Viewing the world through photography
Wherever Nicole Burns goes, her camera normally travels with her.
"Photography is about having an eye for seeing beauty," says the senior art and
design major from LaGrange. "I usually photograph the abstract, the things that
you wouldn't necessarily see as beautiful at first, and then I try to make it beautiful
by taking a photograph of it."
Nicole developed a passion for photography from her high school art teacher, who
set up a dark room and taught students how to develop their own film. LaGrange
College professors helped her refine her craft.
"In high school we used a point-and-shoot camera," she says, "but at the college
I learned how to work with my camera with the shutter speed, ISO and aperture."
Through LaGrange College, Nicole traveled to Paris this past January to study
art and architecture with art professors John Lawrence and Dorothy Joiner.
Before the trip, students studied the major works of the Louvre, Musée d'Orsay,
Musée Rodin, Musée Picasso, Centre Pompidou, Palais de Versailles and Chartres
Cathedral. They also attended illustrated lectures in French art and architecture,
as well as the history of travel photography of Americans while in Europe.
While in Paris, they studied at the museums and made day trips to Versailles and
"I'm so glad LaGrange College gave me this experience," Nicole says. "I got to
see so many pieces of artwork that I never thought I'd get to see in person."
At a senior art exhibit at the college's Lamar Dodd Art Center, Nicole displayed
some of her black-and-white photographs she took in Paris as well as some from
Mexico, where her mother lives. Her other works included pictures that captured
light as an art form, whether it be the light shining into the window of a cathedral,
the lights of a spinning ride at a local carnival, or the light silhouetting tree
Nicole's bachelor's degree in art and design includes a concentration not only
in photography, but also in graphic design.
Her other works at the senior show featured applied graphic design in which she
created professional-quality designs that she featured on clipboards, stationery,
clocks, picture frames, pillows and clothing. She enlisted the use of a website,
spoonflower.com, to apply her designs to fabric for the pillow, a scarf, bracelet
"I tried to take art and apply it to everyday items," Nicole says. "People don't
always think of designing clothes or making patterns as being an art. I love making
patterns. I enjoy the patterns Vera Bradley does, that Lilly Pulitzer does.
I love fashion and design; it helps art become not just something you can see,
but you can apply it to your everyday life."