Heart-to-Art: Eva Strage sees life through a different lens

Gemma Strauss and Bella Piacente

“Heart to Art” is a column highlighting artists in the Redwood community. The column was created to represent the arts on a broader scale, appreciating student artists and their craft.

The setting sun casts a warm light on the San Francisco Bay’s tranquil waters. Sailboats coast under the towering Golden Gate Bridge, traveling towards the city’s ports. For many, this temporal moment is taken in with their eyes. However, senior Eva Strage sees this scene as an opportunity for art and captures it with her beloved camera, permanently cementing the beauty of this scene and many others with her precise skills and love for photography. 

Strage has been pursuing photography in the Advanced Placement (AP) photography class since sophomore year. Her teacher, Susanne Maxwell, admires her hard work and dedication to the art.

Strage takes a break from behind the camera to pose for a photo (Courtesy of Eva Strage)

“I could immediately tell that Eva was a passionate artist. It has been wonderful to watch her grow [her] talent, ideas and thought process. It’s exciting for me, as a teacher, to see someone with so much passion,” Maxwell said.

Fellow senior Nina Stypoloski has taken AP photography class alongside Strage for the past few years. Over this time, Stypoloski has watched her friend’s photography evolve into more than just a hobby. 

“In the beginning, [her photography] was a lot more of her using her iPhone to take a few quick snaps. [Recently], she really started playing around and getting into using the cameras and [equipment]. She is looking at life through a photography lens now,” Stypoloski said. 

Strage’s mastery has also enabled her to take a more meaningful approach to her work.

“[Her photography] gets people to think about things differently. There are times where she uses her photos for different reasons, like to transport people to a different place, maybe through taking a really scenic photo that’s really beautiful or by using Photoshop to change the photo up and make it look like something that’s kind of surreal,” Stypoloski said. 

Outside of school, Strage has utilized YouTube to learn more technical photography skills. She credits one of her biggest photographic advancements to her strategic use of Photoshop.

“I didn’t start editing pictures until last year because I didn’t think that I had to. I [realized that] I can actually make [my photos] much better. There is a lot of stigma around social media posts [and] editing [pictures]. Realizing that I can alter pictures to make them better [has improved my photo quality],” Strage said. 

(Courtesy of Eva Strage)

Strage hopes to pursue her passion for photography professionally, possibly by starting a small business. 

“With the amount of time, effort and money [spent], I would really appreciate [making something in return],” Strage said. 

Although Strage would like to pursue photography professionally, her current priority is the art form itself. 

“With the proper composition, settings and the way that you take the picture, you can really tell a powerful story. I just love the idea that you can share something so easily with the world,” Strage said. 

Maxwell also sees a bright future in photography for Strage. 

“My goal for [Eva], and for [all] my students, is that they have a platform [where] their voice can be heard through photography. Eva has taken that platform and exceeded my expectations,” Maxwell said.

Strage’s portfolio can be found on her website, www.evastragephotography.com