The lights are like lasers, reflecting off the band. The bass vibrates the floor and Delaney Nordbrock looks at her awestruck friend, then back at the stage. She mumbles the lyrics to the song being performed, and reminds herself never to forget this moment. She pulls out her trusty camera to snap a picture.
Delaney doesn’t have to commit to every aspect of her adventures through memory. The footage from her countless voyages around the world will be there for her to remember, and appreciate the best times in life.
“Do you ever have that realization in the middle of something, and you’re just like ‘I never want to leave this moment?’ I don’t want to forget. I can’t. I won’t,” Delaney says.
These moments are saved for her future self to look back on and reminisce. Whether she wants to watch clips from her trips to California or gaze at photos of her friends at the Balloon Festival.
Delaney will be able to recall the good old days when she is old. When Delaney is 80 years old, she hopes to show her grandchildren her adventures through the mountains of Colorado through her photo albums or by slipping a CD into an antique disc player.
Delaney always knew she had an artistic side of her. Even she couldn’t deny. She was a bit clumsy for sports, too abstract for math or science, but she knew that she was a visionary with a hint of creativity. So Delaney became a photographer.
“There is no exact point in my life that decided this, it’s all a jumbled mess,” Delaney says.
A lot of family problems, and social interactions that summed it all up and is still adding up, furthers her interest for the arts.
Delaney’s earliest memory with photography was during fifth grade, when she used her LG Neon slide phone to capture moments (she sarcastically notes) at a very high resolution camera. After realizing her interest in taking photos, Delaney saved up every penny from Christmases, birthdays, and babysitting jobs to purchase her very own Sony A37 camera in eighth grade.
“I was pretty notorious for breaking and or losing things, but that camera- I have held onto it for dear life,” Delaney says.
Ever since Delaney started out with photography, her family and friends have supported her. Her older sister, Tara, has been a big influence in her life, especially during her artistic journey. She has helped Delaney stray from social norms and has exposed her to many new things.
Delaney believes a portion of her creativity comes from her DNA and the other part is from the people she surrounds herself with.
McKenna, Delaney’s twin sister, has also encouraged her talents.
“We all have something that comes natural to us, and seeing a camera in that girl’s hand seems like it has always been second nature to her,” McKenna says.
Laney’s go-to style of photos are portraits. She wants to be able to stir up emotion through expressions and body language. Her photographs tell a story and get people to think, laugh, or maybe even relate.
“If they are done right, they can show so much emotion that even the observer can feel something,” Delaney believes.
She prefers to capture moments of conversation and vows never to dictate the subject. The participant may feel out of place at the beginning, but after a while he/she warms up to the laid back vibe.
In order to make her friends feel more comfortable while being photographed, Delaney engages them in a casual discussion which produces more genuine photos.
Delaney is given the opportunity to showcase her talent at school. She is on the Prowler yearbook staff as the video editor, and does everything in the class from interviewing people to writing feature stories.
“She is very open-minded and more of a free spirit,” yearbook advisor Mark Hilburn says. “I think she’s drawn to people and interested in telling their story the best she can, whether it is through her writing or a photograph.”
After devoting a great deal of her free time to taking pictures since middle school, Delaney has recently explored the world of film and videography. During the summer prior to her junior year, she decided to record the highlights of her summer break and make them into a short film.
The short video incorporates several occasions from her summer. Jamming to music at the M83 concert. Messing around with her sisters downtown. Summer picnics with her friends. These are times Delaney chooses to document and appreciate.
The montage has been in the making since summer. A work in progress. Shs tries to find time to edit and perfect the creation while balancing school, friends, and her busy job at a movie theater.
“It is a lot of pressure and an overwhelming amount of stress at times but whenever I’m freaking out, I remember that I will thank myself in the future,” Delaney says.
Her main focus is work. Delaney is saving up money to attend a film camp at Northwestern University in Chicago. The film production program is five weeks: two and half weeks of learning about film and then two and half more of creating her own short film. She has applied for scholarships and is investing all of her time and money lately into this pretentious camp.
Delaney has thought about pursuing a wide range of careers in the industry from film production to editing to videography. She has been deciding between a few different careers from what she can make a living off of to the whole “starving artist” stereotype.
For her first two years of college, Delaney plans to take general education classes at Metropolitan Community College. Afterwards, she would like to transfer to a larger university, such as the University of Nebraska Lincoln or Northwestern, to focus on some film courses.
“After loving photography for a couple of years and working at a movie theater, the dots kind of connected,” she says.
Delaney wishes she could have immersed herself in the idea of film earlier in her life so she would have known what stabilizers, backdrops, etc. to use. Although the concept is new to her, Delaney knows that by following this path, she will have the future she wants.
Although Delaney started out taking photos because she feared forgetting the past, the hobby turned into a future.
Help support Delaney’s dream in the film industry and donate to her GoFundMe page. https://www.gofundme.com/northwestern-university-film-camp
More photos by Delaney: