A! Magazine for the Arts

Hannah Duncan

Hannah Duncan

Art for Youth Spotlight: Hannah Duncan

October 29, 2014

Hannah Duncan isn't old enough to remember when "Kodak Moments" was the marketing slogan for that camera brand, nor is she old enough to remember when Kodak introduced a new slogan in 2001 encouraging people to "Share Moments, Share Life." She does, however, embody that philosophy.

Her photographs are slices of life: children playing, a quiet moment in the life of a musician, a close-up of a flower, a floating leaf or dewdrops sparkling on a spider web.

"I love taking pictures of life all around us," Hannah says. "I am always looking for my next subject, and when I see it happening I just snap the picture. I also like to take pictures of people in their natural state. I will from time to time have my subjects do something, and then I will take the picture while they are in the moment. I like for my photography to show life as it is happening."

She started taking photographs because of her uncle. "My Uncle Mike is a photographer and is always taking pictures, and I became interested in what he was doing. So, once I got my iPhone, I started taking pictures using the iPhone camera. I take pictures of anything and everything around me."

When it turned out that she had an eye for seeing the beauty in everyday objects and activities, her parents bought her a digital camera this past Christmas, but she still uses her phone as well.

She says she "loves taking black and white photos. I also like taking natural photos of people; I just like the pictures to happen. I also like to take pictures of nature. It is a way to express myself, to connect to life, and I just love doing it."

While Hannah's friends and family are profound influences and encourage her in her artistic pursuits, she recently received outside validation through the Virginia Highlands Festival photography contest. She entered seven photographs, and all were accepted for the exhibit. A photo of her sister, entitled "Carefree," received an Award of Merit and tied for the People's Choice Award.

"I have entered several different contests and have placed second," Hannah says. "However, almost winning Best of Show and competing with such great photographers at the Virginia Highlands Festival was the most inspirational. I got to meet the judge, Harry (Taylor), who had a lot of great things to say about my photography. That meant more to me than winning. Then I tied for People's Choice. I am glad that others were/are able to enjoy my photography and to see what I have captured of life."

Her photographs can be seen and are for sale at The Arts Depot, Abingdon, Virginia, and at Fiddle Head Junction in Glade Spring, Virginia. In January, her photographs go on exhibit at The Arts Depot.

"My photography will soon be published in an online magazine called Rays Road Review. It helps that my father is the creator of this magazine (wink wink)," she says.

Hannah plans to go to college, preferably a college for the arts, to learn more about photography. "Working with a magazine would be awesome or having my own art shop where I can sell my art and photography," she says.

In addition to photography, Hannah is interested in pencil drawings and painting. "I have a great array of artistic and creative friends who inspire me and challenge me," she says.

She also writes, plays the piano, guitar and plays the trumpet in the Patrick Henry High School band. "I also enjoy drinking tea and having tea parties with my friends. Isn't that what all teenagers are doing?" she quips.

Hannah, 14, is the daughter of Chris and Stephanie Duncan. She is in the ninth grade at Patrick Henry High School.