Photography by Jack Sieckhaus

Betty Butler, Staff Writer

Ever since Jack Sieckhaus, a sophomore at MIHS, started taking photos on a trip to his grandparents’ house in 2018, he has been improving his photography skills and sharing his progress on social media.

“I took my grandma’s phone and ran around the neighborhood taking photos,” Sieckhaus said. Upon receiving the photos back, his grandma was impressed. “Originally I thought ‘oh that’s just my grandma’ [… but] as a surprise I got a camera for Christmas that year [and] I’ve been using it ever since.”

After growing tired of taking photos of his neighborhood, Sieckhaus has furthered his photography through the photography class at school.

“[My photography class] got me back into photography because it showed me a lot of new things that I hadn’t been able to do,” Sieckhaus said. “I hadn’t been able to edit, really before that and [the class] taught me how to do that.”

This fall, Sieckhaus expanded his skill set by taking pictures at Mercer Island High School football games. He took photos at a variety of games, including the Homecoming and Senior Night matchups.

“[The football photos] are important to my progression as a photographer because I can directly see the feedback from the players,” Sieckhaus said.

When going to take pictures, Sieckhaus likes to start with a general idea of what the photo will be in advance to adequately prepare.

“If I’m walking around my neighborhood and I see something cool, then I’ll run home and grab my camera,” Sieckhaus said. “Every time I turn my camera on, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m gonna be taking photos of.”

However, when new opportunities present themselves, Sieckhaus often chooses to revise his plans.

“Almost always, I start with a specific plan and that goes out the window within like, two minutes, and I just see what looks cool and is worth shooting,” Sieckhaus said. “That’s where I get into taking photos of the Flag Dudes and the crowd.”

Going forward, Sieckhaus is interested in continuing sports-action photography, specifically at a college with a big football program. 

In addition to Mercer Island football photography, this winter Sieckhaus plans to take photos while skiing and at other Mercer Island sporting events.

“I’m a big skier so this season I’m gonna try and take a couple days, grab a friend, and take some photos,” Sieckhaus said. “Football’s cool and all but there’s a lot of other sports at the high school so basketball, volleyball, soccer, [I’ll] try to get to some of those.”

Just like Sieckhaus improved his skills at the photography class at the high school, anyone looking to get into photography can do the same.

“For anyone that’s interested in photography, even a little bit, I’d really recommend the photography class at the high school,” Sieckhaus said. “I think a lot of people look at it as sort of an easy A, […] but if you are really actually interested in photography it’s a really fantastic way to get involved.”