By Faith Lindsey
duPont Manual High School
The battle cry of around 900 students and community members sounded on a brisk Monday afternoon.
“Love conquers hate! Don’t discriminate!”
Georgia Mallett, a 17-year-old incoming senior at Ellensburg High School in Washington, documented the scene through her camera lens that may have displayed a couple of middle fingers, or families fighting to feel loved and a town organizing around them.
For Mallett, all roads never intentionally led to moments like this.
Her mom, Cynthia Mitchell, the head of communications at Central Washington University and the recipient of two journalism degrees, is a prominent fighter for free speech.
Since sixth grade, Mallett was the drummer.
“You get to bang stuff, and it really channels your anger through that,” she said humorously. “It’s like a punching bag. Drumming helps me get all of my anger out.”
When the hands of Matt Helders flew through the air in her first viewing of an Arctic Monkeys music video, she was hooked, she said.
In sixth grade Mallett was enrolled as the only female drummer in her school band. As middle school progressed, she acquired a few other interest along the way.
“In middle school, I wanted to make a YouTube account — embarrassing as it is,” she said.
Those videos never happened, but Mallet turned to still photographs.
“Instead of taking videos with my camera, I started taking pictures of nature and stuff,” Mallet said. “I thought it was an interesting way of capturing the beauty of the world.”
Her passion for photojournalism flourished as she acquired more merit, including being chosen as the best high school photographer in her county in 2016.
Mallett finds the pictures she enjoys taking the most often are of candid moments. She finds people-watching a source of inspiration.
“It’s a cool way of capturing true nature of people,” Mallett said. “It’s capturing the rawness of the world.”
Her photos evoke emotion and inward reflection of the human experience.
Mallett’s vivid images capture the power of truth and unrefined energy; through the lack of editing, natural beauty emanates from within.
“I didn’t intend to follow her (Mitchell’s) path,” Mallett said of her mother’s journalism career. “I didn’t say ‘I’m going to follow in her footsteps.’ One day I realized, and I was like, won’t you look at that.
“It’s not like you can run away from destiny.”
Mallett continues to capture scenes like the peace walk against the Ku Klux Klan in her community where, yes, images may contain victims of targeted racism being flipped off, but also show the interconnectedness of a community when a piece of their puzzle is targeted.
Music for now is set on the back burner, but who’s to say Mallet can’t have it all?
One day Mallett aspires to see her name in the bylines of the Rolling Stone Magazine, taking photographs of musicians from around the world while never forgetting her roots in covering controversial topics.