Capture the moment

How Caroline Barker '22, found her passion for photography by picking up the camera while traveling

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Picture yourself on a family vacation. It’s the moment when it’s time to take pictures. You look around and see your family’s camera sitting there. You never really thought about taking the pictures yourself, but once you pick up the camera, the options are endless for what you can do. For Barker, the passion for photography started at this moment when she decided to be the one taking the pictures.

Barker found her passion for photography in seventh grade. She has a lot of photography influences around her, such as her cousin, who is a photographer based in New York, as well as her grandpa who she considers one of her photography idols. Barker also says it all really started when she and her family started traveling, which is something she enjoys along with photography. Her favorite style of photography is portraits. This style of photography captures the personality of the person whose picture is being taken by using backdrops, effective lighting, and poses. “You can express a lot more than you think taking pictures especially of someone,” Barker said.

Barker’s family influences her passions in many ways. Her Aunt Emily always collected cameras and Barker has always been interested in the camera. Emily McDerrmott, who is Caroline’s aunt, says that she started her camera collection in college by accident. “I had a couple of my dad’s old cameras and a newer one. A friend in the photography department was selling his amazing twin lens reflex camera and all the filters he had for it… after that, I started looking for old, working cameras in antique stores.”  She also says that her aunt provides tips on “anything and everything related to photography.” Barker’s love for traveling started and has grown from her love of her family, as well.

She started traveling to visit family in Canada at a young age and her family is in all parts of the country such as Texas, Florida, and Washington, D.C. “It’s really special to me to see them, “Barker said. “I think I associate travel with my family.”

Barker’s favorite memory while traveling took place in the small fishing village of Portofino, Italy, which is located along the Italian Riviera coastline. She loved the quaint feeling of the village and the colorful homes that can be found there.

Barker’s favorite thing about traveling is how she can get away from where she’s comfortable being. “I like to get away from where I’m comfortable being. I’m comfortable in my school and neighborhood because I’ve lived here my whole life. But going somewhere where I don’t know the street names, or I don’t know the restaurants that are around, its fun to discover new things that your not comfortable with.”

As for photography, Barker has a hard time picking out photos when she’s doing a photo shoot. When she’s taking pictures of others, she often ends up giving them too many photos as a result of not being able to pick just some. As for her favorite photo, she says that she likes her most recent ones where she was able to play with lighting. One of Barker’s good friends, Misha Canin ’22 participates in photo shoots with Barker. She says that getting to do a photo shoot with one of her good friends helps to make it feel more relaxed. She also likes Barker’s style of photography for many reasons. ” I love how she is not afraid to try new things. She’s always looking for different ideas and concepts for photo shoots. You’ll come up with any idea and she’ll have a new thing she wants to try with it.”

For people just starting out in the world of photography, Barker has many good tips. She says to keep practicing and try to keep each shoot you do unique. “ I’ve learned that it’s the photographer’s job to make the scene interesting,” Barker said. 

“Before I went to France, I wouldn’t eat most cheeses, most pastas, or anything with tomatoes on it. But after I experienced another culture, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and experienced amazing things that I now love.” ”

— Caroline Barker '22

Barker has both recent goals and long term goals for her photography and travels. For her high school years, Barker would like to get involved with photography on the West Side Story staff.  That’s mostly why she decided to take journalism this year. She thinks it would be really cool to able to capture the school through photography. One of her long term goals would be to work with National Geographic because then she would be able to then do both of her passions as a job.  

Barker has been to many places and wants to continue traveling. For all the hesitant travelers out there, Barker has some good advice.

“Before I went to France, I wouldn’t eat most cheeses, most pastas, or anything with tomatoes on it. But after I experienced another culture, I stepped outside of my comfort zone and experienced amazing things that I now love.”

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