Liz Donelan’s photography career began with rocks.
“As a kid, I would always ask to borrow my parents’ camera and shoot outside. I would pretty much fill the camera up with photos of rocks, and I loved it so much that I just couldn’t stop,” she said.
Donelan’s love of photography only grew from there. She is a junior at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School and has gone from photographing rocks to photographing people. Donelan’s subjects are mostly friends from school. She has been exploring the use of props in an attempt to develop a distinctive style, and she hopes to continue expanding her portfolio of portraits.
“I’m still trying to find my thing,” she said. “I started working with neon lights and stuff, and I think that may be where I’m headed. In a colorful direction.”
Donelan derives inspiration from artists on Instagram and also shares her own work on social media platforms. She is empowered by artists such as Damon Baker and Conor Cunningham and hopes to empower others with her photos.
If hypothetically given the opportunity to capture anyone on camera, Donelan would pick Lili Reinhart, actress and mental health advocate.
“She’s really inspiring to me because she talks a lot about mental health and body image which is important to get rid of the stigma. I think that would be a cool issue to try and address with my photos,” she said.
Art exerts a myriad of positive effects on people and society. For Donelan personally, art is valuable because it is customizable and open-ended. It gives the creator an opportunity to tell their story in whatever quirky fashion they can dream up.
Photography has also served as an outlet for the teen.
“If I feel sad, then I can take that sadness and turn it into a photograph. And that makes me happy,” she said.
In the near future, Donelan hopes to create a YouTube channel featuring artistic videos and vlogs. Her European vacation later this year may be the topic of the first video. She also hopes to continue expanding her Instagram account. All those interested in having their photograph taken by Donelan can direct message “liz.donelan” on Instagram.
Donelan plans to attend college and double major in photography and social media marketing. After college, she dreams of shooting magazine covers in New York City.
“I still have a lot to learn,” she said. “But I’m ready to grow. I can’t wait.”