UNION — The “Most Beautiful Issue 2013” of “Supermodels Unlimited” includes three photos taken by a Union woman whose interest in photography began with a photo taken by her cousin.
“I saw a picture that my cousin Scott Hartley took years ago of an old store,” Audrey Robinson said. “Something about that picture made me want to start taking pictures.”
While the picture taken by her cousin inspired her interest in photography, Robinson said it was her friends who over the years encouraged her to seriously pursue that interest.
“I’m not a professional photographer at all,” Robinson said. “I started taking pictures of my children and putting them on Facebook. My friend Stacy Eaves convinced me to do her wedding from Folly Beach and it started from there.”
Robinson said that over the years she has continued to be encouraged by Eaves and other friends including Amy Queen, Jessica Turner, Sonya Eaves, Richard Harker, Pat and Debbie Littlejohn, Everett Leigh, Meagan Gregory, Don Putnan and Melony Warner as well as her family. She said that while she has been taking pictures over the years, it was because of the encouragement of her family and friends that she began to seriously pursue photography five years ago.
Among those encouraging Robinson is Amanda Ferguson, a professional photographer whose work has been published in Supermodels Unlimited. The magazine’s website (supermodelsunlimited.com) describes it as “the leading publication for the pageant and modeling industries,” adding that it is “often referred to as the ‘Vogue’ for pageant contestants.”
Robinson said she’d taken some photos of aspiring models Carson Robinson, Tayor Hall, and Emily Spake which Ferguson, who she said works extensively for Supermodels Unlimited, saw and encouraged her to submit them to the magazine.
“Amanda Ferguson here in Union is their photographer,” Robinson said as she held a copy of the Most Beautiful Issue 2013 of Supermodels Unlimited which includes her photos. “The cover is actually hers. She’s got a bunch of pictures in here. She does most of their photography.
“She encouraged me to submit my pictures and she helped me choose the pictures I sent in,” she said. “I sent in three of each girl and the editor selected the ones he wanted.”
Robinson said this is the first time she has ever had any of her work published in a national publication. She added that the Most Beautiful Issue 2013 also features the work by another local photographer, Kim Eubanks.
“I’m very excited,” Robinson said about having her work published in the magazine. “If the opportunity arises I’d like to do more.”
While Supermodels Unlimited is the first national magazine her work has appeared in, Robinson said she has had some of her photos published in a Myrtle Beach publication.
“‘Visit Myrtle Beach’ has a contest where people submit pictures for the Timeline publication,” Robinson said. “I’ve submitted two and they’ve been chosen to be the Timeline cover.”
Robinson’s work is also on display though in a different medium at a Columbia restaurant.
“My friend Sonya Eaves, a professional artist, saw some of my landscape pictures on Facebook and she started painting them,” Robinson said. “We have them on display in Mr. Friendly’s, a restaurant in Columbia. She and I have also been approved for a booth at the Charleston Market in June.”
In addition to the models she’s photographed, Robinson has also taken photos of contestants in local pageants and online contests, three of whom won “Most Photogenic.” Robinson said Kaylie Eaves and Ashlynn Parker won Most Photogenic in their categories in the Lockhart Pageant while Abby Queen won Most Photogenic in an online contest. She said they submitted the photos she took of them in the Most Photogenic segment of their respective contests.
While she enjoys taking pictures of people, Robinson said landscapes are her favorite and she has taken a number of them over the years around Union County and beyond. Robinson said she takes her camera with her everywhere she goes and takes pictures of anything that catches her eye. She said she takes at least a picture a day.
“Landscapes are my favorite and I’ve taken photos of Buffalo, Foster Park, Myrtle Beach, King’s Mountain, and my backyard,” Robinson said. “My kids and I were at Riverfront Park in Columbia and I saw a spider web that caught my attention. It may be a dandelion, but I take a picture every day.”
One subject that often catches Robinson’s eye and inspires her is sunrise in Lockhart.
“I take my camera with me when I take my kids to school in Lockhart,” Robinson said. “The sunrise in the morning in Lockhart reminds of that song, ‘I Saw God Today,’ by George Strait.”
Robinson said that while she’s delighted her work was published by Supermodels Unlimited, her interest in photography is not about being paid to take pictures.
“I don’t claim to be a professional photographer, I just enjoy taking pictures,” Robinson said. “It’s just something I feel I need to do. Not to make money, but just something in me that I feel I need to do.”
The Most Beautiful Issue 2013 of Supermodels Unlimited went on sale April 19 in Target stores.
To see more of Audrey Robinson’s work, check out her Facebook site.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at email@example.com.