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Name: Sarah Stanley

Age: 19

Year: Sophomore

Hometown: Shrewsbury, MA

Major: Biology (on the Pre-Med Track)

Minor: Double Minor in History and Psychology

Occupation: I work for myself!

Relationship Status: Single

Sign: Taurus

HC UMass: What are you involved with on and off campus?

SS: “On campus I am a Research Assistant for a Psychology Lab, I am involved with the UPC (the University Programming Council), and I photograph various events taking place on campus.”


HC UMass: What do you like to do in your spare time?

SS: “Well I am very big on my photography, that is my main thing! I like to reach out to different people to model, and people reach out to me to get some photos they’d like. Other than that I love exploring, going to Northampton, the Bookmill, basically anything unique to the area. I also read and write a lot. I think it is really important to be creative, even if it is not through conventional art.”


HC UMass: You must enjoy that creative release, especially as a Biology major!

SS: “Absolutely, we all need breaks from academics. I love just taking time to be creative, even if I am just editing my work, it is really nice. With UPC I have had the chance to learn Photoshop, and so that has been a great opportunity.”

HC UMass: How did you get started with photography?

SS: “I was always interested in it, we’ve always had fancy cameras. My dad bought new one a few years ago and it would only come out during family trips, so then I would play with it then. I didn’t really know what the commands meant, but I would use it on trips to take pictures. My friends would see this photos and encourage me to do more with photography. So, I decided this summer to just open up the camera manual, and hit YouTube to learn. I would practice on my friends, and I was amazed at what I could do by changing up just a few switches.”


HC UMass: Did it take a lot of time to learn it?

SS: *Laughs* “Oh yeah, I mean, I still am not 100% sure what every command does, but that stuff takes time and practice. A lot of my learning came from beautiful accidents, and I would learn through end results being nothing like I intended.”


HC UMass: Are you a bigger fan of taking pictures of landscapes or people?

SS: “I am definitely a creative portrait person. I love love love using people in photos because everyone is so unique. With landscapes, I feel like they are beautiful, but anyone could happen upon that same location and get a similar result with their photo. So, with starting with my friends as models, I would use aspects of their personality to direct a photoshoot. One of my favorite photoshoots was of one of my friends, who is an English major at Johns Hopkins, and we used books and writing as the theme. We both could connect to the theme really well, and it was so much fun to put together, and I feel that that is one of the most important things about what I like to do. Being able to connect on all levels, it is exciting.”

HC UMass: Are you working on any projects right now or for the summer?

SS: “For this summer, I really want to do a Disney Princess themed photoshoot using my friends as models, but with a modern twist. I know it has been done before, but I want to work with elements of fairy tales. I love fairy tales, I am like a little kid sometimes!” *Laughs*


HC UMass: What does photography do for you?

SS: “I think it is definitely a catharsis, but besides that it makes me constantly view things from different perspectives. The way I view my surrounding is a lot different now, and even when I am walking around without my camera, my friends might be annoyed with this, I think ‘I wish I had my camera right now!’ *Laughs* Some things are just so beautiful and I would love to capture as much as I can. My friends will ask why I can’t just bring it everywhere, but my dad would kill me if I ever broke it! So I try to be careful with it!”


HC UMass: Do you have your own camera that you work with?

SS: “Well, that’s the thing. I work with my dad’s, it’s a Nikon DSLR. It was initially a fight to even get it on campus because I was going to use it for pictures of the foliage, and I had to beg my dad! My mom was nervous, and told me I could be pretty clumsy! But I begged and begged, and then they let me take it. Immediately I had friends asking for personal portraits, and soon after my work began to be noticed by others as well.”

HC UMass: How can we find your work?

SS: “You can search on Facebook for Sarah Stanley Photography, and it is a page with all of my work. I definitely need to update it soon! But this summer I will be able to get back into the swing of things.”


HC UMass: Can people contact you for photographs?

SS: “Of course! If you reach out to me on my page, I will definitely respond. I love when people reach out. It can be for anything from LinkedIn photos, to creative portraits, to even event photography!”


HC UMass: On a different note, what is something that you love about yourself?

SS: “This is tough! I guess physically I’d have to say my smile, for good reason… we spent like too much money on my smile! And for my personality, I’d have to say my sarcasm. Sarcasm is so important to me, it is so much a part of who I am.”

HC UMass: Do you sometimes find it hard to incorporate you academic interests with your hobbies and passions?

SS: “I think it is very hard because, in being a Biology major, everything is very analytical, and I am supposed to keep breaking down information. On my creative side, it is more about doing what I want, and being able to put things together without too much thought. So I guess it is the opposite. One side is about breaking things down, and the other side of me is about putting things together.”


HC UMass: Who is your biggest supporter?

SS: “Definitely my dad. *Laughs* Even though we use the same camera for completely different purposes, he is the one that knows all the nitty gritty technical things about the camera whereas I don’t even know what everything is even called, he always teaches me and supports me. He won’t give everything away, because he wants me to learn, and I appreciate that. Me and him will argue about using the camera in different ways on trips, but he will always want to see my pictures and what I am putting out. It is nice knowing he is always there for help and support.”

All photos courtesy of Sarah Stanley.
Also, if you are interested in more of Sarah’s photography, like the photo below, check out this link.
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Patricia Camerota

U Mass Amherst

Patricia is a Sophomore Communications Major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Patricia has a strong passion for writing, eating, painting, and playing with her dog. She wishes to pursue a career in Public Relations.
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