A: Probably since my freshman year. I knew they were offering photography at the high school, so I decided I really wanted to do it. I have friends who are into photography.
Q: When did you take a class?
A: I got into it as a sophomore… a one-semester class, basic photography.
Q: What is there about photography that interests you?
A: How everything is composed, the significance it gives off when you look at it Whoa! You're amazed at what you see. And the content, what it's trying to tell the person, the story.
Q: Your black-and-white photograph, "Pollito," won first place for the grades 11/12 category. What was the story you were trying to tell?
A: We had recently in our class put thoughts in a day book. (The photographer) Paul Strand was one of them. I thought it was interesting. We were looking through his photos. He did photo shoots in Mexico in the state my family is from. That caught my eye. It's my culture. It was so cool I wanted to do something like that.
A photo, it's not exactly the same…was an inspiration -- a Mexican boy standing against a stone wall. I decided I wanted to do something like that.
Q: So where was Strand's photograph taken?
A: Toluca, Mexico.
Q: You had family there?
A: Yes. My parents are from a little village in that area.
Q: Why did you choose black-and-white instead of color for your photograph?
A: I just feel like black-and-white is kind of an old-fashioned look, the first type of photos that came out. Color is cool with vivid colors. But to me, black-and-white gives more significance, more meaning to the photo than if it is was just in plain color.
Also, it was a black-and-white contest.
Q: How old is your brother?
Q: What's his name?
Q: What kind of camera do you use?
A: A Canon Rebel t1i.
Q: Do you plan on doing something with photography as a career, or is it more of a hobby?
A: I think it will stay more of a hobby. There are jobs out there, but I think …I want to become a nurse.
Q: How did you get interested in nursing?
A: I have … some friends who are medical assistants and one person in the nursing program at Everett Community College. I know there's always going to be a necessity for nurses in the medical field.
Q: Are you taking a lot of science courses right now?
A: Not exactly. I kind of just decided this year. I'm taking AP chemistry and then will figure out the rest of it.
Q: You're a junior. Any plans for next year?
A: Possibly get a job.
Q: To save for college?
A: Yes, probably, and getting everything prepared for when I graduate so I know where I'm going and I can achieve my goal.
Q: Where you surprised to learn you had won the photography award?
A: It was crazy. I knew I had entered it and I wondered if it was good enough. Last year I turned in another photograph and won fourth place.
This year I know a little bit more… and know what looks good and what should look good.
When (my teacher) said first place and she said my name, that's when I was like, 'No way!' I honestly didn't think I would get first place. I was really happy. Pretty amazing.
Q: What other courses are you taking?
A: AP Calculus, AP U.S. history, photography and AP Chemistry.
Q: Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
A: Probably my parents, mostly my dad. He came from Mexico to start a better life. He met my mom…they got married here and had me. He's like, 'Do your best. Always strive for the best.' He said, 'Don't ever be rude to anybody.' I kind of grew up around that.
I appreciate my dad, everything he's done for me and my family.
My doing well in school is my way of saying thanks, for giving me the opportunity to do something with my life.
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486; email@example.com.
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