By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Photography for Wendy Ebert, a stay-at-home mom from rural Dassel, has become mostly just a serious hobby a way to capture her love for God’s beauty in nature and her family.
It was something she began when her daughter, Mackenzie, was born 15 years ago.
“As a mom, you want to capture all the moments of your child’s life,” Ebert commented.
She, and others close to her, soon began to realize she had an eye for photography.
She began to hone her skills reading her camera’s manual, which, she said, she still will refer back to, and using photo editing software.
Ebert has never taken a photography class; she is completely self-taught. “I can tell my skills are getting better,” she said.
She isn’t afraid to edit her photos either, which enables her to add definition to the photos and make the colors really pop out.
“I love to edit,” she said, as it brings out the color and enhances the detail.
“It puts my emotion into that photo,” she explained.
Photography is her way of being creative and expressing herself, Ebert said.
It’s also a way for her to decorate, as many of her photos can be seen hanging on the walls of her home.
Because she is dedicated to her family and her days stay fairly busy, photography isn’t something she thought to pursue as a business.
She tried taking portraits as requested by family and friends, but found it’s not where her passion lies.
Ebert quickly found she lost the emotion in those types of photos and didn’t have that personal connection a portrait photographer needs to have with their subjects.
“To me, it’s an art form,” Ebert said of photography. “I’m not in it for the money.”
Her next goal is to get a macro lens and a long-range zoom lens so she can capture such things as tiny insects and far-away birds.
Last year, Ebert was informed of a photography contest called Capture Minnesota, through Twin Cities Public Television.
The contest allows Minnesota photographers to submit photos taken in Minnesota to be judged by the public. The selected photos would then be published in a hard-cover book.
For whatever reason, Ebert blew it off, she said.
This year, however, she decided to enter.
She submitted the limit of 20 photos, taking in the challenges the contest gave.
One of the contest challenges was “Keeping Warm,” in which she submitted a photo she took about three years ago of her daughter, Grace, now 8.
It was an unseasonably cool day, and Grace went out to play.
Ebert instructed her to put warmer clothes on.
Grace came out a little overdressed, complete with a fleece jacket, mittens, and bomber hat (see photo).
Ebert captured the moment, which was selected for the book, “Capture Minnesota II: Minnesota Through the Eyes of Minnesota Photographers.”
“It was quite a surprise,” Ebert said, of being chosen for the book.
The title of her photo is “Bomber Hat Kid” and the caption reads, “No worries about being cold here.”
Ebert was among the 6,898 photographers who submitted photos. Of those, only 226 photographers were chosen to have their work featured in the 144-page book.
Now that she was in once, she will try again next year.
“I’ll keep trying it and see if I get lucky,” she said.
This past April, Wendy, along with her husband, Tony, attended the book’s release party.
The book currently sells for $39.95 on the publisher’s website, and is expected to be available in bookstores throughout Minnesota. To purchase the book, click here. Those interested in entering future contests, click here.