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South Heart senior discovers love of photography

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With the help of her aunt, Megan Lis took her own senior photos. (Submitted photo)2 / 2

South Heart senior Megan Lis' love of photography began years ago when, while living in Florida, she stumbled upon a film camera in a thrift store.

"When I was in Florida, I liked to go to thrift stores a lot. Something about finding these little gems in odd places that people have forgotten about really interested me," she said. "I found these cameras — disposable cameras and film cameras — and they're fairly cheap, so I just bought a couple and I started using them."

Lis discovered that she loved the whole film process.

"I really like the idea of taking the photo and not really knowing how it turned out until you process it. There's something so creative about it. It's not just you taking a photo. It's bigger than yourself," she said.

The film camera sparked her creativity.

"That really got me into thinking outside the box with art itself," Lis said. "Traditionally, people use digital cameras, but there's a whole field that they're missing out on — something that you can really experiment with. With film you can do a lot of stuff to manipulate the image that comes out of it, so that's one of my favorite parts about it."

She really likes taking portraits — but not your typical portrait studio photos.

"I like to get artsy with them. My friend let me pose her and take pictures of her. We worked with paint so I painted on her skin and made it look cool. We played with lighting. I really don't like to take traditional photos," Lis said.

Lis loves traveling and hiking, too, and often takes her camera along.

"I do have a love of going out and hiking and seeing this beautiful sunset with this bison in the background and the shadows; yeah, I'll take a picture of that and love it," she said.

Lis hasn't actually developed film herself, though she looks forward to learning how to.

"The (college) I'm going to has a film developing station and it's free, open to the public, so I'm really excited about that. I really want to start learning how to develop my own stuff," she said.

Lis plans to go to Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston after she graduates from South Heart.

"I plan on studying to have a major in photography and then a minor in graphic design or communicative design," she said. "Really it's all about branding and helping businesses grow their image. The two kind of go hand in hand. I know it's really prevalent now, just with social media."

Lis currently does photography and graphic design for the school's chapter of Future Business Leaders of America. She is also involved in drama and student council.

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