Caroline Bert was in Oceanside High School when she discovered her zeal for photography.
Bert said her experiences at the school and the teachers that mentored her before graduation in 2012 prepared her for her future.
Though she has suffered from Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a chronic illness where the nerves misfire sending constant pain signals to the brain, in her wrist since seventh grade, it has not stopped Bert from pursuing her dreams.
“Through rough times, I used photography as a way to express myself,” Bert said.
After Oceanside, Bert went to SUNY Potsdam and double majored in both of her passions — photography and dance. While there, she was very active on campus, serving as the treasurer of the dance team, publicist for the dance department, photographer for public relations, choreographer for the tap dance club, a senator in the Student Government Association and being very involved with the Center for Diversity. “I took advantage of every opportunity I had to dance, take pictures or any kind of leadership,” she said.
When her pain and the distance from home became too tough to manage, Bert left SUNY Potsdam in 2014 and transferred to LIU Post’s Honors College. A return home enabled Bert to begin her freelance photography business, where she photographs events. She has taken photos for the Herald, as well as the Island Park Business and Residential Chamber and spent a summer snapping pictures during games at Yankee Stadium.
Bert has had several exhibits on prominent display. One of them, which focused on everyday heroes, was showcased at the Island Park Library. The library also displayed her feature “The Princesses of the Park,” which was a series of photographs of girls age 8 and under dressed in princess gowns at Silver Lake in Baldwin. The exhibit emphasized women’s empowerment, Bert said, and asked the audience “At what point do we stop dressing up because we love the way we look and start dressing up because we don’t love the way we look?”
In May, Bert’s senior thesis focused on “Opposing Forces,” which was a body of work comprised of photos of dancers, where she printed the positives and negatives in black and white, and collaged them together using graphic shapes and elements of design to bring forward the concept of inner and outer emotions.
In September, her collection known as “The Butterfly Effect,” was displayed at the Island Park Library, which was compositions of photos she took at Masone Beach. She also collaborated with two of her peers for a Student Art League Gallery, which was on display at LIU Post from Oct. 1 through 6.
Bert works in customer service for Tamron USA Headquarters in Commack and is also taking classes to earn her masters in fine arts for photography at LIU Post.