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Entries #25-#31 for Wancket Studios Free Portrait Session Competition


To celebrate 25 years in business, Audrey Wancket, of Spring Grove based Wancket Studios, one of the top photography studios in the country, is holding a competition to give away 25 photo sessions valued at $720 each – one session for each year that Wancket has been in business.

Entrants are asked to write a short piece describing their Dream Portrait. Below, as submitted, are entries #25 through #31:

I read about your 25th anniversary contest in Patch. I couldn't see on Facebook where to send you a private message, so I hope that sending an email is okay. Congratulations on your 25th anniversary. Your photographs are absolutely breathtaking and are a beautiful way to capture a moment in time.

My dream photograph would be of me and my 3 children. The last 5 years have been particularly difficult for my family and today I'm happy to say that we are through the worst of it and are stronger for it. We are a tight knit family and I couldn't be more proud of my children, the strength that they have shown, and the people that they have become. We haven't had a family portrait done of the 4 of us since our world turned upside down but I think now is the time because the smiles I see in their eyes now everyday is just what I'd love to see captured.

My husband and I met when we were 16 years old. We fell in love and married as soon as we both reached legal age. We just celebrated our 11th year of marriage. For the first 8 years we tried to have children of our own, with no success. By then we've given up on the idea of becoming parents. So, we decided to foster and hopefully adopt. 3 years ago we took in a 6 year old boy. Only a couple of months went by after he moved in with us when I found out that I was pregnant!!! The boy moved on to another home after 6 months as we were unfortunately not qualified to meet his psychological needs.
2 and 1/2 years ago I got to give birth to a beautiful and healthy baby girl. We named her Daisy. We are really enjoying parenthood. Because it took so much time to conceive, we were grateful for our little girl and didn't expect to have any more children. Much to our surprise, I got pregnant again! 4 weeks ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. We named him Myles. We consider ourselves truly blessed. We're honored to be trusted with one of the most rewarding jobs there are, parenthood.
I believe children are God's majestic works of art. We are so fortunate to have 2 of God's masterpieces.
I can't think of a better way to capture and display our story than with a beautiful piece of art made by the very talented Audrey Wancket.
Thank you for taking the time to listen to our story and consider us as a contestant in your contest.

Dear Audrey,
Congratulations on your 25 years of Amazing work…Your portraits are Breathtaking. You can truly tell you Love what you’re doing.
I would Love to enter my parents for one of your portraits. My parents have been married for 50 years this November. They have never had one done. Only cheap digital pictures of them have been taken. Nothing like you can do. We are having a party for them in October. Going through pictures of them for the party, we realized, there is only one picture of them that exists of there wedding day and my mom has her back to the camera. Her and my dad were dancing. They didn't have a lot of money at the time and their wedding was small and sweet. But no money for a good photographer. My dad Loves horses, he has two and my mom has a donkey. With the economy the way it is we can only afford to have their party at my brothers farm. My mom loves to dress up and my dad loves smelling like the barn. They are the "Green Acres type" mince Arnold. I know they would Love to have a portrait done by you for a Great 50 years together and always remember it by looking at your Amazing Work of Art hanging on their wall.
Thank you so much for the opportunity for the chance of entering this contest. What a kind and generous offer of your precious time and hard work. God Bless You…..

# 28
I am writing in for a wonderful couple that I have the privilege of calling friends. 
I got to know this couple and their family when his mother backed over my mailbox! We had just moved in and she felt horrible, but I thought it was funny. We became fast friends. Two years ago the mother had a stroke and she was unable to attend her son’s wedding. Not long after the wedding the mother passed away and my friends’ had to postpone their honeymoon. Fast-forward to July of this year, my friends are expecting their first child, a son. Everything seems to be going very well, mommy and baby healthy and things seem to be proceeding as planned. They then discover that the baby has no heartbeat, so they rush mommy for a C-section and the baby is brought into this world with no heartbeat. They work frantically to bring the baby back to life. Mommy and daddy not knowing what is going on and everything running in slow motion for them both. They do revive the baby, but are told that he was without oxygen for twenty minutes and that they should say their goodbyes to him. Their priest administers his last rights, mom, dad, grandma, grandpas, aunts, uncles, all gather in prayer, as the little baby is being kept alive by a respirator. The next day the baby is taken off the respirator, and he begins to breath on his own! Everyone is amazed. Word gets out and friends and family all over the country begin to pray for this little man who is fighting so hard for his life. He also has an angel, his grandma, who we know was up there making sure the baby would get a chance at life. Slowly, the baby gets stronger; he starts to recognize hi parents and reacts to their voices and touch, which is a miracle given how long he was without oxygen. He starts to move his arms and legs, he cries when he is hungry, and he acts like any other baby! A month after he was born, they do an MRI on his brain to see what sort of damage was done. The prayers keep coming, grandma is up there looking over him, and his MRI comes back totally normal! A true miracle. The baby came home not long after the MRI and his next hurdle will be getting off the feeding tube he is on. He is just a miracle in every sense of the word. This wonderful young family has been through so much in the past three years, what could be better than a free family portrait from Wancket Studios!

I have just finished reading all of your entries and I have to say, I shed a few tears. There are so many awesome stories that are truly deserving of your portrait. I have mulled this over and of all the stories I could share I have decided to share a story about a dear friend. My friend was diagnosed with breast cancer just about 1 year ago. As you know this is something that hits very close to home for me and our family. My friend has a great heart and never once complained about her daily radiation treatments, the pills, the future risk or anything else. She continued to work never missing a day. She and her husband have two adult children and their daughter is getting married next year. She has taken in her mother to live with her and her husband when she could no longer live by herself. She cares deeply for her brother's two children that are trying to deal with a tough family situation by taking them places and doing fun things with them so they can experience the "good" side of life too. My friend and her husband work hard and like a lot of people today, don't have any extra money for such a great gift. She is very deserving of a family portrait done by you. It would be something she and her family could treasure forever.
As a side note, my niece still tears up whenever she talks about her portrait and the wonderful pictures you took of her, her son and Kato the dog:)

Congratulations on 25 years and here's wishing you 25 more. You are truly a great photographer but much more importantly, you are a great person.


It’s Chaotic
Some of my favorite pictures are the chaotic, group family pictures. You know the ones; the ones where no one is looking at the camera except for crazy Uncle Louie with the crossed eyes. Then there’s the wedding photo where everyone is all sweaty, disheveled and it’s evident that Auntie Donna drank too much. Don’t forget the traditional weekly family dinner photo. This photo shows Grandpa Cesar at one end of the table and Grandma Theresa at the other. Son #1 and his family crammed on one side of the table and Son #2 and his family on the other side with all the children in-between wearing bibs, aprons and napkins around them. This has 12 individuals sitting at a table for 8. Once again, you’ll only see only a couple individuals looking at the camera wearing sinister smiles. Oh, and then there are the group cousin photos. These are the best. Everyone is actually looking at the camera however, only half have their eyes open! And no one seems to remember the poor individual who’s always hidden behind someone in the photo.
It’s this family photo that I’d love to have professionally done with my family. A chaotic, “caught in time” piece that can be cherished and reminisced over for years!

I dream of a family portrait that portrays our love for each other, our strength and our resilience. After our very first experience with Wancket Studios, we knew that we would eventually get a family portrait done. About a year later, our lives changed. Our son was diagnosed with Autism and the joyful boy we once knew slipped away from us. Eye contact disappeared as did his infectious giggle. After many years of therapy and many more tears, he is coming back to us. Our younger son is very protective of his older brother and he seems to have grown up far too quickly. He has this urgency to take care of his brother and to be his protector. I wish I had a portrait that shows this love…our love for each other, no matter what life throws at us. I have few pictures of us as a family and fewer of the boys together. I dream of a portrait that is free of worries and can capture my oldest son’s spirit while capturing my youngest son’s little boy charms. This is my dream portrait.

There is still time to enter the competition. For more information, visit:

To learn more about Wancket Studios, visit or call 847-587-3350.

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