Hail To the Rad Kids

Thirteen-year-old intuitive photographer gets up close and personal with nature

Meet Zuber, who likes to wander outdoors until he finds his shot
Posted:  Monday, April 16, 2018 - 9:30am
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BELFAST—After Zuber Yacoe, 13, is done with his homeschooled curriculum for the day, he’ll often take his iPhone with him outside and just roam around. He doesn’t know what he’s looking for, but with a budding photographer’s eye, he looks at the world around him closely, sometimes down on his hands and knees. It’s all to get the right photo, something that comes intuitively to him.

“I just like to go wherever it’s wild,” he said. “Usually, I am looking for something, but then I find something else.”

One of his photographs ended up at Young Artists Takeover at Waterfall Arts show this past March. It looks like a surreal miniaturized mountainscape with a river running out to sea. In fact, it was a tidal pool in the Florida Keys that Zuber shot while lying down to get the forced perspective. There was no further manipulation of the photo in Photoshop, which is hard to believe.

“I brightened up the photo a bit in iPhoto a bit, but that’s it,” he explained.

His family moved to Maine from the Florida Keys this past year and quite a few of Zuber’s best shots come from natural scenes in the Keys.

Joseph, his father, is a cinematographer. His mother, Marina, grew up in an artistic family and his older sister Aluna graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design with a degree in photography, so it definitely runs in the family.

“I think the books we have and the visual art he’s been exposed to add to his understanding of photography,” said Marina.

“What’s surprising to me about his work is how unique it is,” added Joseph. “When he’s shooting, he’ll just wander off on his own and you’ll see him just get into things. I’ll be with him sometimes taking pictures of the same environment, but I’m just amazed with the perspective what Zuber comes back with.”

While he already has an eye for technique, focal point and composition, Zuber is just happy to be a kid, outdoors, with few constrictions on what he feels like shooting. He hasn’t yet used a real camera, or studied photography techniques, and right now, he’s happy not to complicate what he finds naturally fascinating. The only thing he is experimenting with are some editing tools in iPhoto.

On July 3, Camden National Bank’s branch in downtown Belfast, 156 Main Street, will be displaying Zuber’s work on the walls.  Be sure to check it out.

Find out more about the origins or each photo in the captions in this story.

All photos are copyrighted under Zuber Yacoe and should not be downloaded or shared without permission.

Hail To The Rad Kids is an ongoing feature highlighting teens with artistic or musical talent.


Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com