By Ellie Seta
Senior Breana Whitaker is an artist; however, she is not your average painter or sculptor. Whitaker considers her photography to be a form of art. Whitaker, who has taken photography classes since her sophomore year, said she plans to pursue a photography major in college and has already been accepted into the School of Art Institute in Chicago, Ball State and Herron School of the Arts.
It was not until in 1940 when the Museum of Modern Art in New York City opened an exhibit for the purpose of photography, showing photography was officially accepted as an art form. But art photography has a relatively short history compared to other art forms like drawing, painting and sculpture. However, Whitaker cautioned that not all photography, such as photojournalism, should be considered art.
According to Whitaker, compared to a photo journalistic photo, which is essentially just candid snapshots, artistic photography not only takes longer to set up but also sends a specific message. And Whitaker, who has seen both sides of photography, speaks from experience. After taking a photojournalism class her sophomore year, she decided she did not like it as much as she thought she would. Not wanting to give up on photography entirely, Whitaker tried media arts her junior year and later came to the conclusion that she preferred the artistic aspects of media arts better. Although both are forms of photography, Whitaker said she does not consider photojournalism to be an art form.
“Photojournalism is about capturing a moment,” Whitaker said. “Media arts allows for more artistic license.”
Media arts teacher Kevin Daly, who has 15 years of photography experience, said art is individual and artists can’t force someone to think photography is art.
“Originally, photography was used as a drawing aid,” Daly said. “And looked at as just snap shots that froze moments in time.” Daly said once people began to have strong emotional reactions to pictures they started viewing photography as art.
“Art is personal,” Daly said.
Whitaker said she aspires to be a fashion photographer. She said she does not have one source of inspiration but said that she often gets ideas from magazines. She said she usually builds ideas off of one idea and then lets her imagination create a great idea.
“I go for something that is different and almost makes you uncomfortable,” Whitaker said. “My goal is that (my photos) get attention even if it is negative.”
Whitaker said she definitely considers herself an artist even though she does not study a traditional form of art. But overall her passion for photography is evident.
“I love photography,” Whitaker said. “It is a way to tell a story through a picture.”