Passion for photography in the spotlight in 4-H | Local

Cristine Niles’ interest in photography started as a 4-H project when she was a child, and now the passion is growing in her daughter, Emily Niles, who took several photos at the Nebraska State Fair this year.

“I actually started doing photography when I was in 4-H,” Cristine said.

Emily’s interest in photography started when she was around 10 years old watching her mother work.

“I’m a full-time teacher – I teach kindergarten at Centennial – but I love photography so much that I enjoy doing it in parallel, usually during the summers or early fall,” Cristine said. “I usually do maybe one or two weddings, a few families – that sort of thing.… Emily always grew up around cameras and she was such a responsible young woman that she came to help me.”

Emily started out as the person who would keep little kids entertained during family photoshoots.

“Then I started asking if I could use the camera,” Emily said. “… Right now I’m a second camera. When the subjects look at my mom for the smiling photo, I run in the background taking different angles, different levels. When everyone relaxes when the lead photographer puts the camera down, that’s when they start to smile for real and start interacting with each other – it’s those candid images. “

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As she got older, Emily became more comfortable with a camera in her hands. More recently, she started taking all of her photos manually, which means she manually adjusts the shutter speed, aperture, and light sensitivity of her camera while taking photos. She said it gives her a lot more control over the outcome of her photos.

“I am very proud of her,” said Cristine. “When she wants to do something, she wants to do it right.… She’s very good at candid, she’s very good with natural light.”

This summer, Emily was participating for the first time in level three of 4-H photography.

“Skill level one is a lot more about taking good, basic photos of a subject.… That’s where people start,” Emily said. “Level two starts using lighting and composition techniques and trying to take pictures of people and maybe use Photoshop to create an interesting image.… Once you get to level three you want to really do manual photos. “

In 2021, all four of Emily’s prints went to the Nebraska State Fair, where all four were awarded purple ribbons. One of them was selected for a special exhibit on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) campus.

“It was my ‘Freeze the Moment’ feel,” said Emily. “… We were trying to find my photos at the state fair and we found the first three all together, but we were like, ‘Where’s the last one? We looked around and then we saw the giant display on the UNL campus. “

Molly Hunter is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Contact her by email at [email protected]