Chaparral senior named CHSPA Photographer of the Year for second straight year
PARKER – As Maddie Malhotra walked across the stage at Sports Authority Stadium last week to receive her diploma, a part of her wished that she could capture the moment with her own camera.
“I wanted my camera so badly and I was kind of jealous of the other photographers there,” Malhotra said.
The graduate of Chaparral High School, says she had actually brought her cell phone into the ceremony hoping to snap a couple of candid shots during commencement, but thought better of it.
“I snuck my phone in, because I wanted to get pictures. Then I was like, ‘wait, maybe I should just enjoy one thing at the end of the year.’” Malhotra said.
Having a finger on the shutter is an old habit for this editor-in-chief of Chaparral’s yearbook. As you might guess, with a photographer at the helm, Golden Images featured a lot of great photography.
“I am so happy with how it turned out,” Malhotra said. “My staff put in so much work and the photographs really came together and added a whole new dimension to it.”
Chaparral’s yearbook adviser, Jeremy Kamm, says that choosing Malhotra as this year’s editor-in-chief was one of the easiest decisions he has ever made. And he couldn’t be prouder of this year’s edition of Golden Images.
“In my opinion, although I’m biased, this is the best book that Chaparral has ever produced,” Kamm said. “She was patient and wanted to bring other students up to her level. She set the bar for excellence at Chaparral in terms of what a yearbook can be.”
It, however, was her individual work that once again caught the attention of the Colorado High School Press Association. For the second year in a row, CHSPA named Malhotra as its Photographer of the Year. Ponderosa High School's Elliott Douglas came in third place in the Photographer of the Year competition and Brianna Bradley of Rock Canyon High School and Katie Pickrell of Mountain Vista High School recieved honorable mentions.
It is the first time the organization has ever honored a repeat winner.
Kamm isn’t surprised. He says that she is an incredibly bright student who has even helped to make him a better teacher.
“Maddie understands the subtleties of human interaction and technical skill to get the 'great shot'” Kamm explained. “She has an understanding of journalism that exceeds her age and quite often I felt like I was conversing with a 30 year old in terms of maturity and sophistication of thought.”
Even so, Malhotra continued to hone her craft this year.
“I learned a lot about making a connection with the people that are in my photos and being even more aggressive than I had been before, in trying to get close to the action,” Malhotra said.
She encourages other students to get out of their comfort zones.
“That is the best way I know how to take photos: take a risk,” Malhotra said.
Next year, Malhotra plans to attend Boston University, majoring in journalism with a focus in photojournalism.
“She is very bright. She could do a lot of things,” Kamm said. “I want to see what she does. I want to hear back from her. I am excited for her.”