HOWELL – It was a picture-perfect day for a township student whose photography was on display at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center.
Surrounded by her parents Jeff and Tricia Berwick and several friends, 15-year-old Chelsea Berwick greeted attendees and watched their reaction as they saw her photo work during a reception held on Feb. 1.
Her mother said, “Chelsea was inspired by her Middle School South Photography Club advisor Tia McLaughlin.”
“Chelsea was a shining star and creative mind in Photography Club during middle school. As a founding member of the club, she was able to share her talent with fellow students in her gentle way and was always willing to help others,” McLaughlin said.
McLaughlin added, “she was an amazing talent and always thought outside the box, taking a unique perspective with each of her pieces. Her work is currently incorporated in every photography lesson and inspires students to this day.”
The Howell High
School sophomore’s work focuses on the environment. Chelsea won several first
and second place awards for her photographs which are among those prize winners
on display at the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center. They focus on the
seasons as part of a contest that won her the month-long exhibit.
“I’ve always loved taking photos. The contest featured the four seasons and I entered photos of fall, spring and summer,” Chelsea said.
“I thought it was a good idea to enter the contest. I have a digital media class in high school and we will be doing a photography unit. Taking pictures is a great way to look back at a point in time and to look at people as they were at that moment,” Chelsea said. She added that she has a very active Instagram account filled with her photos. She uses her digital camera, a Cannon Rebel SL1.
“All the photos I took had to be on the grounds of the Manasquan Reservoir Environmental Center. I used my camera and a tripod. My favorite photo was the one of a bee on a flower,” Chelsea said. That photo won her a first-place prize in the contest.
As to career plans, Chelsea has plenty of time but said “it would be great to make a profession out of something that I do that is a lot of fun. I’ve been taking pictures for a long time of my family; friends and I love taking photos with people and recording life. It is great to look back to a picture of someone from that time. I know I will be taking photos for a long time.”
Paul Mandala, who works as nature interpretation representative for the Monmouth County Parks system coordinated the contest. Chelsea is already looking at other outlets to present her photography including at her local library.
“Whatever I do in the future I’d like it to be something creative or artistic. I’m leaning toward something like that,” Chelsea said.
Beyond her photography, her interests include playing on a travel softball team, being a member of the Key Club, which is the high school level of the Kiwanis organization. She is also proud about being team captain for the Howell Relay for Life.
“The relay is an overnight event to raise money for cancer research and it is held at the Howell baseball field. I did it as a freshman but this year I’m a team captain. This year’s relay will be held in June,” Chelsea said.
“She’s a twin,” her mother said. “She loves taking photos of the family and she is very creative. It will be interesting to see where she goes with this in the future. The technology involved in it is certainly amazing. What she can do on the computer is wonderful,” her mother added.