Curious Kids Photo Contest

I see a ton of photos online every day of kids posing for cameras. Although many are really cute, you know, because kids are cute, the ones I really love are photos of kids not even knowing there is a camera around. If you just let a child be a child, you will get wonderful emotions and reactions.

I decided to dig around in the world of amateur/semi-pro photography and see just what sort of photos there might be out there capturing those wonderful emotions and reactions. As a member of, I am able to host contests among other members as a way for all of us to get together and share our work, and learn to get better. I honestly thought going in that I had the best photo, and that the world would agree.

Man, did I ever have something to learn. There are a lot of awesome people out there taking photos, and 60 of them submitted images in my contest.

The rules were simple: “Kids are fearless and curious. This can get them into trouble. Show us your best photo of kids living on the edge.”

Here is the winning image, as voted on by viewers at

"Can You See It?" - photo by Barbara Dudley
“Can You See It?” – photo by Barbara Dudley (Taken with Nikon D5100 with 55-300mm lens)

Now, you might be saying, “Wait, they aren’t living on the edge!”

I disagree. I think this photo is the perfect example of the spirit of my contest. We have no idea what they are looking at, or why they are curious. We only know the older-looking one seems slightly cautious and the younger-looking one seems ready to tackle it, no matter what it is. This is the way kids tackle all of the things that worry us parents silly.

The photographer, Ms. Barbara Dudley, explained a little more for me via email :

“The photo was taken last fall when I shot the family of these two little hooligans! These were among the best shots and great representation of the energy ( trouble) these two carry with them…
I used my Nikon D5100 and my 55-300mm lens…I did shoot from a distance as they were on a bridge with their little heads poking through…
Their expressions were priceless and really can’t remember what caught their eye as my focus was on the two of them…”

While I wouldn’t exactly call a Nikon D5100 a “budget” camera, it is far less expensive than the equipment full-time professionals use, however Ms. Dudley shows us here that photography is not now, nor has it ever been, about the price of the equipment. It is more about the value of the moment. To see more of her work, you can view her gallery HERE.

There was one other photo in the contest that I feel obligated to mention, mainly because it is the one I voted for and because it did finish in second place, losing by one vote.

Here is the 2nd-place photo, getting an Honorable Mention, and giving me a giggle every time I look at it.

Going Fishing - Photo by Kris Hiemstra
“Going Fishing” – photo by Kris Hiemstra (Canon 3ti with Sigma 18-250mm lens)

Another photo proving that you don’t need a kid staring at a camera to get a great shot. I loved this photo because of the humorous situation, but also because it has great composition, lighting and color. I also appreciated the moment because, as a kid, I was forever trying to get in any fish tank I could get in.

Here is what Ms. Hiemstra had to say about how she captured the image:

“The photo was taken on the Embarcadero in Morro Bay, California. I walk past it every day and, of course, I always have my camera with me. The steam always attracts attention and this curious child was no exception. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was supposed to be somewhere else (school perhaps?) but became completely distracted (you might say immersed).”

If you would like to see more of her work, you can see it HERE. (If you are looking for very colorful photography to decorate a sunroom or other “beachy” space in your home, I highly recommend you look at her work.)

As for the image I submitted, most of my readers have seen it before. But since I technically finished two votes back in a tie for third, I’ll share it again.

Fearless - photo by David Cothran (Nikon D700 with 24-70mm fixed 2.8)
“Fearless” – photo by David Cothran (Nikon D700 with 24-70mm fixed 2.8)

A little Easter shoot we did last Spring, and the photo that inspired me to host the contest. If you would like to see more of my work, all of which is for sale, visit my gallery HERE.


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