Hello everyone, my name is Ndiaye and I’m proud to say I was one of the youth that was accepted into CCC.
I had the honor to be chosen to be interviewed by Shida, Tara, and Ronnie for CCC after submitting my application online. After looking for programs with a friend to participate in, we came across Youth in Focus and instantly I was attracted to it. During my interview, I told my interviewers how I could see photography in my life, and my future career. I explained that I was interested in aerospace engineering and made the connection between reading and making visual manuals, like how you would read a photograph. Something I noticed was that visuals and photographs are both a form of art in some way. I noticed that they both seem to share some fundamental elements of art. For example in a visual manual sketch, you must consider space, lines, sizing and balance. The same can be applied in photography as well.
I chose my self portrait for this session to be this photo. At first, you may just think it’s a close up of some purple flowers, but I really think there’s more than that. Of course everyone is different, but when I look at this photo the first thing I notice is the beauty of it. The vibrant colors, the one flawless flower close to the camera. But then after some time when you start to notice the dry grass In the background , the dried up flowers surrounding it, and other things we call imperfections, you may start to criticize it. Then we let the beauty that we saw before slip our minds. I love this photo because it reminds me of what reality (for me) is like sometimes. When we meet people we often see one “perfect” side of them and set them to that “perfect” standard. “Oh this person is always happy”, “this person has no issues In life”, “it’s definitely not normal to see them in a bad mood”, “their life is perfect”…. But is it though? Just because you have only seen one side of a person doesn’t mean that’s all there is to them. Just because they are your friend and never show any other side doesn’t mean you don’t need to check up on them. And just because they choose to show you a smile, and the most beautiful side of themselves doesn’t mean they are fake or “not human”.
The message I get from this photo : So instead of judging others based on only what we see, get to know the person, have conversations, and see them no differently from yourself. Instead of distancing yourself when you see them on their bad days, embrace them whole, and instead admire the fact that they always show up with a smile even when going through tough times. In short, I believe We need to be more positive and think positively of other people.
After youth in focus, I’ll be leaving with better writing skills, more knowledge about camera settings, knowledge about how to use a tool like Lightroom, new vocabulary, and of course new friendships and connections.
Something that I learned about myself here is that I can actually write OKAY I just never actually tried.
I am beyond grateful to the Youth In Focus team, and for Evo for hooking us up with amazing gifts, and I’m excited to see where the decision to participate in this program will lead me towards in the future.
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