With the click of her camera at age eleven, senior Gwen Deitz took her first photo, falling in love with the art of photography and beginning her journey to strengthen her appreciation and ability for it each day.
Deitz, consistently placing in each arts show she competes in, has always received significant recognition for her work. Winning two gold keys and a silver key from the Scholastic Arts show, her talent is known and acknowledged on the national level. What many do not know, however, is why she began taking photos in the first place and exactly how meaningful the art form is to her.
Dietz started out using photography as a means of coping with her emotions. “I was bullied and had a bunch of anxiety,” she says. She expresses that taking pictures became a therapy for her conflicting feelings, helping her to express and channel her emotions into something more positive. “Photography helped me get out of that [mind state]. I don’t have anxiety anymore and I’m proud to be myself,” she adds.
Although her love for photography originally stemmed from being able to convey her own emotions, she loves being able to communicate ideas in general. She shares that having the opportunity to inspire others through her perception of the world, as well document the life around her, is a privilege she finds very special.
Deitz details how her favorite images to take are candid photos of things in their natural state. From landscapes to people, she expresses how taking a genuine image of the world as it is makes it that much more beautiful. “It’s not like I set it up,” she says. “I [captured] that moment.”
As for improving her photography, Deitz invests her time into researching various photography styles and forms, along with completing classes on Photoshop, to heighten her editing capabilities. She also has taken six photography classes throughout her years at Blake, completing AP photography with a 5 on her exam. Deitz is now fulfilling independent studies with photography teacher and personal mentor Melissa Matthews.
Deitz plans to pursue her love for photography as a career. She intends to attend an arts school and eventually travel the world to take photos. Her goal is to be able to document other cultures and share with everyone the people and places she sees. “I want to show people what else is out there,” she says. “I want to open up their minds [to the world].”