Our 2016 Photo Contest winner, April Robinson, isn’t one to toot her own horn — so we’ll do it for her.
April Robinson is of humble stock. She’s the kind that isn’t too forthcoming about personal achievements. That would be boastful.
Unless pointedly asked, Robinson won’t tell you that she self-published four photography books — one assembled from vacations in Colorado and three focused on her native Henderson, Kentucky — that she sells at arts and crafts fairs, to real estate agents as welcome presents to clients, and to families with loved ones who have moved away. She also won’t readily divulge that she won Best in Show at an art contest held at the local John James Audubon State Park Museum and Nature Center for a peaceful photo of a backlit deer.
What Robinson will say is that ever since she earned her Girl Scout photography badge at age 8, she has been hooked on the medium. But she’ll mention it modestly. “I’ve just dabbled in it and worked my way through it,” she says. “I’ve always kind of seen it as a hobby.”
We don’t think of Robinson as a mere amateur. As a matter of fact, her photo, Ahhhhh, is the unanimous overall winner of Cowboys & Indians’ 2016 Photo Contest. In the photograph, a Thoroughbred horse is captured shaking off a spray of bath water after his morning exercise at the Ellis Park Race Course in Henderson.
“The photo was part of a group outing,” Robinson says. “Several camera clubs had been OK’d to go to the backside of a local track, to just photograph life behind the scenes at a racetrack.” The striking result immediately caught the eye of one judge in particular. “I have seen that look a thousand times,” she said after spotting the photo. “That image perfectly captures a very real moment.”
Robinson’s personal connection to her subject matter is apparent. “I’m kind of a horse wannabe,” she says. “I’ve always loved horses. I’ve always tried to be around them as much as I could, but, you know, certain circumstances and lifestyles just never led me to be able to have a horse.” Instead, she photographs the horses at Ellis Park — from being saddled up to getting showered down.
See more images from the 2016 photo contest on our homepage or in the February/March 2016 issue.