Esther Perkins is proof that even a first try can pay off.
A nurse practitioner and photography major, Perkins entered her first photo competition, the “What Was, Can Be Again: A Photographic Look at the Historic Herring Hotel” photo contest, in September.
“I went ahead and did it with butterflies in my stomach,” Perkins said.
Her photo, “Pompeii of the Tascosa Room,” was one of 200 submissions and won honorable mention in the contest.
More than 50 photographers participated in the event over two September weekends.
“We had three hours to shoot,” Perkins said. “I entered photos of the basement. Not too many people did that.”
Her photo was one of the 55 chosen to be displayed in the ArtGecko Gallery exhibit at No. 35 Sunset Center at 3701 Plains Blvd.
David Corbin, owner of the gallery and a competition judge, said each photo was chosen based on the photographer’s use of the theme, composition and presentation.
Though she loves fashion and commercial photography, Perkins said she saw the beauty in the array of murals in the basement of the historic hotel.
Ghost images of horses caught her eye and prompted her attempt to capture the charm of the shapes on the grungy, cracked walls.
“I wanted to see the detail,” Perkins said.
“I wanted to show that they were old, but still beautiful. “
Perkins, a full-time worker and part-time student, said she considers herself different from other artists and wants others to know different is OK.
“Be encouraged. You have the ability and the knowledge,” she said. “If photography is something you enjoy, do it.”
The ArtGecko Gallery will show the exhibit through Dec. 6.