"I told her to jump out of the car and take a picture of the Water Tower, then take a picture of the [Arricale] field," Baker said. "I just wanted to use up the film and get the pictures developed. It was a fluke that the picture turned out so good."
Young Samantha's snapshot of Arricale Field was so impressive that Baker decided to enter the picture in the Weehawken Recreation Amateur Photo Contest. After all, Samantha had taken home second place in last year's contest, so she had some successful experience with photography.
Entrants are required to take a picture of some location in the township, so Arricale Field definitely falls under that category. It was a perfect fit. A quick-thinking snapshot of a picturesque baseball diamond. Perfect for a summer photo contest.
Sure enough, as luck would have it, Olsen's photo was good enough to snare first place in this year's contest. And that made the young lens wizard a very happy young lady.
"I like taking pictures," Olsen said. "I wanted to win this year. I'm glad that I did."
Baker is particularly proud of her daughter's accomplishments, because she is a special education student. "I think it's terrific and it's wonderful for children like Samantha who don't get a chance to be athletic," Baker said. "It gives them something else to try to win. Samantha likes taking pictures and I thought she took a lot of good pictures. She tried her best and it was this picture that won. It really was amazing."
Baker said that Samantha has competed in the New Jersey Special Olympics, where she has won two gold medals for bowling in the past. She also received a special commendation last year for having perfect attendance at Roosevelt School.
But the photo awards - the trophy and certificate - top the list.
"I'm very proud and very happy," Baker said. "A contest like this gives everybody a chance to win something, no matter who you are or what you can do. Samantha really surprised me with this one."
Samantha was surprised herself.
"I didn't think I'd win," Olsen said. "I wanted to win, but I didn't think I'd win."
Baker was asked if winning might mean a future in photography for her daughter.
"You never know," Baker said. "Maybe if she took some lessons and had some good equipment. After all, she took the winning picture with a throwaway camera. Who knows what she could do with a real one?"
Second place in the contest went to seven-year-old Lori Reeves.
The prize-winning photos were on display at the Weehawken Free Public Library all week after the contest.