When Aiden Covington was 3-years-old, he played with Legos like any other boy his age. But he went one step farther. He would grab his mother’s phone and take pictures of his creations. That was the start of a passion for photography that the now 11-year-old Laurel Lakes resident has channeled into a semi-professional pursuit.
Aiden – or AC as he is known to family and friends – has had his photography exhibited twice at More Than Java Café on Main Street. Those exhibitions led to the sale of some of his photographs. He will soon join about 50 other artists in contributing a piece to the fourth annual Erase Hate Through Art exhibit that runs Oct. 8 - 29 at the Columbia Association Art Center. He will also publish a book next month that encourages other children to pursue their dreams.
“It felt good to see people enjoying my artwork,” AC said, of having his photos on exhibit.
As a young child, AC used the camera on his mother’s phone for several years to take pictures before he got a “real” camera when he was 8. He took a class at Best Buy to learn about various modes and settings and has been mentored by some local professional photographers since then.
AC favors nature photography but is also interested in abstract photography. He’s even taken a trip to Canada to shoot photos of the Windsor Waterfront Trail in Ontario.
“I like taking photos of nature and outdoor things, especially flowers,” he said.
His mother, Yolanda Covington, said the family supports and encourages AC in his photographic pursuits but is also careful not to push him in any direction when he is still so young. She limits him to about an hour a day to dedicate to photography so that he still has time to devote to school work, outside play and family.
Many other kids – and also plenty of adults – ask AC how he is able to do what he does at such a young age. He posts many of his pieces to Instagram under the handle @ACstudiopics and he recently launched a website, www.acstudiopics.weebly.com. He has donated some of his photographs to local hospitals, including Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring.
Queries about how he does it led AC about a year ago to begin writing his book, “If I Can Do It, You Can Do It Too.” It is scheduled to be published and available for purchase through his website and on Amazon in October, he said. He plans a small book tour later this academic year, including a stop at More Than Java Café.
In the future, he has set his sights on destinations farther afield, including Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
“I’ve always been interested in traveling the world and seeing new things,” he said.
Registration is now open for an Old Town Thanksgiving tradition – the annual Turkey Trot to benefit Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services on Thursday, Nov. 23. Registration is $30 until Oct. 1, when it increases to $35 through Oct. 31, and then to $40 on Nov. 1. The 5k race and one-mile walk begin at 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day at McCullough Field, at the corner of 8th and Montgomery streets. More information and registration are available at www.laureladvocacy.org or by calling Laura Wellford at 301-776-0442 ext. 27.