A Vision Behind A Craft

Lumia is a 16-year-old female photographer from Harlem, she’s ending her junior year at Dalton High School, and uses her free time to network and build her portfolio. We had A lot of fun working with her for the Day in the Life project, and I was very surprised how mature professional, and fo­cused she is for someone of her age. We sat down on the stairs of the brownstones across the street from Tompkins Square Park, and laughed a bit about how common it is to be an NYC kid that sips 40s in Tompkins in the summer. It was refreshing to see so much excitement and inspiration in her. 

How would you describe your style of photography?

It seems somewhat journalistic, but all my photos are mostly candid or taken when I’m out with my friends. I feel like in my work you can kind of put yourself in my shoes, and I feel like I’m in the middle of the situation looking around me rather than an outsider looking in. I think that’s what makes my work so unique in it’s own way, but also because of my age right now I feel like I’m in an osculation between adulthood and adolescence and I think that’s a special time that isn’t very often covered or portrayed with such an insider perspective.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I feel that all artists are born artists and that’s something that you can’t really run from if you’re an artist. A lot of my thoughts are of art. I don’t categorize myself as only a pho­tographer because I think photography helps me see a lot more beauty in my life that I wouldn’t be able to if I didn’t have it as an outlet. It really helps me appreciate the parts of life that mean a lot to me and I feel like I’m a very sensi­tive character. Photography allows me to portray that and show that view of my life to other people, and have them kind of look into who I am and relate to that and also have an understanding of the aspects of life that I get to ap­preciate & hopefully they find that appreciation as well.

What catches your eye?

What catches my eye really has to do with the way things make me feel, all the photos that I catch are moments that are really intimate to me. I can’t really categorize everything because some of my work is of people and some are more portrait-like. While others seem more like gestures people do like, for example a lot of my friends do graffiti and I’m really interested in graff culture because I think that it’s something that can’t really be accessible to anyone who isn’t surrounded by people who do graffiti. When I choose to take a photo it’s all-dependent on a feeling and capturing a moment that I want to preserve for myself. When I’m photographing the feeling that I get in my bones is satisfying in the way that the feeling manifests on paper when I see a photo printed. Read more