With Camera in Hand

Scholarship Entrant: Rayna from Napa, CA
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Rayna: 2

The human race is wonderfully diverse. With an abundance of languages and cultures, the concept that two people oceans apart could be united seems surreal. However, I am a firm believer in the power of art—photography, specifically. As cliché as it may sound, a picture really is worth a thousand words, regardless of someone’s culture and personal ideologies. A photo can solicit anger, passion, love, and happiness, all so extremely to make an onlooker’s eyes swell with tears.
I love photography. I own several cameras, ranging from a digital Nikon to an original Kodak Brownie. Photos such as Dorothea Lang’s “Migrant Mother” and Edward Weston’s “The White Iris” have influenced my life and my interpretation of the world that surrounds me. I believe photography can have this effect on others as well.
If I could make a living as a photographer, I would begin changing the world by challenging and eventually eliminating body image expectations. The topic of female insecurity caused by a constant stream of thin sexualized models is beginning to be discussed, yet the issue is far from resolved. I would also challenge gender norms, racism, and overall injustice. I would travel to expose terrorism, civil wars, political corruption, domestic abuse, illness, and sex trafficking. A single photo could be enough to motivate a worldwide movement and end the terrible realities that many people face daily.
As a photographer, I would better the world that surrounds me, and I would love it unconditionally.

Vote for Rayna: 2

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