Junior awarded statewide photography honor

A snowy background, towering trees and a pointe dancer are centered in Marissa Johnson’s viewfinder on her Nikon D-8 digital camera. The junior won Hawkeye Photographer of the Year, for the second year in a row, an honor bestowed on one Iowa student who submits a portfolio of photos to the Iowa High School Press Association.

Johnson started off her journey in photography using her mom’s old film camera in August of 2019. 

She has since upgraded to a Nikon D-8 digital camera, which Johnson said is a bit “temperamental.”  Along with her camera at home, Johnson uses the Canon Rebels at school while shooting pictures for the yearbook and the Tiger Hi-Line.  

She has had many photos put into the school paper as well as the yearbook. Johnson had to submit photos by creating a website with five photos. Johnson prefers to use WIX to post her pictures.

While Johnson has won this award before, she said that many more people have been talking to her, which is out of the normal. Johnson said, “I’m not a huge attention person. I just kinda do what I do.” 

She had found out about winning the contest only two days after her birthday. While her family was very busy, they still found time to celebrate. The Johnson family took a trip to their hometown of Charles City to stop by her favorite coffee shop.

Johnson sees herself continuing to take photos in her future but more as a side hobby. She is hoping to get scholarships from managing the volleyball team and plans to go to school to become a physical therapist.

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