Creative Career Cohort

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2023 Cohort Session Two

We are proud to introduce and showcase the work of the 2023 Creative Career Cohort. This 17-week, three-part cohort explores photography, graphic design, lighting, styling, and editing.

Session Two: Honing Artist Vision

Applying photography knowledge to build and create in a working photo studio

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How have you hidden yourself from the light? How many hand have been offered,  just to be turned down hidden under a facade “I’m fine”, an all too familiar sentence. The light has always been like a magnet for me, seeing the light pierce through the shadows and create a marvel, it feels special to capture it.

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A Collection Of Things Better Left Unsaid is a photography project intended to represent themes of identity, or more specifically, lack of identity. While the entire book can be taken in an abstract fashion, the story entirely up for your own interpretation, the initial idea behind the use of poetry and gritty/grungy photography was to represent the dissonance felt by the subject to those around him.

All of the poetry told in first person point of view is told from a subject who lacks a solid identity and is searching frantically for one in objects, people, and his own fantasies. The brief second person stanza in the beginning refers to self-ridicule in the search for purpose.

I purposefully made the titles and stanzas vague, so that it's easy to relate to, and fits with the gloomy tone of the entire book. Going for grainy tones and harsh shadows, along with a mostly monochrome colour palette, I'm intending for a vintage or noir feeling. That's generally where I take most inspiration from.

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I love the sky. Sunrises and sunsets have always been fascinating to me. But I’ve felt more connected to it ever since my uncle passed. Maybe it’s because he’s always loved the sky too. Whenever I look up, I remember one of my favorite people. We used to look up at the night sky together when I was a kid. He’d tell me all about the stars and space. That’s where I got my love for astronomy as well. In the daytime, he’d give me lessons about the water cycle and where clouds came from. I used to fall asleep in boredom, but now I regret not listening to him more. Rest In Peace.

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These photos were taken in 2023, my 2nd year of taking photos. In my photos you are going to see different environments being compared against each other. From concrete, rock, and steel giants to small animals. 

My photos show what inspired me to pick up a camera and allow other people to see through my eyes. Throughout my life I have always been attracted to the water and its aquatic life.

Now I don't know why I have this attraction to the water. It might be because of how little we know about it or how much there is of it. But one thing I do know is you see everything through a lens differently on it and in it.

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The theme of this project is the City and Me. I wanted to put together photos I’ve taken in the past few months, and represent myself and my artistry authentically. I found a common pattern in my photos - the city. The buildings, the portrait shoot of my friend taken at an art museum in Capitol Hill, and the self portrait/portrait of my sibling that evokes imagery of neon signs on a busy street. To be honest, I struggled with putting together a cohesive collection of photos. I found the prevailing common factor was the location and its sentimental value in my work. I feel most comfortable when I’m out on the street taking photos, or taking photos of my friends out and about town.

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Hi, I'm Lorna. 

I'm a 16 year old artist located in Seattle, Washington. In this magazine, there includes contrasting and slow exposure photos that show social connections and relationship dynamics I notice in the world around me. 

​No matter where we go, we carry the experiences with others with us.

Oftentimes, I feel a disconnect with the world and how it's designed. So, it gets lonely even when I'm not alone. But through passions and interactions, I can open myself up to connection. 

​One by one we can feel less lonely, knowing we can all impact each other greatly.

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Human life centers around our connections. Without connections, everything would cease to exist. Every moment of your life is a connection you are establishing. If you are talking to a friend or family member, you are installing a connection with them. If you are listening to music on the bus ride to school, you are connecting with the different rhythms and beats in the music. These connections dictate our emotions and mold the people we become. My photos always have a subject in the frame because I like to emphasize life in my images. I want to tell a story about the person in the picture. Through this, I can tell the story of how connections impacted the subject’s life.

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Photo Two: My dad, this is the person who I look at for inspiration and the person I want to impress with my achievements and my good work. Ever since I was a little kid we have been a duo and spending 16 years with him has influenced me to become a better person and be open minded about everything and everyone. My dad has taught me to focus on myself and what I want instead of worrying about the small things that don't matter. My dad has taught me to work hard for what I want and not expect everything to be handed to me. 

Photos 3-5: A sign of modesty, wearing the hijab isn't just scarf you wear it's how you carry yourself as a person and it shows which group you represent, which in my case would be Islam. Throughout my teenage years my sense in fashion has changed and I found myself wanting to cover more rather then show more. I no longer seek validation from people who don't know me personally, and seek validation from myself and what I want. 

Photo 6-14: a "princess", I wore two outfits I felt the most beautiful in and included stuffed animals that I found cute in the background to remember my youth and what I most valued as a kid then me now as a 16 year old girl, the crown and wand represent the power I seeked as a child and wanting to be in control of everything in my life. Looking at the meaning for the word princess, it's seen not as a compliment because the meaning is translated as high maintenance, spoiled, and precious which is not good traits but who said it's a bad trait, you can be a princess and not be a bad person.

Last Photo: Looking through my book I felt that I was showing a new side of myself as a photographer. On my last theme I focused a lot on my culture and where I came from but this time I wanted to show another side of me, who always wanted to be a model and inspire little Afghan girls that even though they are not white, and have blue eyes, and blonde hair they could still be seen as beautiful in a media with girls who don't look like them. During this project I wanted to show what I believe in and what I value in my life.

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This project is a look into how I've come to interpret the way I see the world. Bright, dramatic, colorful, yet twisted all in a way that enhances the subject. I want to push the boundaries of the artistic mediums I create in, to share and inspire other artists that would consider their own art unconventional. All these photos are aimed to invoke a reaction and interpret what emotions were present during each photoshoot.

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