Focusing on the Bigger Picture

Emma Trueba, Staff Writer

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Photograph courtesy of Jessica Ark

Jessica Ark posing for a picture in a field of wild buttercups taken by her sister Sydney Ark.

Taking her Nikon with her wherever she goes, sophomore Jessica “Jess” Ark is always taking pictures. From planned photo shoots in Los Angeles with her friends to action shots for the Beckman yearbook, Ark is constantly capturing memorable moments on camera.

 

Coming from a long line of photographers, Ark was exposed to the art of photography at an early age. Following her father to photo-shoots opened up the gates of photography to Ark. With a professional photographer as her father and role model, Ark has a close connection to her family through photography.  “Anytime we do something, he always has a camera on him,” said Ark. “We come closer together as a family because he always wants us to do something cool.”

 

After receiving her first camera at the age of four, Ark constantly strived towards improving and honing her photography skills. Ark finally received her first professional camera the summer before 9th grade and she has been snapping photos nonstop since. Ark’s love of photography can be seen through the time and effort she invests in making her photos picture-perfect. When she is not at school editing photos, Ark spends time planning photo shoots with her best friends Alexis Ton and Nicole Ton.

 

As every photographer has their own personal style, Ark also has her own personal flare, which distinguishes her photos from all the rest.  Ark prefers aperture and blurry backgrounds with the subject of the picture clear. She emphasizes people as the focus of her pictures, muting the backgrounds in order to enhance the clarity of the person. She shies away from harsh lighting and specifically schedules pictures on cloudy days to achieve a neutral color palette. Her favorite time to shoot photos is around 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. because of the warm lighting it provides. While some photographers, including Ark’s father, shoot raw, unedited photographs, Ark prefers to edit her photos. To Ark, a picture captures something that is really important at the moment. When Ark is not taking photos or working on homework, she is editing her photographs to make sure they are of the highest quality. Ark takes pride in her photos, so she spends every spare moment making sure they are perfect.

 

Not only is Ark an exceptional photographer, she’s also an excellent student. Deeply involved in Yearbook, Ark is able to share her photography with fellow peers and do what she loves. “She is a hardworking student and is always full of energy,” said yearbook advisor Mr. Blair. Ark has been able to develop relationships with many new people and polish her photography skills  confidence in her photography. Ark’s passion motivates her to  excel in her school work and pushes her to get homework done promptly. “I have to finish this if I really want to go to this photo shoot. It makes me want to get work done if I want to have fun.”

 

Despite her love of photography, Ark’s dream is to become a pediatrician. Her inspiration was her grandfather, who was a general surgeon before retiring. Ark specifically aims to be a pediatrician due to her love of working with kids. Ark volunteers and works with with the special-ed students during their PE class. Helping them with activities, such as tossing a ball or running alongside the students, she encourages them to grow and keep on going. Ark is also involved in the Relay for Life Club at Beckman, which is an organization that raises money for cancer patients. Through Ark’s involvement with the Relay for Life club and the special-ed students on campus, Ark is well on her way to becoming a pediatrician.

 

After high school, Ark plans on attending  the University of California, Irvine in order to achieve her dream of becoming a pediatrician. However, she will continue to take photographs whenever she feels the need to capture a moment.  Ark’s passion for photography and dream to help kids through the practice of medicine will carry her beyond high school, where she will remain a force to be reckoned with.

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