Taking photos was not something that I did regularly until later in high school, but it came very naturally. And while I didn’t think it was a strong suit, it naturally crossed over very well for me. Details like color and editing are often overlooked in broadcast, and they are some of my favorite things to show in my photos.
MASKS MAKE ME FEEL...
Coronavirus fatigue hit my high school after the winter break so I wanted to hear exactly why students were tired of wearing the masks. Although it doesn't provide students with a reminder to pull their masks up or wear their masks properly, it still allowed for the students and staff to share how they feel. I went around the campus with disposable masks and a sharpie asking them to complete the sentence Masks Make Me Feel ________. Some students used somber words to describe how they make them feel while others shared that masks make them feel safe. This project is featured in the Blue Hawk Yearbook.
There are currently only two yearbook staffers at my high school because the program has not grown yet. My adviser is also the adviser of the Blue Hawk Yearbook, so when she asked us to step up and help her with the book, I was so excited to expand my skills. The photos below are from an event called Meet the Blue Hawks where the student groups and athletes are introduced to the community. The theme of the book is "Feeling Blue," so I try to capture as much blue in my photos as I can.
The Rockettes drill team members sit on the gymnasium floor as they wait to perform for the community at the Meet the Blue Hawks event. “I wanted to create an event that celebrates the spring athletes because they are often overlooked," Principal Dustin Toth said.
The newly named varsity cheerleading coach, Brittany Shaver, watches the team for the first time since the former coach stepped down. Shaver now leads the Rockettes drill team and the varsity cheerleading squad. "I want them to know that I will be there for them no matter what," Shaver said.
Darby Atwater dances for the community during the “Meet the Blue Hawks” event to showcase the spring sporting events. Atwater is one of the lieutenants of the drill team.
Chants and cheers can be heard in the Rock Hill arena as junior Abby Roberts showcases the routine that earned them 19th place in Texas during the 2021 UIL cheerleading competition.
Although I didn't play many sports as a child, being a photographer at sporting events made me grow a large amount of respect for the athletes who train and perform in their sports. The photos below are from several swim meets and basketball games.
Grant Jessen (#11), junior power forward, jumps for the ball at the beginning of the varsity basketball game against The Colony High School. The Rock Hill Blue Hawks earn possession of the ball from the jump.
Standing at 7’ tall, center Connor Kern (#4) towers above Tay Mosher (#5) of The Colony High School as the two watch to see if the ball Kern shot goes in the basket.
Jaythan Jackson (#3), senior power forward, guards the basket against Jahyden Davis (#0) center court in the Colony Cougars vs. Rock Hill Blue Hawks matchup on January 30, 2021. Coming into the game, the Blue Hawks ranked 42 in Texas Division 5A, and the Cougars ranked 71 in the same division.
Scoring the game-winning shot, point guard Grant Shaw (#0) runs to the basket. Shaw’s point made the final score 57-56, with the Blue Hawks beating The Colony. During this game, Eli Williams (#1) of the Colony was coached by Colby Davis. Davis posted on social media, “You never know when your number may be called.” Davis is the girls' varsity basketball coach and stepped in after the two varsity boys coaches were quarantined because of COVID-19. She traveled with the boys to Rock Hill High School for the game, where they fell short to the Blue Hawks.
Freshman Leago Magosi swims in the 100 yard freestyle with his teammates competing against him in the other lanes. Magosi is finishing out his first season as a competitive swimmer.
With her clipboard in one hand and stopwatch in the other, head swim and dive coach Kimmy Phillips cheers on her swimmers as they compete in a meet against the cross-town rivals, Prosper High School. “We have a team that wants to be there at 6:30 in the morning and wants to turn an individual sport into a team sport, and I think that is very special,” Phillips said.
Sophomore Julian Pala takes his final breath of the 100 yard breaststroke. Pala’s competing in a meet against his former team, Prosper High School.
Junior Shawna Calvia puts her cap on before her diving event at the Prosper ISD natatorium. Calvia is diving next to her former team, the Prosper Eagles, at the meet. “It’s great to see them [the Eagles] again, but of course, I want to beat them,” Calvia said.
There is always something going on in the halls of Rock Hill High School and I find great joy in scouting out the activities that academic and CTE classes participate in.
Agricultural Mechanics students put on their boots and helmets to practice welding metal.
Jalia Moore and Blaine Daniels discuss the recipe that they will create for the teachers as a part of their meal delivery services. The two senior students in the culinary arts program helped create a service that allows teachers to order meals from the program and deliver them to their classroom during their lunch period.
Engineering and robotics students weld a piece of a door frame that will be used to create a solar-powered vehicle. The car they are building will be the second they have developed after their first one won first place for solar-powered vehicles. The original vehicle held one person while the new one is slated to carry four passengers.
Jalia Moore slices celery that will be used in her recipe. “I love everything about it, and it came pretty naturally for me at an early age,” Moore said when asked about her interest in cooking. “I like to make the plate look presentable adding embellishments, and I hope to study culinary arts in college to become a chef.”
Dustin Toth shakes the hand of senior Jaythan Jackson after he was inducted into the National Honor Society. Students must hold a 3.0 GPA and earn 10 hours of community service to maintain membership in the society.
Julia John, sophomore, poses for a photo with Dustin Toth before saying her pledge to be inducted into the National Honor Society. As John walked across the stage to accept her certificate, family members cheered her on, yelling her name.
If it isn't already apparent from my other stories about animals, I have a large place in my heart for all of the creatures. Animals are one of my favorite things to photograph because of the vibrant colors and textures that many of them carry. The photos below feature animals from a local animal sanctuary called Cathy's Critters.
“Red” the parrot greets visitors of Cathy’s Critters in Princeton, TX. The parrot was rescused from a family who could no longer take care of it, so now it spends its day speaking to the guests of Cathy’s Critters. Parrots are a species known to mock the words of humans and repeat them back.
Piglets born just three weeks ago roam their pen at Cathy’s Critters. The piglets are secluded from the public to have some time to grow up before they are put in the barnyard section of the farm.
Baby goats teach students humane education at Cathy’s Critters. Rascal lives in the barnyard section of the farm and spends his time eating hay.
An alpaca poses for a photo at Cathy’s Critters. The farm was established to educate visitors on various animals and how to care for them properly. Local schools can take field trips to the farm for interactive animal presentations.