The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

The School Newspaper of Winston Churchill High School.

The Observer

Student Art Spotlight: Zoey Tahardi

Photo courtesy of Zoey Tahardi
WCHS senior Zoey Tahardi works as a videographer for School Days Productions where she records performances for organizations like Montgomery County Youth Orchestra and Young Artists of America.

With her Sony A7IV in hand, WCHS senior Zoey Tahardi can often be spotted in the crowd of sports games and concerts snapping photos that spotlight other students. However, in this article, Tahardi herself will step into the spotlight, revealing the artist behind the lens. 

“My dad was the president of his high school’s photography club, and it was fun to see his old pictures,” Tahardi said. “Growing up, my childhood photos were professionally done by him with fancy cameras and flashes, so I’ve learned a lot from him. It wasn’t until I got my first camera in middle school that I started to experiment with photography and videography.”

Besides following her father’s footsteps as Co-President of Photo Club, Tahardi is also currently an AP Photography student and was the Producer and Editor in Chief for Bulldog TV last year. Her work is well known among the WCHS community, especially her photos of WCHS sports games. 

“I started taking photos for the WCHS Girls Varsity volleyball team last year because I had a lot of older friends who were in volleyball, and I’ve always wanted to support them,” Tahardi said. “Since then, I’ve taken pictures of the Girls Varsity soccer team, Boys Varsity volleyball team and plan to do more WCHS sports in the spring.”

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Outside of WCHS, Tahardi’s sports photos were published in Richard Montgomery’s High School newspaper, The Tide, after their Girls Varsity volleyball team won states. As for videography, Tahardi won third place in the MCDOT Heads Up, Phones Down Video competition and works as a videographer for School Days Productions, where she records youth performances and concerts for organizations like Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra (MCYO) and Young Artists of America (YAA). 

“Oftentimes I see my friends from school in orchestra or even the WCHS orchestra teacher Mr. Sanz performing when I’m in the crowd recording them,” Tahardi said. “It’s great to be indirectly part of that community.”

In addition to taking photos and videos for big events like games and concerts, Tahardi appreciates capturing more intimate settings to highlight and build personal connections with her subjects in interactive ways. 

“I was the editor and videographer for the Hot Ones: High School Edition video series on YouTube, where we asked different teachers like Mr. Lee intriguing questions while eating chicken nuggets with extremely spicy hot sauce,” Tahardi said. “It’s one of my favorite video projects I’ve done.”

Tahardi’s creative and fun approach to her work helps her stand out among typical photographers. Hoping to take her passion a step further as a potential career, Tahardi continues to seize opportunities to experiment in different areas of photography and videography. 

“In the future, I want to work in the arts and entertainment industry doing something related to cinematography or interactive media,” Tahardi said. “Right now, I’m trying to become involved in concert photography.”

As for aspiring photographers and videographers, Tahardi believes there is always room for improvement no matter how advanced one’s skill is. She also suggests one does not need fancy equipment to create visually stunning pieces. 

“Don’t beat yourself up on the gear you own,” Tahardi said. “I started photography with an already five-year-old, cheap, used camera, which has taken some of my favorite photos to this day. Although it’s not my main camera anymore, I still use it when I can and lend it out to friends who are getting into photography.”

With the click of a button, Tahardi creates breathtaking art that channels raw energy and emotions through a single frame. Through this, Tahardi can effortlessly transport herself back to those moments in time when she revisits her work. 

“For me, the importance of photography and videography in capturing moments is deeply personal,” Tahardi said. “It’s like freezing a piece of time, creating a visual bookmark in the story of my life. Looking back at photos or watching videos, I can feel the emotions and memories rushing back, like when I see my friends winning their volleyball games or teachers crying their eyes out eating hot sauce.”

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About the Contributor
Kalena Yee, Features Editor
Kalena Yee is a senior at WCHS and a Features Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. This is her third year taking journalism. When she’s not writing for the Observer, Kalena enjoys drawing, dancing, baking, collecting stationery, and exploring cafes with her friends.

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