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Posted in Preston Education
Row 1: Katie Hanson, Katelyn Gatzke, Liberty Onsager, Bailey Soma, Brandon Hershberger, Elizabeth Gusa, Tara McGinley, and Helen DeLano. Row 2: Taylor Willford, Riana Smith, and Tatum Whalen. Row 3: Annalise Shupe, Nargiza Kanybek kyzy, Lindsey Weiss, Nacrissa Hughes, Sara Schultz, Theresa Doerr, Paige Bennett, Samantha Grabau, Gabrielle Shupe, and Lexie Dols. Row 4: Kendyl Bennett and Kenzie Broadwater. Row 5: Michaela Lund, Abby Gastfield, Skyelar Veiseth, Kaelyn Marzolf, Dorothy Jorgenson, Brandon Breitsprecher, Mitch Ristau, Mac Stone, Andy Coyle, Matt Guttormson, Kaitlynn Aug, Nicole Sebastian, and Kerri Dornink. Photo by Joni Mehus
“I wanted to get kids interested in photography,” said Mehus.
Right now there are at least 39 students signed up for the photography club, and they meet once a month. They can use whatever camera they want to use, and they are encouraged to participate in photography contests.
Nargiza Kanybek kyzy, a seventeen-year-old exchange student from Kyrgyzstan, is one of the students in the club, and she was interested in photography even before she came to the United States. She recently won 2nd place in the Accelerated Genetics Contest, and a $75 gift card, for a photo she took of cows and a little boy.
“I love taking pictures,” shared Kanybek kyzy. “I’m glad I’m in it because I think photography is very important. I can take pictures that are unique and say something to the people. It’s one of my hobbies.”
Kanybek kyzy noted that her country needs some really good photographers, but it’s a profession that is not very popular there. She would love to take pictures of her country for tourism or social media to promote the area.
“I like doing black and white, and dark photos,” she said, adding that she likes using different camera angles, as well as different colors and saturation.
Kanybek kyzy is living in Preston with her host family, Josh and Cheryl Krage.
Sadie LaBonne is in eighth grade at Fillmore Central, and she takes pictures with her cell phone. This is her first year in the Photography Club. She decided to join the club after taking a picture of her cat that turned out perfectly.
“I have always liked taking pictures of animals, and nature,” shared LaBonne. She has taken many photos of animals, farms, and sunsets, and has found her niche in those subjects.
In the Photography Club, Mehus encourages the students to enter contests, but never ones that cost money to enter. In the world of digital photography, it is much easier to find contests online and send photographs through email without ever having to print them out.
The only kind of editing the photos get is cropping, according to Mehus, as most contests prohibit and kind of extra work done with any photo editing programs.
Mehus loves photography, and prefers to take pictures using her Canon Rebel. She has helped out as the 4-H Photography Club leader as well as running the club at the school.
“We are working on improving our photography,” explained Mehus. “We talk about some of the rules, like horizon lines and lighting. But we also talk about when it’s okay to break the rules.”
The one rule of taking pictures in the club that cannot be broken is no taking pictures through a window or windshield.
Mehus said the ability of students to use their phone cameras has increased the membership of the Photography Club.
“The picture quality on some of the phones is getting really good,” said Mehus.
Mehus maintains displays of student photos in the hallways of the school, and rotates them on a regular basis. She recently sent more than 90 student pictures to the Post Bulletin, and they published several of them in their reader contribution section. The students were very excited to have their work published.
When Mehus first started the club, she received grant money from local banks and Tri-County Electric. She bought mats for photographs with the money, and it helped to get the club started.
Mehus plans to keep the club going as long as there are students interested, and she hopes they get some enjoyment out of it and continue to pursue photography in the future.
“We just like to have fun with it,” she said.