Within the Lens: With rise of social media platforms, CHS students explore different modes of artistry


Veronica Teeter

Sophomore Ayman Bolad takes a photo of sophomore Maclean Wood on a retro car. Bolad contacted Wood to collaborate on setting up the outdoor photo shoot.

It didn’t take long for sophomore Ayman Bolad to become interested in photography.

“A friend of mine was working on something with photography and I thought it was so cool; I wanted to do that. That is when I became interested in photography,” Bolad said. “I take pictures to simply take pictures.”

Veronica Teeter
Bolad zooms in on Wood to get a more focused shot. Bolad said he likes photographing models because of more centered shots on the subjects.

Bolad said he photographs male and female models around Carmel.

“It’s a fun experience; it gives me an excuse to travel (to) places I have never been before and do things I have never done before,” Bolad said. “I take and choose photos to edit that are unique, creative and just what I want to share.”

Rather than being behind the camera, as Bolad is, model and sophomore Marie Pelletiere said she spends hours preparing to be in front of the camera and posing for photos in hopes of turning modeling into a successful career. Currently, Pelletiere said she models for MP Factor in Chicago.

“They will usually do my makeup first and then my hair. They’ll show me the outfits that I’m (modeling) and then we do the shoot,” Pelletiere said. “I just had a job with Foot Locker, and that was my favorite job I’ve had so far because I had about 42 different outfits and (the shoot) was eight hours (long). It was a long time, but it was really fun.”

Jessie Sardina, scouting and development agent for MP Factor, said the goal of “New Generation” models is to prepare them for modeling in the real world and as a career.

“‘New Generation’ models are new faces, people who have not been seen, a fresh face. They are what people want to see,” Sardina said.

She said she represents models as young as 14 up to the age of 23.

“This is an interesting time in young girls’ lives, so my job is to help (new models) feel confident. The industry is full of rejection and judgment. I help prepare them for this and teach them to be resilient.”

When finding models to photograph, both Bolad and Sardina said they aim their focus into bringing someone in who is an appropriate fit.

Sardina said she attends local events and goes to different places where young people can be found to be scouted, such as concerts or shopping malls.

“After we find people they go into the development stage,” Sardina said. “This is where we prepare them for modeling and get them acclimated.”

As an individual photographer, Bolad said different thought processes come into play.

Bolad said photographing models is much easier than other types of human shoots because they know what they are doing and it takes pressure away from photographing itself.

“You can take them anywhere and let (models) do their thing, you’re just behind the camera. The process is more fun because in the end, the result can be much greater,” Bolad said.

With interest in photography growing amongst teenagers and adults, Bolad uses social media applications to display and publicize his work.

“Social media, at least in my opinion, is a great place to share your work as a photographer or any sort of visual artist,” Bolad said. “(Social media) becomes a competition to have the most appealing feed or work

Veronica Teeter
Sophomore Thorn Chandler poses for a photo during the shoot. Bolad said he took photos of the models in Carmel.

style, and you start creating so others can follow you and hope that your work is the one that blows up. This isn’t bad, but it deviates from the art of photography into what I view as this horrid demon child of what once could have been considered great art.”

Pelletiere and Bolad said they use platforms on social media for other photos to be displayed.

“I owe the majority of my present day portrait style to Instagram, but I’ve taken a step back to explore places like Pinterest, Tumblr, real life galleries and magazines,” Bolad said.

Pelletiere said she advertises her modeling agency, MP Factor, through Instagram and other platforms such as the editing app VSCO.

As time-consuming as both photography and modeling can be, Pelletiere said it is almost like an extracurricular activity, and she said it is an enjoyable part of her life. 

“I’m very blessed to have this in my life,” Pelletiere said. “It’s really great to have this experience.”

Behind the Light

For most female students, makeup is isolated to a 20-minute morning routine, but for a few, it is a form of art that enables them to convey themselves in a way nothing else is capable of doing.

Freshman Tahlia Freedman said, “Everyone thinks makeup is (put on) to hide insecurities, but I’ve never been self conscious. I don’t just put makeup on in the morning to feel good about myself, it’s how I can express myself in my own unique and creative way.”

Michelle Heath, Younique Makeup Elite Green Status Presenter, said she understands Freedman’s expression of her creative side.

“Everyone has their own type of beauty. For so many makeup is an art and I give them the tools to create their masterpiece,” Heath said.

For senior Mallory Scott, the individuality of makeup surpasses basic art.

“I try to go outside of my comfort zone and to find new things that make people remember what I was wearing that day. I found it’s okay for me to be different,” Scott said.

While makeup has had a tremendous effect on these women, they have also unintentionally managed to expose it to those around them.

Freedman said her mom has begun to take an interest in the different products she uses.

Similarly, Scott said, “My SRT friend group asked me how I do my makeup, so I brought in my supplies and did a full face.”

In addition to unintentional interest from their peers, Freedman created an Instagram account to share the vast variety of her prolific styles.

While makeup is often viewed as a pastime and receives criticism from those who do not appreciate the art of it, Freedman said, “The best feeling is being proud of your work and wanting to share it with people. When I get criticized I just say okay, everyone can think what they want to think.”

Freedman does not see her talents ceasing anytime soon, as she said her dream is to help design products or advertisements for a makeup company.

Heath, who is living Freedman’s dream, said working for Younique Makeup has uplifted her and created opportunities she had never thought were possible.

“I am a single mom. This job is more than just a hobby for me. I have travelled places I’d never go, paid for vacations and so much extra stuff for my son I would never have been able to afford without this job,” Heath said.

Great craftsmanship and dexterity is involved, and makeup enhances women’s lives beyond their appearance.

Freedman said, “I encourage everyone to at least get exposed to makeup no matter their age, it can validate and empower you.”

Through all challenges one may face when deciding whether or not to create a name in makeup, Heath said, “Be confident and don’t let others dull your shine.”