Tom Prussner’s Award-winning Photo

Tom Prussner catches a playful moment and a win in our annual photo contest.
This photo nabbed first place in the pets category of the 2012 Focus on Maple Grove photo contest. Check back next month for another winner, and start snapping away for this year’s contest, which runs August 1–31.

Retired from quality assurance at Delta Airlines, Tom Prussner wasn’t born a photographer. In fact, it wasn’t until a couple of years ago that he even invested in a camera. After buying a Sony A55, attending classes at National Camera Exchange and taking about 500 snapshots of his toy poodles, Prussler finally got the shot.

His two dogs, Buddy and Molly, are his favorite subjects. “They do everything together. They fight, they sleep, and they run like a team of horses,” says Prussner, “It’s a lot of fun to get action shots of them.” His photo, Please Play with Me, features his playful 16-month-old poodle, Molly, as she’s about to pounce on her playmate, Buddy, who is more of a guard dog. Prussler bought his pooches after his previous dog died in 2011. “One night I felt lonely, and the next thing you know we are driving to Iowa to get Buddy and Molly,” he says. He and his wife, Martha, brought home the 6-week-old puppies in early 2012.

Prussner swears his dogs sometimes know when he is taking pictures. “I have to be sneaky,” he says. In addition to photographing his dogs, he enjoys snapping pictures of creatures at his Maple Grove residence, where he often finds blue jays, cardinals and the occasional red-tailed hawk. “I’m still learning,” Prussner says of his photographic ventures. But with his digital camera, he says he can produce photos that exceed his expectations.