Andrew High School Junior Emmily Scumaci uses her camera to capture the moments of her life.
Emmily Scumaci has the eyes of an artist, and a love for nature and landscape.
Last summer, as a sophomore, a photo she created for Mr. David Carroll’s photography class at Andrew High School won the honor of being displayed at the offices of the Illinois Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Carmen I. Ayala.
She did not know that Mr. Carroll had entered it, Emmily said. So when she won, she was as stunned as everyone else.
“I actually didn’t know that it was entered in this contest,” she said. “I knew that my teacher was entering (photographs) into art shows, but it must have slipped his mind that it was entered into this one, because I didn’t know until I won.”
“He said, ‘Did I tell that you won the State Superintendent competition?” Emmily said. “And I was like, ‘No I didn’t.’” she said, laughing. “It was a nice surprise that day.”
The dynamic color photo was chosen to be displayed in the Superintendent’s offices in Chicago and Springfield for at least a year if not permanently, Emmily said.
Her fascination with photography all began with an IPod.
“My grandparents have a place on a lake, and we go out there a lot,” Emmily said. “In seventh grade, I took some pictures of the sunset and they actually turned out pretty good.
“So, I started taking more and more pictures of things, and then when I got my phone, I took even more pictures.”
Going into high school, she found out that Andrew had a photography program. She began in graphic arts as a freshman year, which strengthened her editing background, and then moved on to basic and advanced black and white photography. Sophomore year she took color photography, and that is when the magic happened.
Having taken all the available photography classes offered, Emmily continues to take independent studies with Mr. Carroll, using her 35mm camera to capture thematic photographs - light and shadow, portraits, landscapes, and dominant color.
Though she is guided by these themes, she is always looking for ways to capture the moment with her camera.
“I think that some of my best pictures are the ones that I just happen to come across,” Emmily said. “They just happen naturally.”
In addition to photography, Emmily is a varsity cheerleader and coaches gymnastics at United Gymnast Academy in Tinley Park. She takes all AP and Honors classes, and loves playing with the Scumaci family dog, Rambo.
In her dining room, sitting underneath a series of paintings her family – mom, Maureen, sister Adriana, 14, and brother Saverio, 18 - did together, Emmily discusses what lies ahead for her.
Her photograph received some attention from colleges and universities while on display at the Bridgeport Art Center, Emmily said.
“My two favorites were Columbia (Chicago) and Syracuse,” she said.
“Last year my goal was to work for National Geographic,” Emmily said. “And I really want to travel.”
When asked what she loves most about photography, she doesn’t hesitate.
“Being able to capture the moment. It stays there forever.”