By Blair Thomas
Meredith Bustillo’s mother didn’t want her first mammoth sunflowers to wilt without capturing them on camera, so she sent her daughter into her Pulaski, Tennessee, garden to take a few pictures. Meredith had no clue she’d be coming back with a photo that would win the 16th annual Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation Photo Contest. (View a slideshow of all of our photo contest winners.)
“My mother has always had a very big green thumb, and I’ve always loved photography,” says Bustillo, a Davidson County Farm Bureau member. “This was Mom’s first year growing sunflowers, and I was eager to capture them.”
As she made her way through her mom’s garden with her new Nikon D3100 – a birthday gift from her husband – all of the sunflowers had fully bloomed except one.
“All the flowers were full and bright yellow, but the color of this one caught my attention,” she says. “It was just starting to fully open up, and it was so beautiful. It’s not every day you catch a flower opening up like that.”
Photography is a hobby Bustillo enjoys in her free time, when she’s not teaching Spanish at a preschool in Franklin or spending time with her husband in their home in Hermitage.
“I really like taking pictures, especially of landscapes and things in nature,” she says.
She and her mother are very close, and Bustillo knows her mom will be the most excited that she won.
“She will just love it,” she says. “My mom is my best friend, and this means so much more to me knowing it was a picture of her garden that won.”
Bustillo was in good company this year with more than 1,700 photos submitted. Winners were chosen in three categories – Agriculture is Life, Tennessee Gardens and The Animal Kingdom – by a team of judges at Journal Communications in Franklin, the publisher of this magazine.
Other photo contest slideshows: Agriculture Is Life Honorable Mentions – Animal Kingdom Honorable Mentions – Tennessee Gardens Honorable Mentions – Odd Couples – Photos That Made Us Smile
And keep those cameras out! You’ll find information and an entry form for the 2012 photo contest in our Spring issue.