Summer in the City

Amanda Torres, Staff Writer

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Senior Maddie Hollamon knew she loved photography at the age of 12 years old when she received her first camera, a Nikon J1, for her birthday.

It was just a basic digital camera, but it opened her eyes to a whole different world; five years later, her love for the art continues to grow.

Maddie Hollamon enjoying her days off in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Maddie Hollamon

“I love being able to capture memories while also being able to create pieces of art that express the way I feel,” Hollamon stated. Hollamon’s passion for photography came directly from her parents, “they’re the ones who gave me the camera and said ‘Here, go do something.’” This passion led her to an excellent opportunity at Tisch School of the Arts in New York this past summer.

The Tisch Summer School Program is a four-week commitment held on the New York University campus. High school sophomores, juniors and seniors come from all over the United States to attend this program; Hollamon even had a roommate from Puerto Rico!

Hollamon had to complete a very tedious application process before being accepted; she had to submit a portfolio, a website that showcased her work, write multiple essays and obtain recommendation letters. She was a part of the Photography and Imaging program which specifically held 25 students.

There was a set schedule which consisted of waking up at 7 AM, eating breakfast, going to a class from 9 AM to 10 PM, with a break for lunch and dinner. The class would meet first thing on campus and get their photo assignment. Then, they would leave and go to the city.

“I was shooting during the day, learning all different techniques,” reminisced Hollamon. “I was all over the city.” After their dinner break, around 5PM, the students would return to the studio, edit their photos, and turn in any assignments that were due.

Hollamon’s first assigned project was shooting film which she had never done before. These were mostly self-portrait projects and shooting different things around New York – different people. There were also digital projects, such as another self portrait project and creating a story through photos about New York.

Hollamon’s favorite part of the program was all of the different friends she met. While she and her friends were in the city, there wasn’t a day where she did not see someone famous. One of her friends there was able to meet Jaden Smith, while another friend met Tyler, The Creator.

Hollamon pictured next to her artwork at their final exhibition (Photo courtesy of Hollamon)

Even with all of the fun Hollamon had meeting new people and new lifelong friends, she did take away valuable lessons, “I was able learn a lot about different aspects of photography that I didn’t know on my own, and being in such a collaborative community it was really easy to learn.”

With this program now completed, Hollamon can further her passion for photography. She earned a 4.0 GPA at Tisch, and with that she received six college credits in Digital Photography that she is now able to use anywhere she would like. Hollamon plans on using these credits at Parsons School of Design in New York.

After college, her dream is to become a Biomedical Engineer, as well as obtain a side job in photography. Regardless of what route Hollamon decides to take, she will always have a huge support group by her side consisting of her friends and family, and she will continue, “photographing people in their natural state, just doing what they like to do,” she said.

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Summer in the City