Committing to memory

McQueen senior tries to capture vanishing adolescence on film

“Cold Coffee,” photo illustration, Maleah Milner, McQueen High

“Cold Coffee,” photo illustration, Maleah Milner, McQueen High

by Alice Samberg | McQueen High School

“Late night,” photo illustration, Maleah Milner, McQueen High

Drawing inspiration from life and the people she is surrounded by, McQueen student Maleah Milner takes photos in the hopes of capturing the “here and now.” She wants to preserve the vanishing adolescence in high school students’ lives and the nostalgia and excitement that comes with the future.

As a first-year photography student, Milner had no preconceived idea about the kind of art she wanted to make at the beginning of this school year; however, as the year progressed, she quickly formed a focus and a message she wanted to communicate through her photography.

“Barber Shop,” photo illustration, Maleah Milner, McQueen High

“I like portraits,” Milner said. “I like people. I think we don’t give enough credit to how interesting individuals are. Even the weird, little, everyday things we do are special if you think about it. The subject I’m examining right now is the end of adolescence and how teenagers, specifically seniors in high school, leave behind things in our childhood that we feel nostalgic towards and enter into adulthood.”

As a senior herself, Milner often finds inspiration in her own life. When she catches herself doing something she finds typical of a 12th grader, or feeling nostalgic toward something all 12th graders have in common, Milner will draw on that as inspiration for her photos.

“It’s at this point in time that the little things we do as high school students—the nights we stay up late doing homework we’d forgotten about or putting on makeup in the car before class—are really small and insignificant but won’t happen as often as we grow up,” she said.