Meet Valley’s Spring 2017 Entertainment Section Opener: Cameron Hart

Photo by Maria Crisafulli
Photo by Maria Crisafulli

Shot through the Hart

We all see the world through a difference lens. Cameron Hart sees the world through his DSLR camera’s lens. As a senior majoring in visual journalism, Hart uses photography and video to capture the lives of those around him.

“It all started with an iPod fourth generation, the first iPod that had a camera,” says the Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania native. “I would go around with this iPod and take pictures of everything. I liked the way light looked, especially at sunrise or sunset. I would go out really early or really late and do a lot of silhouette pictures and post them on my Instagram.”

Hart applied as a photographer for The Daily Collegian his freshman year, but was denied. Despite his disappointment, Hart continued to pursue his passion for photography.

“So I finally got my first camera, a DSLR, and I started shooting random pictures on campus or going on adventures,” says Hart.

While working as an intern for Penn State marketing, his supervisors soon realized his knack for photography. “They moved me to Penn State social media and I would go out everyday of the week and take pictures on campus,” says Hart. “And that’s where it really took off, and I changed my major from business to journalism. I started taking the classes and that really threw me into the photography world.”

Since then, Hart has taken his talents international through the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism. He photographed the Penn State Men’s Baseball team last spring in Cuba and the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. Hart is now a staff photographer at The Daily Collegian where his pictures frequent the front page.

In addition to still photography, Hart has worked with video and is currently working on his fourth documentary story.

“I think what I really, really like doing is long form stories where I can spend time and develop a relationship with someone and really show the intimate part of their lives that maybe someone you just met wouldn’t really show you,” says Hart.

Hart recalls one of his most memorable projects working with a woman who started a special needs hockey program at Pegula Ice Arena.

“She is a widow and has three mentally handicapped kids and her goal is to raise them to be independent,” says Hart. “I would go to her house or go to events with her three times a week and I really started to become comfortable with her and so would she. I was able to just capture what it’s like for her to help these kids become independent.”

Even though the project is complete, he says that he still visits and spends time with the family.

Hart’s advice to aspiring photographers is to pick up the camera daily.

“You really have to take pictures everyday, it doesn’t matter what of or how long. Just try to take one a day and you’ll know your camera better and you’ll be more comfortable taking pictures.”

Hart has turned a hobby into a passion and a profession. Others can take away from Hart’s story that with dedication and enthusiasm, it is possible to go from being the guy who got rejected, to being featured on the front page. Whether or not it’s a camera, we can look at life through any lens we please.