Capturing Memories | Documenting History

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Capturing Memories | Documenting History

The Blaze Yearbook

Capturing Memories | Documenting History

The Blaze Yearbook

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Focusing on the Future

Having an Eye for Photography, Walentowski Grows His Business
Focusing+on+the+Future
Dan Zalazar-Ramirez

Start by inserting a battery and putting the SD card into the camera and add the lens. Look through the viewfinder on the camera and press the shutter release to create the image. To follow the process step by step was vital in photography and in building a business. Alex Walentowski (11) had his own business and it led up to something bigger.

Walentowski and his camera always had an eye for cars, going to car meets and learning about the people involved. He met one of his clients and future friend at a car meet at Lower Lot in Kenosha.

“I met him at a car meet and he is super passionate about photography, his outgoing energy made me want to work with him,” Juju Domanico said.

I realize I can make money by doing what I love.

— Alex Walentowski

Starting at a young age, Walentowski always wanted to follow in his dad’s footsteps of being a photographer. His father was a member of Photogroup Kenosha, a local photography club.

“My dad was always really big on photography and I was always really curious on what he was doing, everything pretty much from there is self taught,” Walentowski said.

John Walentowski made photo contests for him and his sister and would come up with ideas for photos. Originally, Walentowski had an android tablet to take his photos.

“He asked to take my DSLR out in the backyard to take some photos,” John said. “He had a really good eye for angles, lighting, and just all around cool pictures.”

The name of Walentowski’s business was “JAWZ.Photography” on all his socials and merchandise, which was newly launched in 2024. He found his name through always liking the movie “Jaws” and his middle name starts with a J.

“I am incredibly impressed and proud of his drive to take things to the next level,” John said. “To watch him work his networking magic, planning and follow through is truly something to see. How many teenagers start their own business and can develop a following just from their skills and talent? Pretty awesome if you ask me.”

Owning a business, as far as prices went, was all up to Walentowski. He still had his primary job as a high school teenager and with photography as a side hustle, there were some conflicts when scheduling a client.

Finding the passion for something you love and being able to do something with it was not something everyone was able to do.

“I realize I can make money by doing what I love,” Walentowski said.

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About the Contributors
Juliana Mora
Juliana Mora, Yearbook Associate Editor/Podcast Staff
Juliana Mora (11)  is in her first year on the yearbook staff and she is currently associate editor. Mora helps the editor-in-chief oversee everything and help with communication. Mora also is on the staff of a new podcasting class and controls social media. Having the two classes is a great experience for Mora.   Mora found her interest in taking photos and design in a photojournalism/yearbook class offered her sophomore year which was an intro into learning on how to use a camera and media law and ethics.    Mora has worked on multiple spreads, but the one she is most proud of is her first spread ever done which was powderpuff. Mora’s favorite podcast she ever did with yearbook reference editor Andrea Lepley was Fall Trends.     In her free time she likes to go downtown and listen to music while walking her dog, Otis. She enjoys seeing different points of view of the world. She enjoys playing volleyball at family gatherings.    “I would thank my sister for introducing me to the Communications Academy at Indian Trail,” Mora said. “She knew what I liked before I even knew and pushed me towards publications.”
Dan Zalazar-Ramirez
Dan Zalazar-Ramirez, Photo Editor
Daniel Zalazar-Ramirez, a senior, has been in The Blaze yearbook since 2021. Zalazar-Ramirez was looking for something new, and The Blaze piqued his interest. He found an interest in journalism and photography and has been pursuing that interest ever since.  Zalazar-Ramirez is a photo editor for The Blaze. He is in charge of selecting the photo of the week and setting up equipment for the staff to use for coverage of events. In his free time he enjoys working out, playing video games, photography and hanging out with friends. “The best thing about being on staff is making new friends and getting close with each other. It’s like a second family,” Zalazar-Ramirez said.
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