By Joslyn Keenan
Photos by Stephanie Paul
March 8, 2018
Lincoln Southwest High School students held a photography exhibition at The Bay for First Friday this month.
Four levels of photography classes are offered at Lincoln Southwest, including Photo I, II, III and IV. Students in Photo III had the spotlight Friday night showcasing juniors and seniors in the course. The class requires students to plan and prepare a showcase of their work through an exhibition and quality work that can be added to their portfolios. Evolving their personal style throughout the course is important while gaining knowledge on the sophisticated use of a variety of camera.
The atmosphere of the exhibition was warm and welcoming, and overflowing with students, parents and friends. Food and drink were offered and it felt casual, yet professional.
The space was aesthetically minimalistic and open. Photographs were scattered across large brick, grey and white walls showcasing each photographer’s individuality and talent. Artist statements were posted with each individual’s body of work, giving more insight to who the artist really is and why they chose the photos they did.
Ashlyn Franzen, a senior at Lincoln Southwest High School, showcased her photos displaying mainly portraits incorporating different colored lenses.
“I guess ever since I was little, I just loved taking pictures on my mom’s phone and everything. I started out taking pictures of my friends, just because it’s easier when you know them,” Frazen said. “It’s a lot more comfortable, and the pictures ended up turning out really good.”
She explained that although this was a project for a class, it’s a hobby she enjoys doing in her spare time. In her artist statement, she further explained why she chose the pictures she displayed, which included how color can change the mood of an image and why black and white photos are a classy go-to.
Carson Fischer, another senior at Southwest, sets herself apart in a different way. Many of the photographs in her showcase gave off a grunge, black-and-white feel incorporating architecture, which brought something refreshingly different to the table.
“I’m super into athletics, and I always wanted to experience the artsy side, so I started taking beginning photography classes at Southwest and I’ve just kept taking them and I really, really like it,” Fischer said.
She received a scholarship to play softball at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this upcoming year, but is interested in continuing her hobby of photography. She mentioned that she loves to photograph anything she sees, and that everything is art. In her artist statement she mentions, “a good friend of mine once told me that everything in life is art if you perceive it that way. Since then, I have chosen to live my life that way, and let my work reflect off the lens I want to see life through.”
Sam Munn is a senior who expresses herself through her love for capturing candid emotion and the colors and feelings of everyday life. She enjoys adding small details to her photographs and feels that gives them their vision. Many of the photographs on display were portraits, but also included intriguing photos of hands. In her artist statement, Munn explained hands are interesting to her and she enjoys photographing them to help frame images and tell a story. Munn also wants to go further than the classroom.
“I love portraits and taking pictures of people,” she said. “I like interacting with people more and it’s more fun to capture their emotions, especially candid ones. Usually they’re my friends, but I wanted to start moving into a business with my photography and try to branch out a little more this summer and see.”
Bradey Dowding, a junior and youngest in the class, focuses more on nature and its beauty. Photographs taken by Dowding included beautiful, colorful flowers, horses, and a variety of beach shots. Most of the photos shown were from a trip to Hawaii she had taken that she documented through pictures. In her artist statement, she explained her motivation behind taking pictures is presenting something that is visually appealing to the eye. She also expressed her increasing interest in travel photography.
“I started photography my freshman year, and I’ve done Photo II and Photo III this year. I like being outside and I feel like that’s a way I can express myself,” Dowding said. “I like landscape and nature and I have horses, so I love to take pictures of my horses. I take some pictures of people, but it’s mostly nature.”
Dowding also mentioned she would like to go farther with photography past class, but how is still yet to be decided.
There was a large variety of artistry showcased at the Lincoln Southwest High School Photography exhibit, which seems to foreshadow a promising future for Lincoln’s future in photography.
Joslyn Keenan and Stephanie Paul are interns with KZUM.