16th Annual Palo Alto Weekly Photo Contest
"Manny of Carmel"
About Allegra Santis
Gunn High School graduate Allegra Santis, 21, has been taking photos for only a year, so she was thrilled and surprised to learn her shot of Manny, a "little punk" bulldog she encountered in Carmel, won second place.
Santis, an East Palo Alto resident, discovered photography while studying abroad in Florence through a program at Foothill College with instructor Kate Jordahl.
Since then she's been snapping shots whenever she can, just for fun.
Santis met Manny, whom she described as a "little hippopotamus," in August at a dog-friendly beach in Carmel, where she was vacationing with her mother.
Manny, it turns out, had discovered a 6-foot-long branch that he had been protecting with all the ferocity a small bulldog can muster.
Santis said she likes the winning photo because it captures Manny's personality -- and includes the entire stick, which is longer than it appears in the photo, Santis said.
"I love dogs. They're my favorite subject. They have such great personalities," Santis said.
With her mother, Santis is the proud companion to Yope, an affable 13-year-old big black mutt.
Santis recently finished a degree in art history but plans to go back to school to study graphic design, while keeping her job as a part-time nanny to a 5 and a 9 year old.
And she's considering ways to display her rapidly accumulating photographs, including possibly creating a dog calendar.