand Prize with another one receiving honorable mention for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Snapshot Wisconsin Photo Contest.

The contest gave photographers one specific day to capture photos reflecting life in Wisconsin.

My family and I had plans to attend a festival that day.  I was watching my nephew on another ride when I looked over and I loved the angle.  I just shot it the way I saw it without over thinking it, which is how I typically shoot.  My instincts and intuition take over.

The kind and inspiring words I received from the professionals at the 2 time Pulitzer prize winning newspaper gave me the extra motivation to pursue what I already loved.
When I received the phone call from them I was told they assumed I was a professional. They were surprised and pleased to learn I had no formal training. They viewed me as Raw natural talent. That was a huge compliment to me.
They were impressed with the composition and capture of movement and fluidity.
It is a thrill to capture what I see and feel and to be able to convey that to others through a photograph.

Here is a copy of the article that was published:

Winning photos capture a love for Wisconsin

Heather Kamine’s first-place photograph captures the energy of the Zipper ride at Oak Creek Lionsfest and represents the fun her family has in Wisconsin.

What is quintessential Wisconsin?

The natural beauty of the state? A festival culture of fun? Or the tight ties of family and community?

The winning images of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Snapshot Wisconsin Photo Contest shine a light on the best of what makes living here special, with a photo of a thrill ride at Lionsfest in Oak Creek titled “Zipper” taking first place.

“I woke up that morning wishing the contest wasn’t that day because it was so cold out,” said Heather Kamine, of South Milwaukee. “I just submitted what we did that day. That is what we do: We go out and have fun.”

The contest challenged amateur photographers to take photos reflecting life in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula on a single day: Saturday, Sept. 4. They had only 24 hours to seize the scene.

Nick Lujero, Journal Sentinel business design coordinator and one of the contest judges, said “Zipper” takes something ordinary and shows it in an extraordinary way.

“Every time I look at it, it makes me dizzy,” said Lujero, who picked the winners with judges Sheila Davidson, Journal Sentinel vice president of operations, and Jerry Luterman, Wisconsin Trails photographer.

“There’s so much movement, and it’s just going in so many directions,” Lujero said. “This ride is at every single fair, but you don’t see it in this way. There is just so much going on.”

Kamine went with family to see a band at the festival. But a young nephew wanted to hit the thrill rides, and she was inspired.

“Just before I took that picture, I was joking about going on that ride,” Kamine said. “I went on it when I was 16, and it made me terribly dizzy.”

Kamine said she started taking pictures after her grandfather gave her a camera when she was about 7 years old. She’ll continue snapping shots with the new Canon PowerShot SD3500 IS camera she won for taking first place.


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