Alyssa Fowler’s Sights Lens on Susky Students

Alyssa Fowlers Sights Lens on Susky Students

She sees everyone through a different lens. She sees beauty and potential. She finds the most unique parts of each person. Senior Alyssa Fowler has found inspiration for her photography in the people around her, right here at Susquehannock High School.

Fowler photographs senior Maura Johnson. Photograph Courtesy of @suskyportraits (Alyssa Fowler)

This past March, Fowler started her photography account on Instagram under the username @suskyportraits. She has been taking pictures of her peers in the dark room in electronic arts teacher Wade Bower’s room with only two poles, a black sheet, a spotlight and her camera. Her black-and-white photos feature different Susquehannock students, being themselves in distinct ways. Whether they have a big smile on their face or a sullen pose, Fowler creates an effortless and elegant portfolio.
Depending on the individual, she may focus on a person’s facial features, hair, neck or even their pets as the subject of the frame. Even within the same shoot, no two photos are alike.

She looks for varying features and personalities to star in her photos “…to get a range of people to come in and take photos, so I wouldn’t be limited to just the people I was talking to in my everyday life,” Fowler said.

Fowler photographs senior Grace Hall. Photograph Courtesy of @suskyportraits (Alyssa Fowler)

As she interacts with a variety of people, Fowler speaks to how the experience has gone beyond taking pictures. Not many people in high school are willing to go out of their way to meet others, but this project has required that kind of bravery.
“It’s been fun…I’ve gotten to talk to so many people and have one-on-one time [with people] I would never talk to,” Fowler said.

Art teacher Wesley Myers commends her maturity and skill as an artist. He also speaks to her out-of-the-box experiences as he has seen her come out of her shell in order to pursue this passion.
“It started sort of organically, and now it’s really taken off and it’s become much more professional,” Myers said. “It’s no longer within her friend group; now it’s sometimes strangers and that gets you out of your comfort zone when you’re dealing with someone that you’ve never talked to before.”

One of the most unique parts of her photography style is her emphasis on specific features such as scars, moles, freckles and tattoos. Fowler always encourages the people she photographs to bring along their friends.
“It’s a much better environment where people have their friends and they can encourage each other…it brings the vibe up,” Fowler said.

Fowler photographs senior Taytum Lomax. Photograph Courtesy of @suskyportraits (Alyssa Fowler)

During her senior year of high school is when she started taking her photography career seriously, especially during her independent study period with  Bowers, Bowers is impressed with her efforts as she takes advantage of the materials that the school offers.
“This is the first that I’ve seen someone really use the resources at school to create what I believe is a very professional body of work…and build her portfolio in a way that I think is beyond high school,” Bowers said.

Fowler’s skillset has grown significantly as she has become determined to grow in her photography. According to Bowers, improving one’s photography skills mainly requires plenty of repetition in order to analyze one’s work.
“Her lighting is phenomenal… I think it’s really starting to show a lot more emotion in her work,” Bowers said.

Fowler photographs senior Sofia Vazquez. Photograph Courtesy of @suskyportraits (Alyssa Fowler)

Both Myers and Bowers have been mentors to Fowler in her high school years.
“It’s been really cool to see Alyssa turn into this vibrant artist…and to see her really grow [not only] as a person, but also as a photographer has been one of those moments where as a teacher you’re so excited and proud of her,” Bowers said.

With only weeks until graduation, sentimentality sits in the hearts of our Warrior Nation.
“I know me and Bowers are really going to miss her,” Myers says.

Fowler is planning to continue her photography career post-high school. The Maryland Institute College of Art has piqued her interest as it could help her get connections in the industry. See this young artist’s work at the Art Show, on Thursday, April 25, or by following her account on Instagram under the username @suskyportraits.

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