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Mariah Lucas carries her camera everywhere

John Curran
Northern News Services
Published Monday, August 27, 2007

SACHS HARBOUR - There is a question being asked around here more than any other these days.

"Can I take your picture?"

It's almost always the confident voice of 11-year-old Mariah Lucas doing the asking.

A Grade 7 student at Inualthuyak school in Sachs Harbour, she is already a gifted young photographer.

"I love taking pictures," she said. "I carry my camera with me everywhere I go and have lots of pictures on it."

The pristine setting and abundant wildlife around her Banks Island home gives her plenty of chances to hone her skills with her digital Fuji camera - a gift from her family.

"I like getting pictures of birds," she said. "It's neat when you can get up really close to them."

With no camera store for hundreds of kilometres, she's not only learned how to use her camera, Lucas is also her own technical support.

At one point her built-in zoom lens jammed and the camera started flashing error messages on its tiny screen.

"It does that sometimes," she said.

Without missing a beat she popped the batteries out, gave it a slight tap - reminiscent of Fonzie bringing the jukebox to life on Happy Days - slid the double As back in and the little camera instantly powered up again.

"See, it's fine again," she said. "You just need to know how to fix it."

One day she hopes to be a professional photographer, perhaps working for a newspaper or magazine. For now she knows it's important to stay school.

That doesn't bother her one bit as she enjoys spending time in the classroom with her friends.

"Math is my favourite subject," she said. "It's fun working with numbers."

She also enjoys writing, something that will no doubt serve her well if she does decide to follow her journalistic passion.