Castle Rock teen, a budding photographer, covers protests
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Olivia Morgan made sure she fully charged her Nikon D750. She checked that the camera had plenty of storage and attached a 50-100mm VR Nikon lens. Last, Olivia flipped the camera settings to black and white and practiced quickly switching back to color.

Olivia Morgan

Around 2 p.m. June 7, she stationed herself at the Philip S. Miller Library in Castle Rock, where a crowd of hundreds was gathering to protest in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

Olivia, 15, is a sophomore at Castle View High School. Photography has “always been a part of me,” she said, and she saw the protests as presenting perfect training ground to work on her portrait and political photography.

She spent the day documentingher hometown's event, which proved an impactful experience, she said, as she bore witness to her neighbors sharing their stories of racism and how they dealt with it.

She'll remember most the children who participated.

“They had just a look on their faces of hope and respect and it was really cool to see the little kids experiencing such a global event, just being part of it,” she said.

During the protest, Olivia looked for moments in time that told a story — images that would inspire the viewer's imagination.

That is what she always does when she is in the field photographing.

Olivia remembers past trips to Manitou Springs and New Orleans as particularly influential in sparking her love for photography. She instantly wanted to document the natural scenes of Manitou Springs and the urban vibrancy of New Orleans, she said.

“The culture is just amazing there, and I was like, I want to capture as much of this culture as possible and share it with the world,” she said of New Orleans. “Portrait photography is my favorite thing ever.”

Olivia began working to hone her photography skills around age 10, she said. She took one photo editing class at Castle View but is mostly self-taught, turning to YouTube tutorials to learn about her Nikon D750.

She plans to keep improving. Olivia wants to attend larger protests in Denver, where maybe, she can “capture more portraits of people, more emotion.”

And for Olivia, photography isn't just a hobby. She intends to forge a career as a photojournalist working in Denver and abroad.

“I really want to be a news photographer,” she said. “It would be fun to do your hobby for a job.”

This story comes from Colorado Community Media, a family of 20 newspapers across metro Denver. For more, visit ColoradoCommunityMedia.com.

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