Living in New York is like living in a completely different world compared to where I am from. I live in McAllen, Texas, where the tallest building is 17 stories high. Exploring the city in this program has not only been a new adventure but an inspiration. With the opportunity to live in New York I take advantage of the smallest things that aren’t accessible in my hometown. Being able to watch people speed walking across a busy street does not exist in McAllen. Pedestrians in the small streets of McAllen are rare. My small town of 133,821 does not consist of street walking and subways are out of the question.
The opportunity given to me by TISCH has given me a wide range of choices of photography styles to experiment and choose from. In my hometown I am limited to landscape due to the fact that McAllen is designed to be traveled in a car, rather than street walking. Street photography is a new approach for me. I’ve started experimenting with taking pictures of scenes that I would not normally see in my hometown, mainly revolved around the variety of actions and precise moments in the citizens’ lives. The picture above is a photograph I took of a Pakistani mother and her two daughters sitting on the subway. I peaked through the eyepiece on my camera to capture this moment, and immediately one of the young girls looked away as the other one smiled. As I glanced at the family, Deborah Willis’s “Untitled Snapshot of My Sister Yvonne and Me, 1955” in “Picturing Us”, an article we previously studied, sparked in my head. This article touched themes about ethnic pride and symbolism of self-acceptance. The physical clues and chosen actions lead you to dig for a deeper meaning rather than just glance at the external clues. As close as these sisters might seem they both live in completely different worlds and run different lives inside of themselves.
TISCH’s Photography and Imaging course has prepared me and influenced my future photography decisions and flow of the thought in the subject. Everywhere I turn I am analyzing my surroundings and questioning the possible narratives that people display. The variety of places and people I have seen and subconsciously analyzed are constantly impacting my thoughts of society and life. I have now realized photography opens up my eyes to situations that are not clearly emphasized or noticed. Learning and working with the TISCH Photography and Imaging staff has been such an amazing opportunity. They have converted what I use to see ordinary scenes to some that spectacular. I’ve realized that the most casual scenes can have the biggest impact. Living here and being exposed to this atmosphere is truly an inspiration.