Local teen’s photo wins award

ISHPEMING – When Teresa Pillifant flipped through an issue of Cricket Magazine last summer and saw a photography contest being offered, she knew she had the perfect snapshot to submit.

“I’ve been getting the magazine for about a year and I’ve always seen the contests,” the 14-year-old Ishpeming girl who is a freshman at Marquette Senior High School said. “And when I saw the topic, ‘Summertime Photos,’ I thought I had the right picture for it.”

Pillifant submitted her photo, “Sunset on Lake Michigan,” to the magazine, and discovered a short time later that her photo had been awarded second prize in the July Cricket League photography competition, and would be published by the magazine both in print and online.

For the competition, each entrant was asked to submit an original photo of a summer adventure that they’d been on. The magazine, for kids ages 9 to 14, “publishes only the highest quality fiction – fantasy, historical fiction, myths and legends, humor, adventure, contemporary fiction and nonfiction stories for kids,” according to its website.

Pillifant started to snap pictures early.

“I started taking pictures I think (when I was) about 10,” she said. “My Nana, who lives in Oklahoma, she’s a photographer and she always takes pictures when we’re down there, and I like that.”

Getting a digital camera for Christmas one year helped.

Pillifant wants to continue with photography and said her favorite part of taking pictures is the memories they later elicit.

“When you look back on them when you’re older, you remember the memories and you get reminded of the happy times in your life,” she said.

Besides photography, she’s been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She said November is National Novel Writing Month and right now she’s working on a novel.

“It’s a historical fiction novel. I have two characters. They’re twins, and they’re transported back in time,” she said. “I’m not that far into it, but I have some different historical events. Right now I’m writing about the Irish potato famine, and then next I’m going on to the Titanic.”

Her father, Kit, said she often submits stories to Cricket and anxiously awaits the arrival of the next issue.

“She’s always loved words and just putting them together,” he said.

As for the future, Pillifant knows she wants to continue her writing and photography, but beyond that hasn’t made any decisions yet.

“I’m thinking about being an English teacher, but … there’s time to think about that,” she said laughing.

Zach Jay can be reached at 906-486-4401. His email address is zjay@miningjournal.net