By Vanessa Broadbent
Ali Lantz has always enjoyed photography but now it’s taking her places – literally.
On April 18, the Grade 12 student at Southern Okanagan Secondary School will be competing in the provincial sector of the Skills Canada competition in Abbotsford.
She started out by participating in the Central Okanagan regional competition at Okanagan College in Kelowna at the beginning of March, which she won.
Lantz said she had about five hours to complete the competition.
In the short time span, she had to take the photos, sort through them, edit them, and then choose her top five – a difficult task since she had over 200.
The photos were then each given a score out of three. Lantz ended up with the highest score, which she said was unexpected.
“There were some very skilled photographers that I was competing against. They all had the exact same calibre camera that I had, some even fancier.”
If Lantz wins the B.C. provincials, she’ll then head on to the national competition in Edmonton. And after that, there’s the world-wide competition in Kazan, Russia in 2019.
Now that she has the first competition title to her name, she feels a little more self-assured going into the next round.
“I was a little bit nervous but coming out on top really helped boost my confidence,” she said.
“I feel really comfortable actually. I’m really excited for it, not necessarily nervous, just because photography is something I love doing and I just feel so natural at it.”
Part of what makes Lantz feel so natural behind a camera is coming from a “photo-orientated” family.
“I remember one day when I was about six or seven years old, we were going to buy a new camera and I wanted to be the first one to take a photo. So we went home and I started playing around with the dogs and I started taking photos and started playing around with different angles and I really enjoyed it.”
She hasn’t put the camera down since then, but she’s switched it out for a better model. Lantz currently shoots with a Nikon 3200, which she’ll be using in Abbotsford.
Regardless of the results of the competition, Lantz plans on practicing photography for years to come, hopefully making a career out of it along the way.
“I’ve always wanted to become a photographer because I found that it made me happy and I thought if I could do it as a career, that would be my entire life.”
After graduating this June she plans on taking a year off and doing some travelling, all while still taking photos. Then she’s hoping to do a bachelor of arts degree, focussing on photography. Which school she’ll attend she’s still unsure of.
“I just really like capturing memories, capturing all the smiles and the good times of families and friends together” Lantz said.
“And making things that you see day to day look cool from different angles and perspectives.”