Art Glow Up: Photos that tell stories


Jonny Ratner

Senior Kayla Dantz has improved her photography resume since taking her first photography class her sophomore year.

Macey Poitras-Cote, A&E Editor

From freshman to senior year, Algonquin students’ artwork has developed and excelled in numerous ways. Over the next few months, Harbinger will explore the “glow ups” of some senior art students. First up, senior Kayla Dantz has shifted from taking “pretty pictures” to telling impactful stories through her photography.

Senior Kayla Dantz has advanced her photography skills through the numerous art classes she has taken during her time at Algonquin. 

Dantz started by taking Art 1 and Sewing her freshman year, and she is currently taking AP 2D Design, AP Photography and Advanced Art 2. Through the classes she has taken, she has been able to improve her work. 

Submitted Kayla Dantz
Senior Kayla Dantz snaps this photo of her father’s hand for Photo I her sophomore year.

“I think my concepts have gotten stronger,” Dantz said. “I used to take photos just to make pretty pictures but now I feel more inclined to tell a story.”

Dantz gives credit to the classes and assignments she has done to improve her work. She also credits her college application process.

“Applying to art schools often means explaining your work and writing artist statements, which pushed me to create things that I wanted to explain,” Dantz said. 

When Dantz was first getting into photography, she shot some photos for a friend of hers. The feedback she got from her friend fueled her passion for photography.

Submitted Kayla Dantz
Last spring, senior Kayla Dantz photographed junior Alison Cashin wearing a garmet she created herself. Cashin is supposed to mock a black bird. The photo was made from a silver gelatin Holga print giving it the unique style.

“She told me that the way I took pictures of her made her feel so much better about herself,” Dantz said. “That’s probably the best compliment a photographer could ask for and I feel very rewarded after getting that kind of feedback from people.”

Dantz also appreciates how photography is able to tie in other outlets of art, such as her other passions for fashion and dance. She also likes the fact that messages can easily be spread through the use of photography.

“Now, I think I enjoy [photography] because I recognize the unlimited volume of messages that we can spread through photos,” Dantz said. “Taking a meaningful photo can speak louder than anything.”

Dantz is currently furthering her passion for photography in AP Photo class. She is working with other students on a “sustained investigation” portfolio for the rest of the semester.

In college, Dantz hopes to combine her love for the arts with her passion for the environment.

“I’m planning on studying fashion and environmental science because I am very passionate about design and I recognize, and want to eliminate, the large role that fast fashion plays in climate change,” Dantz said.