4-H members report on photography, community service – The Daily Reporter

Editor’s Note: Each month, the Daily Reporter highlights the farming community of Hancock County, along with the people and stories of local groups and programs. Here, New Palestine High School senior Megan Bell shares her experiences in the 4-H program and her passion for photography. To learn more about 4-H and local clubs or to register, call Hancock County Purdue Extension at 317-462-1113 or email Amber Barks, [email protected]

For the last ten years I have been working and experimenting with my photography and my style of photography. In conclusion, I am happy to say that I have created a successful platform for myself and my business. I started photography as a hobby and as a project for 4-H in Hancock County. The 4-H photography project laid a good foundation for my start and learning about the art of photography. For years I’ve photographed everything from animals to landscapes. Nothing seemed to spark my passion as I grew in my work and understanding.

I thought about giving up. During my freshman year of high school, I took my camera to a high school basketball game. I had no idea what I was doing and was a nervous wreck about getting my work published. After much support from my family and colleagues, I’ve reached out further.

Over the past three years I have not only learned and grown from my mistakes, but also made so many opportunities and new friends. With my photography skills and a burning passion, I decided in my sophomore year of high school to be part of the yearbook team. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. The past two years as photo editor at New Palestine High School Avalon have pushed me out of my comfort zone. Not only am I growing, but so is my photography. I’ve been doing all sports photography for the last two years but have now expanded into senior portraiture, sports portraiture and sports videography. Being promoted to school social media photographer was one of my greatest accomplishments. I am very happy to be part of my yearbook class family.

Not only is photography one of my strengths, I also have a passion for 4-H and farm animals. I have been showing my goats and horses at 4-H for nine years. I hope to continue performing in open shows after this year. Showing my livestock is one of my favorite projects, but I also do crafts and show my dog. This year I was elected Vice President of Fundraising for Junior Leaders. 4-H has given me many leadership opportunities, taught me so much about time management and the responsibilities of looking after my livestock. Being successful and winning ties may be fun, but it’s the memories and relationships formed with other 4-H’ers that make it worthwhile. Using the skills I learned at 4-H livestock farming, I plan to keep my family’s farm running for years to come.

A favorite pastime when I’m not working with photography or with my livestock is community service. I have a standard poodle, Izzy, I trained myself to be a therapy dog. We visit nursing homes, 4-H meetings and libraries. Being the youngest handler in the Shelby County Love on a Leash program for the past three years has given me a new perspective. Not only do I help others, they help me.

There are many community service opportunities through 4-H. I’ve collected cans for the local pantry, made tie blankets for the homeless shelter, and helped 4-H’ers with special needs at my Clip Clop Clover 4-H Club.

In the spring of 2021, I took a photo during the HHC boys’ basketball section. I submitted it to Ball State’s Journalism Day. The “White Out” photo received an excellent Feature Photo Award.

In the fall, I plan to attend Ball State University and major in journalism with a major in photojournalism and a double major in art education. I also plan to study Entrepreneurship as a minor. If anyone is interested in seeing more of my work, please visit @bell_photography13 on Instagram and @bellphoto13 on Twitter and Facebook.

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