Billy Hardiman, a junior at Horizon Community Learning Center in Ahwatukee, has been making a name for himself in the field of photography, working as a part-time photo journalist for the Wrangler News.

Hardiman’s interest in photography stemmed from wanting to be able to capture the moment in a photo to save as a memory.

“The last couple years I started really getting into it, and I got a nice camera for my birthday… ever since then I’ve been playing around with a lot of different techniques,” Hardiman said.

His mother influenced her son to seek employment as a photographer, seeing that he showed passion for his craft.

This past March, Hardiman noticed the Wrangler was seeking staff photographers, so he decided to apply.

As luck would have it, Hardiman was able to land a part-time position at the paper.

Along with shooting photos for the Wrangler, Hardiman does other tasks for the newspaper like designing and editing photos.

As the young photo journalist is finishing high school, he goes into the newsroom after school and receives photo assignments via email.

Hardiman’s favorite assignments to shoot are sports because he said he’s able to get good action shots of the players.

What took a lot of practice was being able to get people comfortable while they’re having their photo taken, he said.

“I’ve learned you always want to talk to them constantly to make sure they’re comfortable, so they kind of forget the camera is there,” Hardiman said.

During the first few months at the Wrangler, he had a few nervous jitters being a paid photographer, but after hours of practicing how to capture the perfect photo he was able to calm his nerves.

“They started me easy shooting simple stuff,” Hardiman said.

One assignment Hardiman will surely remember for years to come is this past August when President Barack Obama visited Desert Vista High School to make a formal speech.

Before taking photos of the President, Hardiman was having lunch with his boss and co-workers and mentioned that Obama was coming to Ahwatukee.

“It was almost unreal,” Hardiman said. “They used it for the cover shot, which was pretty sweet.”

Hardiman plans for photography to be more of a side gig in the future because he’s interested in pursuing an education in electronic engineering.

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