by MICHELLE TREMBLAY | photos by Zeena Gregg Photography


Picture Perfect

When Daniel Poplawsky visited the Grand Canyon at 10 years old, his life was forever changed. “My dad gave me a point-and-shoot camera and my passion just grew from there,” recalled Daniel about his first encounter with photography. “I was inspired to continue and pursue this as a career when I saw people around me finding success in photography.” Flash forward three years, and Daniel has become a successful photographer in his own right – even attempting to start his own photography business.

Daniel has been living in Carmel Valley all of his life. “I love it here because there are so many different locations nearby for several different types of photography,” described Daniel, “but also the proximity to the beach.” This last point is an important one to Daniel, as he is inspired by the water. “Not only do I draw ideas for pictures at the beach, but a lot of my photography has something to do with water, the beach, the waves, or the areas surrounding the beach,” explained Daniel. Perhaps this love for water was influenced by one of his most notable life experiences. “My most memorable experience is definitely going on a three-day trip to Mexico,” shared Daniel. “During these three days I stayed at my great uncles scenic house on a lake. What made it truly memorable was flying a small plane over the scenic lake with views of the surrounding mountains.”

“I was inspired to continue and pursue this as a career when I saw people around me finding success in photography.”

In an effort to garner exposure for his business Daniel uses social media to publish the majority of his work. “I received some recognition from a few other successful photographers who saw some of my work,” said Daniel, “and they took it upon themselves to help me improve my photography and offer guidance.” He admires photographers like Annie Leibovitz, who is well known for her portraits, and Clark Little, known for his pictures of Hawaiian waves.

Daniel currently attends Canyon Crest Academy where he thoroughly enjoys his photography class. “To me school is very important not only because of the academics but because of the social aspect of making new friends and forming relationships that could last,” said Daniel. When asked about his future goals Daniel replied, “I would like to attend a UC school and make a successful career out of my photography in a few years. I would like to reside in Ocean Beach or Encinitas.”



Name: Daniel Poplawsky (15)
School: Canyon Crest Academy
Grade: 9
Parents: Sergio Poplawsky, Rina Podolsky
Sibling: Alexa (12)
Favorite Local Spot: Torrey Pines Beach