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Picture perfect images: Lakes Area Photography Show opens this weekend at Washington Square Mall

Some photo displays for the Lakes Area Photography Show were already up for visitors to view at the Washington Square Mall on Thursday. The fifth annual event continues through March 12. (Vicki Gerdes/Tribune)1 / 4
These photos, taken by event founder Lee Kensinger, are among those on display as part of the fifth annual Lakes Area Photography Show, which runs through March 12 at the Washington Square Mall. (Vicki Gerdes/Tribune)2 / 4
Bailey Yliniemi of Detroit Lakes is one of the younger photographers featured in the Lakes Area Photography Show, which opens this weekend at the Washington Square Mall and runs through Sunday, March 12. (Vicki Gerdes/Tribune)3 / 4
The fifth annual Lakes Area Photography Show opens this weekend at the Washington Square Mall in Detroit Lakes. Starting Monday and continuing through March 11, mall visitors can vote for their favorites, with the winners being announced at a photographer "meet and greet" on March 11. (Vicki Gerdes/Tribune)4 / 4

For a fifth straight year, the Lakes Area Photography Show will once again take over the main corridor of the Washington Square Mall for a three-week stay, starting today (Saturday, Feb. 25) and continuing through Sunday, March 12.

Participating photographers have each submitted up to five 8x10-inch prints of their best work for display, and starting this Monday, Feb. 27, mall visitors can vote for their favorites.

"We will be giving out mall gift cards to the top two (vote-getters) in both the adult and youth categories," says Washington Square Mall Manager Dawn Olson.

The photographers in this year's show have also been invited to take part in a "Meet the Photographers" event on Saturday, March 11, starting at 10 a.m. After the one-hour meet and greet, People's Choice award winners will be announced and the photographers will take part in a brief Q & A forum — so have your questions ready, says Olson.

Aspiring shutterbugs are also invited to a free presentation by professional photographer Roxanne Westman of Mapleton, N.D., on Saturday, March 4, starting at 10:30 a.m. inside the mall.

Westman is the owner of Roxie's Photography Store in Fargo, and her presentation will focus on how she got her start in photography, as well as how she turned it into a career.

"She not only takes beautiful photos, but she incorporates them into unique pieces of art," says Olson, adding that she has seen one example where Westman took an old piece of barn wood and used it to display one of her nature photos, while making the bottom part into a coat rack.

"She does some really cool things," Olson said. "She's very excited to be coming to speak in Detroit Lakes."

But of course, the main attraction is the photos, taken by area photographers of all ages and skill levels. The only criteria is that they must be appropriate for public viewing (no profanity, violence or nudity), and they must be submitted in both print and digital forms.

The digital images were then used to form a video promoting the event, which has been on display not only in the mall, but at sponsoring businesses in the two weeks leading up to the show's opening (all entries were due by Feb. 10).

The photography show was the brainchild of Detroit Lakes Area Photo Club founder Lee Kensinger, who started up a Facebook page for the group and began holding monthly meetings leading up to the first photo show, held Feb. 25-March 2, 2013. Both the show and the photo club have been going strong ever since.

All events associated with the show are free and open to the public. For more information about the Lakes Area Photography Show, please contact Dawn Olson at the Washington Square Mall, 218-847-1679 or

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 18-plus years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Detroit Lakes School Board. 

(218) 844-1454