Seffner Christian Academy
Although Seffner doesn’t offer formal photography classes, Steven, who is a senior at the school, added to his self-taught skills by joining the school’s photo club, which his father, Joe, instructs. “But what got me started in photography,” Steven says, “was the photography merit badge in Boy Scouts, which my dad also teaches.”
Steven’s been on the school’s yearbook staff for two years as a photographer and editor, and he’s won several first prizes in the Florida State Fair youth photography competition.
The documentary style and strong compositions that mark his black-and-white, toned, and muted-color photos attracted our attention. Steven says he’s definitely drawn to the carefully arranged, carefully thought-out image. “When I was first getting into photography…I saw the work of Ansel Adams, and he did a very good job of making sure that everything in his pictures was exactly the way he wanted it. I always thought that’s the kind of thing I want to try to imitate.
Two things were evident from our first look at Tyler’s photos: he’s got talent, and he’s got access. “My family is always outdoors,” he says. “We have a camper, and we go all around Florida.” Couple that with picking up a camera when he was 11 and you get an archive of images that includes “just about every species of animal native to Florida.” Tyler sells prints of his images at art shows and through his website, and he’s received several awards for his work.
Chloe Margulis, who graduated in June, took film photography in her sophomore year, learning to develop and print her images, then moved on to digital in two years of AP courses. “I chose film photography because you don’t get that kind of opportunity too often,” she says. Her introduction to photography came from her father and his cameras, with school contributing experience and the opportunity for further exploration.
To photograph the wild horses of the Outer Banks of North Carolina you have to deal with the fact that they are indeed wild and thus not particularly welcoming of a photographer’s attention. But first you have to deal with the Outer Banks, a 200-mile stretch of barrier islands off the coast of North Carolina. “It’s important to have an awareness of time, tide, and weather,” Lisa Cueman says of the location. “You can get into your photography, but not so much that you lose a sense of your surroundings.”