A Look Behind The Lens


Meghan Reilly, Staff Writer

When I first started taking pictures, I had no clue that it’d become such a habit. I thought I was only capturing people, places, and things I found pretty so that I could go back and look at them whenever I wanted.

But as I got older and began to see more of the world, I found pretty people, places, and things everywhere I went. I also became more observant of things going on around me, and found amazing pictures in places I wouldn’t traditionally expect.

My interest in photography first sparked in 2014 when I went on vacation to Montauk. In my opinion, summer is the best time of year to go out on photoshoots.

All the flowers are in bloom, it stays lighter out longer, and everything is gold. The beach can be visited without the risk of freezing, and the beach is unarguably one of the best places to take pictures.

In Montauk, I took pictures of everything I wanted to remember about the trip. The pictures ranged from the ocean to flowers and long stretches of road in the town. I was only 12 at the time, so the pictures are way too bright and a bit oversaturated, but I still love them. They help me see how much I’ve improved in the last four years.

After the trip to Montauk, I began to take pictures around Westhampton Beach. Most of my early pictures are of nature, particularly sunsets; and most of the pictures I have as of recent are of sunsets as well. Sunsets are my favorite thing to photograph, particularly when the sky turns pink. The ocean is a close second, and buildings and other places around a city are third.

I soon realized that whenever I took pictures of the sky, ocean, or whatever else I found pretty wherever I was, it was also so that I would remember what I was doing when I stumbled upon something that appealed to my eyes.  I also wanted to remember the people I was with. Even though they usually aren’t featured in the photos I take, I somewhat relive fragments of that day and remember the faces and voices of those people whenever I look back at them.

I’m the kind of person who loves to hold onto memories, both good and bad. They make me feel a certain way; a way I just can’t put into words. That’s why I take pictures. And while the pictures still don’t put my feelings into words, they can make it pretty clear as to how I was feeling when I took them. Bright colors and happy scenes indicate happiness, while photos of overcast skies or photos edited with a black and white filter usually connote the opposite.

My grandmother also loved photography, and she was the only other person in my family who possessed the skill. I hadn’t really known about this until after she passed away in May of 2016, and ever since then, every picture I have taken is in her honor. My grandmother and I were really close, and I knew that continuing to pursue photography could be a way that I can continue to feel close with her even though she isn’t here anymore.

In the future, I want to be able to travel the world and take pictures of things that I’ve never seen before. Some places I want to visit include Arizona, Australia, California, France, Greece, Hawaii, Indonesia, Italy, New Mexico, New Zealand, Nevada, Portugal, and Utah.

You don’t really need a professional camera to get into photography. I began with an iPhone 5, and with just a simple camera that almost everyone has in their back pocket I was able to capture some pretty amazing images. But after a while, I realized that if I wanted to keep improving and refining my skill, I had to get a real camera. So, for Christmas, I got a Nikon D3400; and now, I can really get started.