Crossroads student brings beauty to the world through photography

 In Central Texas, Copperas Cove

By: Mandi Miller

There is a phenomenon in psychology called inattentional blindness that causes people to miss things right in front of them. Most of us experience this phenomenon daily; so focused on our task that we overlook much of our surroundings. Crossroads High School student and photographic artist Shawn Carpenter is not one of these people.

Carpenter is captivated by the tiny details of life, and through his photography, he reveals a beauty that is often hidden in plain sight, said teacher Mandi Miller.

“Shawn has always noticed the little things around him. In each ignored or overlooked subject, Shawn finds a quiet elegance. A flowering bush at his bus stop was blooming its radiance but found no audience in the teens who were also waiting. Shawn, however, observed the flowers through the eyes of an artist. He captured their beauty with his lens, adding an effect to make the flower look as though it were a colorful mandala,” Miller said. “For his art credit, Shawn was tasked with photographing the art studio at Crossroads and his lens found a tiny, overlooked statue as well as a dusty typewriter that sat in a forgotten corner.”

Taking these photographs alters Carpenter’s reality in a more beautiful way.

Crossroads High School Student Shawn Carpenter

“You can change someone’s perspective on a subject through photography. It is a way to give attention to something that had not been given any attention before,” Carpenter said.

Student Willow Bradfute has strong admiration for Carpenter’s photographs.

“He makes something so simple seem so meaningful,” Bradfute said. “Shawn brings a lot of emotion to what would normally be so modest.”

Miller said the staff at Crossroads High School consider themselves very lucky to have an artist such as Shawn in their midst.

“It has been said that great art is taking something ordinary and making it extraordinary, but Shawn simply wants all the beautiful things in our lives to be appreciated for what they are, to be noticed,” Miller said. “We can all take a lesson from that.