Anna Bell Young used last week’s snowstorm to complete a photography class assignment in sensational fashion. The Huntington High School sophomore snapped and edited a series of gorgeous photos of her seven year old neighbor. The images impressed the teenager’s teacher, who is a professional photographer herself.
Huntington High School sophomore Anna Bell Young.
“This project has to be my favorite project by far,” Ms. Young said. “The assignment was to go out in the snow and photograph what inspires you. The model is my neighbor, Katelynn Biancardo. She’s seven years old and in second grade at Jefferson Primary School, but if you asked her she would tell you she’s actually seven and three quarters. I love taking pictures of Katelynn. Every time I do, I take pictures while we are playing. Whether it’s during a snowball fight or a scavenger hunt, it’s never boring.”
Ms. Young takes her photography studies seriously and the proof of just how much she has learned comes in the series of three stunning photos she snapped of Ms. Biancardo.
“I really wanted to capture the excitement and joy kids get during the first snow,” Ms. Young said. “The excitement I felt when I was younger, putting a spoon under my pillow or wearing my pajamas inside out. At the beginning of the shoot, I was having trouble finding the correct shutter speed. I wanted to get photos of her as she was smiling or looking around. I had to raise my shutter speed without making the photos too dark. Overall, I love how these pictures came out. I can now safely say I made more snowmen with her that day than ever before!”
Ms. Young is one of Huntington High School’s prized young photographers. Teacher Pamela Piffard-Williams is quite pleased with the teenager’s growth as an artist; quite pleased, indeed.
“My dad is a great photographer,” Ms. Young said. “Ever since I was little, he was always taking pictures. Beautiful ones, I might add. When I was about seven years old my parents got me a little camera. I began taking pictures of everything, just like him. Over the course of this year, I found that I really like taking pictures of people. I like how I am able to capture an expression at an exact moment.”
One gets the sense that it won’t be long before Ms. Young is winning awards for her photography. She’s that good.
“While choosing my classes, I knew I wanted to take some sort of art class,” the sophomore said. “I thought photography would be a great way to learn more of the technical aspects of taking pictures while learning the best ways to use a camera. Mrs. Piffard-Williams gives us great assignments that allow the students to really express themselves creatively. I love taking the pictures along with editing and learning more about Adobe Photoshop. My dad was even kind enough to let me use his camera. It’s the Nikon D7000.”
A member of Huntington High School’s Key Club and Habitat For Humanity chapters, Ms. Young was recently inducted into both the English Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. She plans on once against playing on the Blue Devil varsity tennis team and also running on the high school varsity track team.
Ms. Young is interested in eventually finding her way to a city college, preferably in New York City. “I am fluent in Spanish and I am also learning French,” she said. “I hope to study more languages in college and hopefully use it in my career. I would also love to work with children.”
The teenager’s closest friends include Laura Curtin, Ella Kamenstein, Leah Sheran and McKenna Buffa. Ms. Young has also developed many wonderful relationships with her teachers.
“Señora [Elizabeth] Casazza is one teacher who has stood out to me,” Ms. Young said. “I had her last year for Spanish IV Honors and now this year for Spanish V Honors. She is an amazing teacher who really cares about her students. I love all the activities she plans for class. It makes learning a lot more fun. I’ve really loved being in her class these past two years.”
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and all the changes and challenges that have come with it, Ms. Young’s multiple talents are emerging more fully for all to see.
“With all things considered, I would say my experience at Huntington has been excellent,” Ms. Young said. “I have loved all my teachers and I love participating in the extracurriculars. I am very excited for the future.”