13th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
First Place, Youth 16 and Under


"Family Siesta"
By Vanessa Pan

About Vanessa Pan

Click on photo for larger image.

Vanessa Pan was all instinct when she saw her mother and brother side-by-side in bed, cooling off after a hike in Yosemite last summer. She thought "photo moment," grabbed her camera, and fired away. Pan, a 15-year-old freshman, is now taking photography class at Palo Alto High School, but had no training at all when she shot "Family Siesta."

Pan's mother has no qualms about being the underwear-clad subject of the photograph. In fact, she encouraged her daughter to enter the contest, and when she heard the picture had won, "she was bouncing off the walls," according to Pan.

While Pan enjoys photography, she is even more interested in playing guitar and singing in The Fink, an alternative rock band she and some friends recently formed. Their first show is coming up, and Pan is glad she'll be on stage, rather than taking pictures of somebody else performing. She finds music a little more personal than photography. "When I'm down, I play my acoustic and cry my eyes out," she said. "I don't go take pictures." She also enjoys painting. Her "photo moment" is good news for her step-father. He's the family photographer, Pan said, and he wouldn't be too happy if his award-winning step-daughter tried to take over that role.

--Cross Missakian

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