From the time he was 7, Spokane’s Brennen Bailey would admire the pictures featured on the label of the bubble gum Jones Soda he purchased every other day.
“I would always look at it and think: I want my picture to be on the label,” said Bailey, now 16.
That childhood hope of the Rogers High School student recently turned reality. Bailey’s photo, which looks like a toy carnival, will appear on the label of about 220,000 Jones Soda bottles distributed in Washington sometime during the next year.
Bailey learned the good news from his advanced placement digital photography teacher, Richard Bech, who submitted some of his students’ photos to the Washington State Photography Competition of which Jones Soda was one of the sponsors.
Bech “told me I should be excited,” Bailey said.
Jones Soda picked six photos from the 44 entries statewide. “We received some really great entries and it wasn’t easy picking the six winners,” said Mike Spear, marketing director of Jones Soda Co. “Ultimately, we felt the winners best captured the fun, independent and irreverent vision of the Jones brand.”
Bailey took the picture with his cellphone while on the Ferris wheel at the Spokane County Interstate Fair last summer. He then applied a computer technique called tilt-shift, which makes the image appear miniature and almost unreal. The same effect can be achieved using a special lens on a camera.
This was the teen’s second year in the photography class, and it’s his only AP class. “I’ve always liked art,” Bailey said. “I just clicked with photography. It’s my passion. It’s a good way to express myself … to show someone your impressions.”
The picture chosen for the Jones Soda label is on display along with selected works by the Rogers High students who took AP digital photography this school year.
Bailey, who will be a senior at Rogers this fall, says discovering photography has made him more interested in succeeding at school.
“If I’m good in photography, I’m going to have to keep everything else good to so I can have a career in photography.”