By Jim Sullivan
---- — BYFIELD — It is a photo of anguish that has led to joy.
With his team destined for a post-season loss to Hamilton-Wenham, Triton football player Justin Spillane is caught dead center coming off the field with a look that can only be described as determined. His team is down and soon to be done, and his season and varsity career are about to end, but Spillane is still pushing his team forward.
Fellow Triton senior Madison Williams captured Spillane’s emotional moment on digital film and has good reason to be emotional herself, having won a Gold Key in the Boston regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her image. The photo entitled “Perseverance” is currently on display at Boston City Hall and will move on to the Scholastic’s national awards in New York in March.
“To be able to win an award for something that has to do with Triton, not just my own personal photograph, it feels good to be representing my school well,” Williams said. “Just the fact that it is for my high school, that is important.”
Williams has been a burgeoning shutterbug almost all of her life.
“When we made home videos, I was always trying to grab the camera from my parents,” she said. “I have always had that interest. But, over the past three years, I got into it more.”
Apparently her parents were tired of sharing the video camera and they bought Williams a Canon Rebel T2i for Christmas a few years ago. Delighted with her new gadget, Williams soon sought out Amesbury photographer Kelly Chadwick and began taking lessons.
“Every lesson I have with her, it makes me want to go out and take more pictures,” Williams said of Chadwick. “Working with her has been amazing. I think that everyone should see her photography. She is so unique and creative and what she does is not like anybody else.”
Triton art teacher Robin Verrette has seen something unique in Williams ever since she was a freshman and has sponsored her artwork for previous Scholastic Awards, where she has won two Silver Keys for painting, one for writing and one for sculpture. “Perseverance” marked Williams’ first Gold.
“She’s not afraid to try anything,” Verrette said. “She’s adventurous. Not only does she do this art stuff but she plays the piano very well. She is one of the most well-rounded students there is. She is involved in everything and not afraid to take on challenges.”
Williams pores through photo books and National Geographic magazines on a regular basis and makes a bit of cash here and there filming games for the Triton Boosters. She has also shot many of her friends’ senior pictures.
“It’s not that I don’t enjoy being in front of the camera, but I like having that control of being behind the lens,” Williams said. “Creating an image and capturing what is actually happening, especially the emotion behind it, drives me crazy when I don’t have my camera and cannot capture it.”
With a keen interest in surfing and underwater photography, Williams hopes to branch out and see a new part of the country in the fall and has an interest in attending Pepperdine, Clemson, Stanford or UMass Amherst.
“I definitely want to study photography, whether it is my major or something that I take as one of my important classes, that’s what I want to do,” she said. “It’s not the most reliable occupation, but it is something I would never think is work.”
All that is in the future and for now, this Viking soccer co-captain and outside midfielder is simply proud of the work she has done in her last year in high school.
“It’s nice that it’s my photograph,” Williams said. “But it’s more important that it’s for my school. This year has been such an awesome year at Triton, as a senior, as a captain leading my soccer team to our first state tournament ever — honestly, it’s been the best senior year I could ask for.”