Reinholds garner top photo awards
Wed, 06/28/2017 - 8:34am admin
I love to catch the feeling, the mood, the emotion, the heart."
It was a double win in the Reinhold home when the results of the annual Farm Bureau photo contest were announced.
Mother-daughter duo Robin and Kiersten Reinhold proved victorious in their respective age group contests, with Robin’s photo taking the overall champion title.
Successful photography is nothing new to Robin, whose photos, in addition to winning other similar awards in the past, have also been featured in outh Dakota Magazine. Though Reinhold describes herself as having an artistic, creative bent, she did not begin to manifest that creativity in photography until 15 to 20 years ago, when she began taking pictures of the family’s livestock for the purpose of marketing their horses.
She quickly gained experience. In addition to operating a Meade County ranch, the Reinhold family hosts summer camps throughout June, July and August in their camping facilities – Rainbow Bible Ranch. Here children from six years old through high school can experience ranching and God in a real way.
Robin and her husband, Larry, publish a magazine called the Rainbow Reflector to keep camp families and supporters abreast of the happenings at the ranch. Robin also compiles a calendar used for promotional purposes. “We are required to come up with a lot of good photos,” Robin said.
For her winning shot this year, Robin was out with much of the rest of western South Dakota, trying to dig out after the Christmas Day Blizzard of 2016. She happened to catch sight of her daughter, Molly, working with a newborn calf.
“This one chose to hunker down behind a big cedar post and windbreak rather than going into the shed or calf shelter. As I watched our daughter, Molly, look him over, I was blessed by her attentiveness and tenderness,” Robin said.
Most of Robin’s photos come from just such moments. She is rarely without her camera, and she tries to capture the real-life moments that occur on their ranch.
“I try to capture more than just a pretty scene – I love to catch the feeling, the mood, the emotion, the heart. I prefer the candid shots and action shots that tell a story,” said Robin.
She has nearly perfected that art, and her photos travel around the world via print publications and social media. In addition to representing Rainbow Bible Ranch, these photos represent a way of life of whose existence most people in the nation are unaware.
“The day-to-day things that we do on the ranch are so unknown to the majority of the world, and it’s fun to open that window for them to see,” Robin said.
Whether on foot or on horseback, Robin and her Canon EOS 6D capture real life. With her years of experience, Robin has learned that lighting and position play a large role in the effectiveness of a picture.
“Lighting can make an ordinary scene a magical one. Even a dry August day that looks hot and deserty at high noon can look soft and beautiful if you capture it just after sunrise or just before sunset.
“Another tip would be to get down on your knees. When photographing livestock or people, you’ll get a better perspective from a lower vantage. It may sound simple, but it really makes a difference,” said Robin.
While Robin proved the champion in the 35 plus age category of the photo contest, nine-year-old Kiersten took first place in her age category with her photo “Milking the Cow.”
Having just finished third grade, the homeschooler is already well on her way to following in her mother’s footsteps.
“Mom started letting me take pictures with her camera when I was pretty young,” Kiersten said.
When looking for subject matter, she does not have to look further than her daily activities.
“Living on the ranch gives me lots of opportunities to take pictures. I like taking pictures of things that I know, things that are a part of who I am,” said Kiersten.
Such was the case with “Milking the Cow.” “Milking the cow is part of our daily chores. Usually my brothers do it, but sometimes my sister and I do it, too. When I took this photo, my brother, Caleb, was doing the milking, and I shot this picture over his shoulder. I like how the milk foams and bubbles when it goes into the bucket, and I like the sound of it, too,” Kiersten said.
“Milking the Cow” is the first of Kiersten’s photos that has won an award, though many of the Reinhold family’s social media followers have seen Kiersten’s work on Facebook.
When she is not shooting award-winning photos, Kiersten can be found riding horses, doing chores and enjoying time with her family. She also appreciates the fun of having hundreds of friends come visit each summer as campers. And, like any South Dakota ranch girl, she is kept busy with her responsibilities.
“My main job with the camp is being in charge of the kitty herd. I also help in a lot of other areas, like gardening, horses, sheep, goats, calves and chickens,” Kiersten said.
Watching her daughter blossom as a photographer is a crowning achievement for Robin. This delight far outweighs the fun of winning a photo contest.
“It is a joy for me to see our children, whose ages span from 23 to nine, pick up the camera and go out to photograph the sunset or anything else. To see them develop their skills and capture creative shots that I wouldn’t have thought of really is rewarding,” Robin said.