Ask Steven Dardanello about his daughter’s passion for photography and he’ll tell you she’s loved it since she was very young.
But young is a subjective term. Melissa Dardanello is, after all, just 9 years old.
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The native of Mountainside, New Jersey is no stranger to the Lowcountry. She and her family are regulars to the Hilton Head area. And so, with our gorgeous backdrops, it only made sense for Melissa to follow her passion while on vacation.
Recently, The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette asked our area photographers to send us their favorite images of spring in the Lowcountry. Dozens of photos came in and voting took place exclusively on Facebook.
After two weeks, the votes were counted. And the 4th grader at Oak Knoll School came out on top with her image of a Sea Pines gator.
“Melissa is thrilled about winning the photo contest,” her father wrote in an email. “When Melissa is not taking golf lessons or a tennis clinic, she is usually borrowing the family camera to walk on the beach or along a lagoon, looking for gators.”
Steven Dardanello said his daughter hopes to have enough money saved from her allowance to buy a new Nikon or Canon camera. If she does, she’ll bring it with on her next trip back in August.
Her short term goal? Take a photography class this summer. Long term? She wants to open up a shop so she can sell her work.
Congratulations, Melissa - keep the photos coming!