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SWR student wins awards for black-and-white photography

Amanda de Lauzon takes a picture of flowers. She's had several still images featured on Jones Soda bottles. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

Sixteen-year-old Amanda de Lauzon prefers taking her camera out in the rain. She also favors black-and-white photography.

While she’s just entering her senior year at Shoreham-Wading River High School, Amanda’s work has already been deemed professional and was even selected to appear on Jones Soda bottles.

And now she can add “award-winning photographer” to her résumé.

Amanda’s black-and-white still life photo of a ballerina’ slippers, entitled “On Pointe,” won best in show at the Long Island Media Show at Five Towns College in May. Last month, she earned the first honorable mention award in the student category of the Gurwin Photo Contest.

Amanda said her intention was to show the less glamorous side of ballet.

“I danced for 12 years and I think people think of ballet as so beautiful, which it is, but it’s really hard,” she said. “I wanted to show there’s bruises on her legs, which shows how hard it actually is.”

Amanda's photo, On Pointe.
“On Pointe.”

Amanda, who has been interested in photography since she enrolled in an introductory class two years ago, takes photos of everything ranging from still life to landscapes, though she said her main focus is portraits.

“I like to be different,” she said. “The [portraits] I take are sort of weird and eerie.”

In order to get the desired feel, Amanda waits for a rainy day since very sunny days can ruin the lighting. Then she has to recruit friends to pose for pictures.

“They love doing it,” she said. “They’ll actually ask me to do it.”

Dennine Cook, a spokesperson for the Gurwin Jewish Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Commack, said professional photographers judge contest submissions for composition, clarity, photo matter and appropriateness for the nursing home, which is where each winner’s work is displayed. There were over 700 submissions this year, she said.

Winning both the Guriwn Photo Contest and the Long Island Media Show was especially important to Amanda because it was something she had strived toward for over a year.

After seeing last year’s winning entries, Amanda said she decided to make her photographs more creative and different.

“I love black-and-white,” she said. “I feel like it makes everything pop more.”

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Photo caption: (Top) Amanda de Lauzon is an award-winning photographer from Wading River. (Credit: Nicole Smith)