I worked at this summer camp in middle school, where I was an assistant to the photography instructor, B-Wade. I was 13 and he was For two summers in a row, we worked side by side, teaching kids the basics of photography. I had never even taken photos before, so B-Wade was also teaching me everything.
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He taught me about a lot more than just photography. He was the first black role model I had outside of my family, and that was really important for me at a time when I was insecure about my racial identity. I started skating right after that first summer we worked together, and I know he had a lot to do with that. He would come down to Santa Monica and skate at the Cove with me.
He thought that smoking weed and drinking was lame, and so I thought it was lame too. When I got into 8th grade and was offered that stuff for the first time, I said no.
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He set me down the right path. Your photos have been praised for capturing the secret life of youth at the moment where innocence is slipping away.
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Is there some part of you that feels like this is also your way of preserving some of these moments? Why not? Oh, my photos are definitely a way of preserving moments with my friends. Each photo brings me back. I like to have documentation like that. Julie wrote:.
These are just beautiful! You have a great eye! Thank you for sharing with us!
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Strictly Necessary Cookies Strictly Necessary Cookie should be enabled at all times so that we can save your preferences for cookie settings. Is there some part of you that feels like this is also your way of preserving some of these moments? Why not? Oh, my photos are definitely a way of preserving moments with my friends. Each photo brings me back.
I like to have documentation like that. I keep a lot of scrapbooks and souvenirs, and I write about my day every night before I go to sleep.
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I rely more on those forms of documentation just as much as photography. How do you feel about being featured in The New York Times at such a young age? It was the best photo book I had ever seen. It got me really excited about the magazine. When I started shooting for the assignment, we had a very loose narrative, so I was just shooting everything all the time. I had no idea that it would end up being a standalone photo essay, 12 pages long in print, with the cover of the magazine.
It was hard for me to not think that I had peaked too early when it first came out. How do your friends feel about their portraits receiving so much exposure?
Surprisingly, they never really talked to me much about their experience or thoughts on being in it. I know my friends who were on the cover were getting recognized in public for a while. I learned a lot about the ethics of making a photo project.