Thankful for Our Veterans

Photo Session Giveaway


"Flag" by Jasper Johns 1954

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I recognize that our lives are all better because we live in a society with selfless humans that have given up so much for our collective safety. Sometimes that comes at the great cost to his or her life. Often it comes with a risk of injury. Always it comes with personal sacrifice of lifestyle and time with family and friends.

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Family Veteran Photograph:

This is one of my favorite family photos. This is of my Great Uncle John Simelbauer on his assignment during World War II. I never met him but the young man in the photo just speaks to me from his space.  His sister was my grandmother, Ann.

As children, they lived through the Great Depression and their oldest sister, Josephine, had to be sent to live with other family members because they couldn't afford to keep all of their children fed and cared for during that time.


I think of that childhood and think of his step to then serve his country as a young man.

Veterans we hold dear in our family histories carry these stories but Veterans of today also carry their own stories.

I'd like to offer a chance to share the family story of a Veteran in our area with the gift of a family photography session valued at over $440!

Photo Session Giveaway

Rules to Enter

1. Who is Eligible:

You may enter yourself or a loved one into this contest. Entries may be for active Military or former Military members of any branch. Children old enough to write an essay response are allowed to enter someone in their family as well. If you're entering someone other than yourself, please indicate who is writing the submission and who you are entering and give first and last names.

2. Topic:

Please write about how Military Service has affected the daily life, social life, and family life for the person being entered .

You can include hardships endured and relationships gained. You can include stories about how you've landed on a path of life you never expected because of Military service. You might explain how service freed you/them from a former life. You can describe the ways you have witnessed gratitude from society or ways that you've felt unseen for your/their service. You can tell about the physical tolls your service has taken on your/their body or the ways you've traveled the world during your service. The essay can follow your creative voice in this way.

3. Essay Length

Your essay can range from 500 to 1000 words.

4. Be Ready to Share:

The winning essay will be shared in a blog post along with featured photos from the photo session.

5. Scheduling:

The photo session can be scheduled after the winner is announced and needs to be completed before June 30 of 2021.

7. Photo Session Location:

The contestant winner can choose the location of the photo session but it needs to be in my radius of working (That's about 30 Minutes surrounding the Tipton, PA area in any direction.)

8. Value of Giveaway:

The value of the photo session of 60 Minutes is $167 plus tax. The value of the digital files that the winner will receive after the session is $250.00 plus tax.  Prints are available to order through my site after the session but that would be at the cost to the winner. Total value to the winner is $442.02.

9. How to Enter:

Write your essay paste it into the body of an email OR attach it as a PDF.

Send email entries to

10. Deadline for Submission:

December 11, 2020 by 11:59 PM

11. Winner Announcement:
December 21, 2020 as an edit on this post AND on Facebook Live on the Photographic Memories FB Page. You might want to follow the page and turn on notifications to get updates on this.

What am I about?

My business is Photographic Memories by Ann M. Bickel, LLC and is about providing art opportunities in the Altoona community as well as portraiture photography work. As a creative person, I like to dabble in other areas that allow me to bear witness to others' lives and explore what brings us all together. Though If you would like to follow along, you can check out my last blog article or join my newsletter!


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