Bright Future: Natchez High School junior excels behind her camera

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 6, 2019


NATCHEZ — When Kaylyn Stampley — a junior at Natchez High School — takes aim through her camera lens, she shoots for success every time.

Her competitive drive paid off last month, when Stampley placed fourth in photographic technology at the district-wide Technology Student Association competition in Vicksburg.

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Stampley said, however, she feels confident she will take home first prize when she advances to the state competition on March 26.

“Honestly, when they called my name for fourth-place, I was happy because I knew I’d worked hard enough to get to the state competition … but I know I can do a lot better now. … I’m determined to place first this time, because I want to go to nationals.”

Stampley started preparing to compete against 300 to 400 students in the district competition last October, she said, taking various pictures that fit into broad categories, one of which was “nature vs. technology.”

Using her imagination, Stampley photographed a broken laptop buried under a pile of leaves.

“They told me what they wanted to see in the photos, and I had to edit them on the spot,” Stampley said.

Stampley said she became fascinated with taking pictures two years ago and asked for a camera for Christmas.

Once she had the tools, Stampley said she started testing out her skills and started an Instagram page to showcase her captured moments.

“I haven’t promoted the page to where I’d like for it to be since I’m still in school,” she said. “My sports and my schoolwork occupy most of my time, but when I have a bit of free time I like to practice taking pictures. … I’m not exactly where I want to be with it, but I’m determined to get there eventually.”

Pictures are not her only passion, Stampley said. She is also a member of the Natchez High School drum line, the softball team and the SGA.

Stampley said her goal after high school is to go to Jackson State University and study criminal justice to become a lawyer.

“People say I like to argue,” Stampley said. “Actually, I like to debate. … Lawyers not only debate, but they also help people … and I feel like that would be my way of helping people in the community.”

Stampley is the daughter of Nikki Stampley and the granddaughter of Frances Stampley.