CRANFORD, NJ – Cranford High School’s Natalie Schindler may be young, but she’s already taking steps to conquer the fashion photography world.

Last week, Schindler’s work was featured in “America 2017,” a high school exhibit at New York’s School of Visual Arts. Her photo was featured among student work from 30 states and drawn from more than 2,000 submissions.

“It was fun,” Schindler said. “There were a lot more people than I expected, it was really crowded. I was nervous at first, but it feels good to see it on the wall and hear what people have to say about it.”

Sign Up for E-News

Schindler, who studied photography at a pre-college course at SVA, submitted five photos to the exhibit. Her favorite photo, of students hanging out in school, was chosen.

“I was excited they picked my favorite,” Schindler said. “The theme was ‘America 2017,’ so I wanted to show what people my age are like, the clothes they wear and what they look like.”

It wasn’t the first time Schindler’s work was singled out for display. Last year, Schindler’s photos were featured in the “Fresh Perspectives” exhibit at the Morris Museum, which highlights artwork from artistically accomplished high school students in New Jersey.

“Natalie is exceptional,” Linda Cortinas, Natalie’s photography teacher at CHS, said. “She’s self-driven. She goes out there and looks for opportunities to put her photographs out. She’s ambitious. There’s a lot of thought behind everything she does.”

When Schindler’s not in school, she takes photos for fashion designers and Instagram companies and works at Augusta Mae Boutique. Recently, “Nylon Magazine” featured her photo of a purse by designer Dolores Haze.

“I really like doing stuff with clothes,” Schindler said. “I’ve always been obsessed with clothes. I know I want to go to school and work in the city, working for a clothing company or different jobs related to fashion photography.”

Next year, Schindler hopes to study fashion photography more at either SVA or the Fashion Institute of Technology.

“I was inspired by my older sister, Emily Schindler, who majored in photography,” she said. “I was also really inspired by the magazine ‘Rookie Yearbook.’ The founder was really young when she started, and it made me feel like I could start doing it.”

The “America 2017” exhibit ran from Nov. 18 through Dec. 2. To view more of Schindler’s work, click here.