Bourne High School sophomore Alexandra E. Wolf is getting national notice for a skill she has been nurturing since the 1st grade.
She just won the senior division in photography for the national PTA’s Reflections program.
In addition, she was the only BHS student to be featured as an Emerging Young Artist at University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s College of Visual and Performing Arts during its 2014 Invitational Exhibition.
The national PTA’s Reflections program is an art education program that has been encouraging young people to explore their artistic talents for 40 years. It provides students with an opportunity for self-expression and recognition for their artistic efforts. The PTA’s literature states that 600,000 students participate in the reflections program every year through their local PTAs. The theme for this year’s program was “Believe, Dream, Inspire.”
Alexandra’s photograph that won acclaim, and the division’s first place, is of her little sister, Isabella N. Wolf.
Isabella is 5 years old and attends kindergarten in Bourne.
The picture was taken for a class project at BHS on photographing fairies and fairy tales.
Alexandra credits Photography II teacher Amanda Cabral with challenging the BHS students to continually make their images better.
“We can relate to Ms. Cabral because she makes our class projects fun but the whole time she is right there helping you look at your images to make them the best that they can be,” Alexandra said.
“This is a wonderful photograph and she deserves this attention,” Ms. Cabral said of her student.
An alumna of UMass College of Visual and Performing Arts herself, Ms. Cabral was thrilled that Alexandra’s work was chosen to exhibit.
“I have also entered her in three other local contests and we should hear about them in March,” Ms. Cabral said.
The three contests they are waiting to hear from are the Photography Center of Cape Cod’s Massachusetts’s high school competition, Cape Cod Times annual photography contest and the Women’s Club of Cape Cod photo contest.
Alexandra credits her grandmother, Andrea M. Epps, for starting her on the path to skilled photography.
Years ago, the family was attending a Marine Corps ball and her grandmother gave Alexandra a Sony digital camera to take pictures of the event.
Alexandra was in 1st grade and it was a big deal to be given such a grown-up responsibility. She never forgot it and has sought out cameras and picture-taking opportunities ever since.
“I always need to bring a camera wherever I go. I would hate to be somewhere and not be able to capture the moment,” Alexandra said.
Alexandra admitted that she is the scrapbooker in the family and her favorite camera is still the Sony that her grandmother gave her.
“My family tells me that I have a passion and a good eye for taking pictures. I like taking pictures of my little sister, and of nature, because they are not fake and always beautiful and always different and changing. You can never take two of the exact same photographs,” Alexandra said.
“She’s got a gift,” her dad, Philip D. Wolf, said.
Other school photography projects included making a camera out of an oatmeal container and learning to process her own film. She enjoyed watching her film develop and the surprise that comes from watching an image appear but admits that digital photos allow you to have more control over the outcome.
Alexandra gets plenty of feedback from her family and friends when she posts her images to Facebook and Instagram.
She keeps a photo blog of her BHS photography classwork and also likes to print out and display her favorites at home.
“My friends and family think it is so cool that one of my photographs was hanging in a college gallery and were so excited that I was the only student representing Bourne at UMass. I felt very professional,” Alexandra said.