Katey Ladika likes to look at life through the lens of a camera.
The 15-year-old sophomore at Forest Hills High School recently won her second Best of Show for photography in the youth age group at the Pennsylvania Farm Show.
Although she hasn’t been taking pictures long, it’s a hobby that’s quickly turned into a passion.
“A few years ago my mom let me use her camera to go out and take snow pictures,” Katey said. “It was just something to do over Christmas break because I was bored, but now I love it.”
This year she submitted 20 photos for judging at the farm show, and 14 of them placed.
The Best of Show was a black-and-white shot of Katey’s grandfather.
“That photo really means a lot to me because it depicts him and his life,” she said.
At last year’s show she entered 10 photos, and a black-and-white shot of a pocket watch took Best of Show.
“I didn’t expect to do so well,” Katey said. “I really am amazed, and it feels good to make my family and teachers proud.”
She said she prefers to shoot in black and white, and people are her favorite subjects to capture.
“I like to shoot people when they are being themselves and anything dramatic that tells who that person is and what they are about,” Katey said. “But I like to to shoot anything and everything.”
Katey’s accolades also include Best of Show and numerous ribbons at the Cambria County Fair and from the Greater Johnstown Camera Club. She’s had her photographs displayed at the Community Arts Center of Cambria County, Wolf Kohn Gallery at Mount Aloysius College, Art in Bloom in Ebensburg and the Greater Johnstown Young Artist Exhibit.
She’s been published in Pennsylvania Magazine and Johnstown Magazine and currently serves as the yearbook photographer for Forest Hill High School.
In addition, she received the 2012 Lions Club Art Award.
Wendy Ladika, Katey’s mother, said she’s proud to see how well her daughter has done with her photography.
“She has that eye, and it’s a real gift because the pictures she takes are fantastic,” she said. “She sees things differently.”
Katey hopes to attend an arts school, earn a bachelor of fine arts in photography and work for a magazine, preferably Vogue.
The farm show, which is being held at the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center in Harrisburg, runs through Saturday.