Missy McDonough dreams of being a photographer for National Geographic, but the Englewood Sun intern, like many seeking a higher education, has a major obstacle to overcome. College is expensive.
“I wanted to be a photographer ever since I read about the (2004) tsunami in Thailand,” the recent Lemon Bay High School graduate said. “It impacted me to see the show of emotions.”
So much so that she raised $1,226 for the victims.
McDonough won a trip to Australia for National Geographic when she was in middle school. She described the experience as amazing and life-changing.
“I wanted to be part of National Geographic ever since the sixth grade,” she said.
When she visited the North American Nature Photography Association in Jacksonville in February, she met photographers Clyde Butcher and Art Wolfe, who were featured guests and her inspiration to get into nature photography.
“I taught myself photography,” she said. “I love how simplistic it is.”
McDonough joined the Sun as an intern in August, with the opportunity to explore different kinds of photography.
“Being a theater kid, looking at it from another perspective and shooting was a weird and different experience,” she said. “I liked being on the front page with photos for the school.”
Her last assignment was the LBHS production of “South Pacific.”
McDonough said her favorite shot was a photo of kids walking in front of the construction at LBHS.
“It reminded me of the Abbey Road cover of the Beatles,” she said.
McDonough graduated Friday night and has been accepted into Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota. She’s been awarded scholarships, but still needs to raise enough money to attend.
She uses her website, http://www.letmetakeyourpic.com, to take donations and attract new business.
“I do photo shoots for clients such as events, outdoor portraits, children, pets, etc.,” she said. “I sell some of my prints. I have matted 8x10s, some larger and framed.”
McDonough will continue her fundraising efforts on the streets of Englewood next month.
“I will most likely be standing on the corner of Dearborn and 776 in my cap and gown to try and raise awareness as I did when I was raising money to attend precollege at Ringling in summer 2011,” she said.
For more information or to make a donation, visit http://www.letmetakeyourpic.com .