Artist Spotlight: Heather Hayes

CRISTINA CUDUCO , Arts & Entertainment Editor

Sophomore communications student Heather Hayes has been capturing life’s moments with her camera since she was a child.

“I have always had a love of art and photography,” Hayes said. “I remember being four, five-years-old, and taking a photograph of my parents in front of a lighthouse while we were on vacation. Being an only child, I suppose I became their designated photographer.”

Hayes acknowledged that her art took off when she was in high school. By that point, she had purchased her first digital SLR (single-lens reflex) camera and had begun to play with her mother’s vintage manual focus lenses, which happened to fit her modern model. Hayes was thrilled by this discovery and has not used digital lenses since, choosing instead to rely entirely on older lenses for their ability to capture light so uniquely.

“I’m not well versed in film photography, but I feel like I can capture the essence of it by using this ‘hybrid’ method of shooting with an older lens on a digital body,” Hayes said.

Today, Hayes’s photography is heavily centered on portraiture and capturing raw human emotion as best she can.

“I think humans are such interesting subjects,” Hayes said. “In my opinion, photographs of people don’t just trigger emotions, but memories, and I’m quite nostalgic, so I appreciate that.”

Hayes confessed that her love of all things art related would make it difficult to choose just one career path in life.

“I dabble in fashion design, music, and creative writing, so finding a profession that incorporates those hobbies would be fantastic,” Hayes said. “I could never go into a profession that didn’t have some sort of creative undertone. I would probably go insane.”

The young photographer has also explored drawing, painting, and studio art, admitting that doing so has let her further her potential as an artist. Hayes is currently contemplating adding a second major in art to complement her studies in communications.

“Art is my everything. It’s my therapy,” Hayes said. “There’s nothing more satisfying to me than creating something. Whether I’m writing a song or a short story, taking a photograph or drawing a portrait, I need to create to feel complete.”