Auburn’s young, blossoming photographer captures beauty

When Katelyn Cooper was 2 years old old, she was clicking photos from a film-loaded Fisher-Price camera.

Great shot: Auburn’s Katelyn Cooper captured a hummingbird at work.

When Katelyn Cooper was 2 years old old, she was clicking photos from a film-loaded Fisher-Price camera.

“She was doing perspective shots before her third birthday,” said her mother, Nicole.

Today the Auburn girl has become a blossoming artist, a precocious amateur photographer behind the lens of a multi-faceted Canon.

Nature and wildlife capture the imaginative eye of 12-year-old Katelyn, a quick study with the shutter, whose beautiful images are on display in the Cheryl Sallee Gallery at the Auburn Senior Activity Center through October.

“There’s something about nature and its beauty,” said Katelyn, a seventh-grader at Seabury Middle School, an independent school for gifted children in Tacoma. “There’s nothing fake. It’s pure.”

Her photos – from critters to rural-scapes – are genuine and intriguing.

“She sees things differently,” said Katelyn’s father, Wes, a photographer himself. “She takes angles that I don’t even consider.”

To hone her skills and build her technical foundation with a camera, Katelyn completed a photography class with the Mountaineers, the first of her age to do so with the Seattle-area group.

Katelyn, who has been selling her photography since she was 9, has won several photography contests, including a second place in a contest co-sponsored by National Geographic.

“It would be cool to be a National Geographic photographer,” she said.

In March, she sold her photos, raising nearly $1,000 to help classmates’ cultural trip to France.

In May, she participated in Auburn’s Art Walk event, and has been asked to return for future art events in Auburn.

For Katelyn, photography is a passionate hobby she wishes to express artistically for many years to come.

Visit Katelyn’s shop at



The Cheryl Sallee Gallery is in the lobby of the Auburn Senior Activity Center, 808 Ninth St. SE. Exhibits rotate every 6-8 weeks. Visit Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., to view artwork by emerging and established Puget Sound artists, and some talented seniors.

PHOTO BELOW: Katelyn Cooper captured this otter at Point Defiance Zoo. The otter had survived the Exxon Valdez oil spill. MARK KLAAS, Auburn Reporter

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