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Photos, music, flowers make for winning combination

By Becky Cooper
May 8, 2012 at 12:08 a.m.
Updated May 10, 2012 at 12:10 a.m.

Kristina Nicole Rybak, first place winner of the DeTar Healthcare System and the Victoria Advocate's annual Adorable Baby Amateur Photography contest.

At 14 months old, Kristina Nicole Rybak is a seasoned performer.

She has been around her dad's accordion music enough that she is picking it up and knows how to push the buttons and squeeze the accordion.

She even has her own.

Kristina is the daughter of well-known accordion star Chris Rybak and Edita Rybak, of Hallettsville.

The photo of her in the family's backyard with her accordion won the DeTar Healthcare System and the Victoria Advocate's annual Adorable Baby Amateur Photography contest.

This year's contest had 71 entries.

"The DeTar Healthcare System and the Victoria Advocate have co-sponsored the Adorable Baby Contest for more than 25 years now, and each year the photos are more and more impressive. It's clear that the parents put a great deal of thought into them," said Judith Barefield, director of marketing for DeTar Healthcare System.

Kristina's mother, who photographed her using a Sony AG5 digital semi-professional camera, said Kristina knows how to pose and smile when she sees the camera.

"She is very photogenic. She gets excited for her photo to be taken," Edita said.

Also, she is very social.

"She sees thousands of people every week and no one is a stranger," said her mother, as she took a break from an accordion workshop in Pasadena.

Last October, the family was at the Czechfest in San Antonio when Kristina reached over and started playing her dad's accordion. Her photo ended up in the San Antonio Express News and the Houston Chronicle.

The accordion is not the only family tradition she is learning. Her mother is from Slovakia. So in addition to English, they are also teaching her to speak Czech and Slovak.

Flower power

Elsie Paisley Olson loves flowers and to get her photo taken.

The budding gardener loves to smell and look at them.

Her papa, Mike Olson, captured this photo of Elsie right after she brought him a flower to smell.

"I can't believe he got her to stand still. She had just put the flower down after he smelled it and he took the photo," said her mother, Cassidy Olson, of Victoria.

The photo was taken at Papa and Nana's (Mike and Cheryl Olson) home in rural Victoria County.

She also likes to watch the fish and ducks at Papa's pond.

The judges were taken by how her eyes drew them into the photo. Her mother said that while Elsie looks like her father, Drew Olson, she has her mother's eyes, which are a dark bluish green.

Young Elsie will welcome a new sister in September.

Young climber

Ashton Robert Kirk is another ham. He loves to have his photo taken.

Ashton, the son of Kyle and Courtney Russell Kirk, of Goliad, also loves to eat and climb, his mother said.

This photo of him dressed complete with his golf cap was taken with a digital camera outside his family's home by his grandmother Veronica Woods, also of Goliad. He was 9 months old in this photo.

His mother said he is a happy baby.



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