Through the Lens – Trenton Evans

There are times in everyone’s life when they wish they could hit the pause button and simply live in that moment for just a little bit longer than the passing seconds that moment lasts.  It could be watching your favorite team score a touchdown in a big game or seeing the way light scatters itself across the sky in the late afternoon.  Maybe it’s just some of the beautiful, unexpected moments that we all experience from time to time – seeing a child’s face light up at Christmas or watching a couple celebrate their anniversary.  Whatever those special moments are, they often seem to pass too quickly, and we’re only left with a memory that fades over time.  

The closest thing we have to a pause button for life is a camera.  Cameras are everywhere now, and while we can debate whether that’s good or bad, one of the clear advantages of that easy access is that we’re able to capture more of these moments that we hope to always remember.  Unfortunately, the photos of the memories we capture often don’t do justice to the event itself.  Amateur photography doesn’t quite frame a moment in the most accurate way or truly reflect what we were feeling during that time.  Thankfully, there are people who know just how to do that.

Haywood High School Sophomore, Trenton Evans, is one of those people.  Trenton is a burgeoning photographer who has been honing his craft for the last few years.  He captures the moments that students experience at Haywood High School on the dance floor, athletic fields, and any other place where student activity is happening.  He is able to frame those moments in a way that communicates the emotion of what is taking place.  He can not only freeze that moment from a visual perspective, but transfer the emotion and beauty of it, as well.

Trenton got his start in photography a couple of years ago with support and encouragement from his family.

“I got into photography two and half years ago.  My brother really encouraged me to start taking pictures,” Trenton explained.  “My parents surprised me with a camera on Christmas Day, and I was so excited and proud.  That really changed everything for me.”

Once Trenton got his camera, he started developing a personal style when it came to the pictures he would take.  Like anything that’s new, there was a learning curve and when he looks back at those early pictures he made, he can tell quite a difference compared to the pictures he makes today.

“There’s a big difference in the photos I’m making now and the ones I was making when I first started,” he said.  “I’ve really learned a lot about different types of photography and what styles work well in certain situations.”

At Haywood High School, Trenton will photograph sporting events, social events, and capture other moments that occur at the school.  Most of those pictures would be considered action shots that frame a person in the middle of a physical movement.  And, while Trenton enjoys taking those types of photos, his preference is more of a portrait style of photography,

“Portrait styles really show emotions.  When I take the pictures, I can immediately tell if it has emotion or not; I want it to give something back to the person who views it,” he said.  

As Trenton evolves as a photographer, his style is evolving as well.  He is discovering the connection between his eye and the camera and how that relationship is growing and allowing him to focus on different aspects of shooting.

“When I hold the camera up to my eye, I can normally tell what’s going to be a great shot or an amazing image.  But even with those really good ones, there’s room for improvement,” he explained.

Once the shots are taken, the next step of the process begins: editing.  In any mode of the creative world, editing is the least glamorized but most important aspect of the creative process.  Editing is where the fine details of an image or a piece of art or writing emerge and calcify to make the finished product whole.

“I spend a lot of time editing; it takes a long time.  I want my images to be perfect in my eyes and really match my style,” he said.  “When I’m editing, sometimes I have to pull back from the computer and kind of reframe what I want the image to look like.  Plus, my eyes need to rest in order to see the true colors of a photo.”

As far as his evolving style is concerned, Trenton definitely has one that he’s perfecting – bright and bold.

“My style is bright and bold.  The picture is natural, but still is able to tell a story,” he explained.  “It lends itself to shooting in natural light, and I love shooting in natural light, so that involves a lot of outdoor work which I like.”

As Trenton continues to see growth in his work and his business, he’s thinking about next steps.  He knows that he wants to continue to improve and grow his photography brand, but he’s realizing that he’s seeing a lot of options on the horizon.

“One of my plans after I graduate is to find a college that focuses on photography, but also builds my skills in other areas,” he said.

Any creative artist has inspiration from artists who came before them.  Trenton is no different.  His biggest influence is an African-American photographer based in Atlanta.  

“A photographer that definitely inspires me is Mark Clennon.  He’s a black photographer who lives in Atlanta and is very inspirational,” Trenton said.

Looking at Clennon’s photography, it’s easy to see why he is a big influence to Trenton.  Most of Clennon’s photos are striking portraits that convey emotion against a backdrop of strong colors that allow the subject of the photo to stand out even more.  

For Trenton, the love of photography was immediate and only continues to grow.  

“As soon as I got into photography, I loved it.  I knew it was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life,” he said.

Haywood High School and Haywood County Schools are both lucky that Trenton found this passion a few years ago.  His work benefits the district and the school, and his creativity is something to behold.