Behind The Lens

Whether they first picked up a camera at a young age or developed this hobby amid the pandemic, Oyster River has many talented photographers. Every couple of weeks, I’ll see new student photography accounts while scrolling through social media. Specifically, Instagram has become a platform for many ORHS photographers to showcase their work. These Instagram accounts were active especially throughout the pandemic and filled my feed with a variety of nature photos, candids, portraits, and more. Through every photo, I could see that each photographer had different strengths and interests, but they all had the ability to capture every moment beautifully. For some photographers, the pandemic has actually given them more opportunities to do photography and impacted their lives greatly. For others, photography shaped their life at a younger age. Either way, the continued effort of Oyster River’s student photographers should be recognized, so continue reading for insight on how some student photographers began their journey and their advice for other aspiring photographers. 

Madelyn Marthouse:

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Madelyn Marthouse’s (‘23) love for photography started in her late middle school years. She said, “my mom had always been super into taking pictures of everything, and I started noticing it and appreciating it more around 7th grade.” Since then, Marthouse followed her mother’s footsteps and took photos of things she loved such as her friends, family, and nature. 

Marthouse explained another reason she enjoys photography is because, “it made me feel more connected to what was around me…for example I’ve found my raging love for pictures of the ocean, sky, and moon- having all those moments caught on camera felt rewarding.” 

The pandemic has obviously had a huge impact on everyone. For Marthouse, it has had a positive impact on her photography. “During these hard times [COVID], I still had the opportunity to be at most school sporting events, which has been a gift. Photography has impacted me in the sense that it has provided these opportunities for me,” Marthouse continued. Marthouse’s connection to things and people she photographs has also allowed her to create meaningful bonds with sports teams and players. Sports photography is Marthouse’s favorite type of photography, she said, “it’s a challenge to get the action shots everyone wants…but I’m all for it, I love the rush of excitement I get when I take sports photos.” 

     However, Marthouse doesn’t limit herself to just sports photography. “I love many different types [of photography] for so many reasons…nature photography for the beauty, portrait photography for the connection I get to have with the person I’m taking pictures of…there’s so many.” Marthouse encourages others to start photography. She said, “it’s something you can completely make your own. There’s no limits, so make it however you want.”

Madla Walsh:

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Madla Walsh (‘21) explained that she’s always been interested in photography. “As a kid, I think I’ve always liked photography but more in the sense that I had this tiny little film camera and a crappy camera. I’d always also take my mom’s phone and take pictures.” However, Walsh’s interest peaked during her sophomore year of highschool and she eventually created an instagram dedicated to her photography. “I had all these pictures that I liked and I was proud of and I thought it would be cool to have a spot just for my photos.” 

     Walsh continued this hobby and she explained that it’s impacted her life. “Having one hobby that makes me happy [has impacted my life] and especially since it’s photography, it motivates me to go outside and take pictures and taking pictures with people is a fun thing to do.” Walsh continued, “[photography] also gives me the ability to stretch outside of what other people might see, like take my own perspective and view and show it to other people beyond just words.” 

     As for Walsh’s favorite type of photography, she’s mostly done digital photography. However, she said, “I got a film camera and since then I’ve been really into film photography.” 

     She continued to give her advice for those who wish to begin photography.  “Aside from the cost of a camera, but you could always use your phone, it’s pretty cheap to do…just go outside with some friends and challenge the way you see the world and look for things you probably wouldn’t look for and photograph it.”

Johannah Deziel:

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 Johannah Deziel (‘22) grew up reading National Geographic and she explained how the magazine prompted her love for photography. “I’ve always loved looking at the photos in it…and when I was like six, I’d always be stealing my parent’s camera but eventually I did get my own and I took portraits of my stuffed animals. I’d pretend it was picture day.” 

     Growing up, Deziel explained the impact of photography on her life. “The [pictures] I’ve taken haven’t [impacted my life] as much but looking at National Geographic I liked how you could get insight into other people’s lives around the world…they showed me how everyone is kind of the same but everyone lives [their life] differently.” 

     As Deziel continued her photography journey, she discovered what aspects of it she enjoyed the most. She said, “my favorite type of photography would be candid portraits because I just like capturing moments and people’s emotions…I think street photography is also super cool just because it’s interesting to document people’s mundane and everyday life things without the edited aspect to it.” 

     Deziel believes photography will play a large role in her life even when she’s older. She said, “I really do want to travel, see the way other people live and capture it. I also want to continue making people feel confident which is something I like to do with my portraits.” 

     She continued explaining why others should start taking photos.” Probably to just document your life and look back on it…it doesn’t have to be serious, you can always just use your Iphone or buy a disposable one.”

Mary Jeong:


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 Mary Jeong (‘23) explained that her passion for photography began as soon as she picked up a camera. “My first camera was my parent’s old Canon Point-and-Shoot, which I experimented with for a photography camp in fourth grade and used all throughout middle school.” Jeong started off by simply taking photos of her sisters and nature. 

     Two years ago, when she became more skilled in the art of photography, she invested in a nicer camera. “I enjoyed exploring and learning about all the different functions of my camera and lens,” Jeong said. With this new camera, Jeong discovered her love for portrait photography. She said, “I love being able to capture each individual’s uniqueness through a lens and having the ability to make one feel beautiful. It brings me so much joy to see my subjects see themselves from a new perspective when they look at the portraits I take.” 

     Jeong continued explaining other aspects of photography she enjoys. “Besides actually taking the photos, my favorite part about photography is the editing. I have always loved editing, whether it’s for photos or for videos. I find it so therapeutic and satisfying, and I truly believe that the editing is what makes a photo stand out and look really nice.” 

     Jeong is planning on continuing photography in the future but simply as a hobby. In the near future, she said, “I plan on offering senior portraits for the upcoming class of 2022.” 

     For anyone else interested in starting photography, Jeong gives her advice, “you just need a camera or a phone and something to shoot…I would just say to go for it and have fun.”