Student Snapshot

Rose O’Neil: Up and Coming Photographer

Bryce Yelton, Center Spread Editor, Writer

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Rose O’Neil, a senior at Long Reach High School, is one of the school’s up and coming photographers.

While building her photo portfolio, O’Neil focuses on developing her own style, which she characterizes as “Nature mixed with classy.” She says, “I work with things relatively not normal in nature, such as people in suits.”

O’Neil’s most recent project has been centered around Zodiac signs. She explains that this work involves “finding what I feel that sign or symbol looks like to me and I create that in the picture.” Additionally, she is working on a project assigned by her mentor where she captures the colors and ideas associated with fruit and aligns those to her human subjects. She is being assisted by talented make-up artist and junior, Kaysie Justice.  

O’Neil often likes to include friends in her pictures. Even more, if she sees anyone who fits an image she is trying to capture, she will go up and ask them to be involved. “You need good communication skills; otherwise, you won’t know where you are going with a project,” says O’Neil.

In recent years, O’Neil has used photography to set up her own future within this career. Even more, O’Neil’s passion for the camera has led her to cater toward helping others. She has set up a photo club at Mayfield for those who want to get involved in the craft but do not have the materials.

Her work also takes her into the classroom with LRHS Photo 1 students. Photography teacher Ms. Borleis notes, “Rose is a huge help in the classroom. She knows how to use the different materials and can help my students when I’m helping others.”

Still a student herself, O’Neil also carries a full time schedule with a part time internship after school at Kat Forder in old Ellicott City. “I’m learning how to take pictures of different people and what else I can put into my pictures,” says O’Neil.  She has assisted her mentor such as taking baby, maternity, and couple pictures.

After high school, O’Neil’s dream is to become a photographer for 17 Magazine.

“I see Rose in ten years potentially being a great photographer and working for a magazine, or working on her own business,” says Ms. Borleis.

With the goal to attend art school after high school, it is clear that O’Neil is on the right path to success. She has the passion, a supportive teacher standing behind her, and the practical understanding of how to make her dream a reality. In college, she plans to major in photography and business. Ms. Borleis notes, “If Rose keeps working hard, she is bound to be successful in photography.”  

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