ArtsMar 1, 2021

updated Aug 4, 2021

The key to happiness

Emily Lombardi ’22 shares inspiration behind award-winning photo

(Emily Lombardi ’22)

Ironically enough, nearly all of the 300 photos Emily Lombardi ’22 took in a fall 2020 afternoon photoshoot with Hazel Grallert ’21 and Hannah Holt ’21 featured their faces.

In the end, it was a photo of Hazel and Hannah’s feet that garnered recognition. Emily’s photo, “Happiness,” received a Gold Key in the 2021 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. (Read more about MHS artists and the Scholastic awards.)

Emily Lombardi ’22

"The photo is from an assignment for Hallmark Art,” explains Emily. Each week, Studio Art Teacher Ellie Spangler posts three words to help students generate ideas, and one week, one of the words was “happiness.”

“In class, we talked about how each word inspired us, and what it reminded us of,” Emily adds. “When I dug a little deeper, I thought of childhood and playing outside with friends. I wanted the photo, and also the rest of the photos from the series, to be reminiscent of childhood/adolescence and the magic and fun of it.”

Making use of her journal and scanning Pinterest for inspiration, Emily sent Hazel and Hannah photos that caught her attention and suggestions for makeup and outfits. “They exceeded my expectations, so a huge shout-out to them,” Emily says. “They were a big part of this photoshoot. I didn't really have any specific shots I wanted to get, and I'm pretty sure that I took around 300 photos.”

Long a photographer with her phone, Emily notes that photography classes since 9th grade have significantly honed her skills. “I enjoy creating my own perspectives of the world,” she says. “I love to be able to show everyone how I see the world — or even create new realities through my photos. I also use my photography to show the beauty of everything I see in the world, from nature to people to random everyday objects.”