Student Spotlight: Katie Ogden

“Phantom Field” — Katie Ogden

By Clare Mone and Jackson Wojnowski

Freshman Katie Ogden’s photo “Phantom Field” was awarded a Gold Key nomination and recognized as a regional winner in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and will now go on to the national competition.

Her photo was inspired by a trend on the social media platform “TikTok” in which people dressed up as ghosts and took pictures. “I do appreciate social media as a source of inspiration for shoots,” she said.

To take the photo, Katie went to Veteran’s Park in Vineyard Haven, covered her friend, Angelina-Rose Smith, in a bed sheet and sunglasses, and posed her model in various spots near the large reeds there.

“I used my phone to take the picture,” she said. “For editing, I changed it to black and white, adjusted the [lighting and color] levels, and slightly burned the edges.”

When she got word that she had won a Gold Key, she was shocked. Winning this award means Katie’s piece will be considered for recognition on the national level.

“You never know what other people will think about what you do. Whatever picture you take some people will think is great when you’re like, ‘Oh, this is kind of OK,’” she said.

For Katie, taking pictures of a human subject was a new challenge. “A landscape is fairly easy to take since it’s mainly about what angle you want to take it from and where you place yourself,” she said. “With a person as a subject, you have to think about that, as well as what position they’re in.”

Though “Phantom Field” was the only picture she chose to submit, Katie has taken other photographs in her introduction to photography course, taught by Christopher Baer.

“She has done a bunch of silhouettes, some false color work, playing around with projections on faces — she definitely has the eye of an artist,” said Mr. Baer.