Debra Vickers, a 57 year-old from Big Chimney, has the
chance to have her photo become the basis for a short film produced by one of
five celebrity filmmakers. She’s been taking photographs all her life, but
started getting more interested when she joined the Charleston Camera Club about
4 years ago. She’s been aware of the
Canon contest since last year, but finally worked up the nerve to enter.
“I have seen it for a couple years. They’ll advertise it on
TV and it’ll pop up on Facebook. Again, this year I watched it for a long time
and kept telling myself that my pictures aren’t good enough and this is for
real professionals. There were only three categories left open out of
"At 5 o’clock one day, I thought
I’m going to be brave enough to enter and that will help me maybe start putting
a little bit more out there than what I usually do. I never expected to get called.”
The winning photo is of her 6 year-old granddaughter Allison
of Burke, Virginia. Allison lay
on the floor wearing a wedding veil and a pink dress staring off towards an
unpictured television. Vickers said her granddaughter has a thirst for
knowledge—particularly for information regarding George Washington—and has
quite the imagination. The photo, which was entered in the “Goals” themed
category, was a rare opportunity.
“We were visiting. They
live in Virginia. She’s very
smart, but yet she’s age appropriate on everything. Like, she’s been to George Washington’s house
and made her mother take her to the library to get books on George Washington.
She’s just got this little mind that never stops, but she still believes in
Tinker Bell. She dresses up and she had a princess dress on under that veil and
she asked me if I’d put that veil on her.
"So, I put the veil on her and she
left and I continued to get dressed. I
stepped out of the bedroom and she was watching TV on the floor and I was like,
‘Ah.’ She’s at that age that, if you
want her to take a picture she has to do some crazy pose. So, I snuck back in
there and I tried to set my camera as best I could without her seeing me,
because the minute I would hold it up, I had to click it or forget it. So, I
just snuck out there and clicked it and then she jumped up there and started to
Vickers describes getting the news that she was selected as
a finalist in the competition.
“The whole thing has been real weird because I had just went
online and I was looking at all the other entries and I thought ‘Wow, I’m not
going to have a chance at this.’ I got off the internet and I was getting ready
to leave for church and the phone rang and they told me I was one of the top 30’s
and then there would be a vote by the public for the top 10. I couldn’t find anybody home to tell. If
someone had come by my house they would have thought somebody was in there
murdering me. I was in the kitchen, you know, screaming and whatever.”
Vickers is extremely humbled by the experience thus far and
sees getting selected as a winner as a confidence booster.
“It’s just really unexplainable. I’m so gracious for it and
my gratitude is not enough for that contest. It’s built my self worth, a little
bit of my ability to take pictures and see what I see through the camera.”
Vickers plans to use her $500 winnings on a new wide
angle lens and continue to improve her skills. She said she plans to enter more
photography contests in the future.