Lewiston grad’s photos illustrate book

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LEWISTON – Alyssa Groleau, 19, has been interested in photography since she was little.

She remembers taking pictures at the Great Falls Balloon Festival when she was around 8 years old. One was good enough to be displayed in an exhibit.

Groleau was hooked.

At age 12, she visited Yosemite National Park in California, and discovered Ansel Adams, best known for his black and white Yosemite Valley photographs.

Groleau got hooked some more.

These days the college freshman, who graduated from Lewiston High School in June, is admiring a national book that features her photographs.

“Gifts and Talents For Teenagers: Discovering Your Unique Strengths,” published by LifeBound in Denver, features seven pictures taken by Groleau. The book was released in December, and is about helping students find their talents.

When Groleau got her copy and saw her pictures, “I freaked,” she said Monday. The publishers used seven of her photographs. They open most chapters.

The pictures are of students and are not identified in the book, but are all friends Groleau made at Lewiston High. “I picked people I know who have a talent for certain things,” she said. “One is Travis Dyke in his Air Force Jr. ROTC uniform. Another is of Jered Philippon playing the guitar. Another, Jake Theriault, is building a house.”

Another picture is of Ann Danforth reading the newspaper. “She’s into politics,” Groleau said. Still another photograph “is of me, shooting the camera,” Groleau said.

Groleau said she met the author, Carol Carter, in Chicago in 2005. Carter has written a series of books to help middle and high school students. Groleau was attending an American Library Association conference with her mother, who works at the Bates College library.

Groleau went up and talked to Carter at her booth. After they chatted Carter asked if she could interview Groleau for an upcoming book. That led to Groleau being offered a photography internship at LifeBound.

“Because we’re a student success company, we want to work with students on our books,” said Sara Fuller, manager at LifeBound in Denver. Groleau was their first student photographer intern, she added. “We gave her a list of what to shoot. We talked a lot about digital photography and how to send files.”

While at Lewiston High, Groleau took photography classes for three years. Lewiston High Assistant Principal Elizabeth Bradley said she’s excited to see Groleau have the opportunity. “It’s a proud moment for Alyssa and our community.”

The daughter of Stan Groleau of Hartford and Sandi Groleau of Lewiston, Groleau attends the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, N.H. She plans to pursue a career in photography after college.

Or maybe LifeBound has another assignment waiting for her this summer.

“I definitely want to do it again,” Groleau said.

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