Krutika is a sophomore at Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning School in Forest Hills, NY. She performs with Nrityanjali School of Dance, a classical Indian dance group. She lives in Queens and likes to travel. Some of Krutika’s favorite photographers are Yousuf Karsh, Dorothea Lange and Brandon Stanton. She likes portrait photography.
I photographed high school students that have memories that still impact them. interviewed four high school students from Queens. I spoke to Shannon, Elizabeth and Subrina from my school and Clark who I met through a friend. I also have included a story about myself.
I spoke to Clark whose troubled memory of being under the influence of drugs caused him to feel as if he had no future. Clark’s troubled past caused him to take steps that he never thought that he would. With the betrayal of his friends and his fear for the future, he felt loaded with pain that would mark him forever. So, he took drugs that would ease his pain and make him forget that it even existed instead of working it out. Clark realized that this path of drugs would not help him succeed as he planned, and soon after he quit before he was addicted, and is on track to graduate high school. I wanted to photograph Clark because I felt that I needed to tell the story of how no matter what obstacles you may encounter, there is always a way to get past them and to have a fresh start. The role that this concept played in my image process was important because I felt that to tell the story, I had to position him in certain ways to take the photos.
Shannon’s memory included how she once loved to go to school, but that soon changed as she entered high school and started to think about future plans that included college. I wanted to photograph Shannon because I felt it was important for me to display the memories of how students felt before they were pushed to go to school just to receive good grades.
Elizabeth’s memory was something that happened when she was just nine years old. Elizabeth’s parents had just gotten divorced. Six years later, in the present time, when I asked her to be part of my project she was okay with talking about how the process and how she felt during that time. I wanted to photograph Elizabeth because I felt it was important for me to show how the divorce that happened when she was nine years old did not change the way she feels about her parents individually or how she feels about them together.
Another individual from school that I decided to photograph was Subrina. She wanted to speak about her memory of not being accepted by those who are close to her. Ever since she was a young girl, she was constantly picked up by people older than her who judged her on her appearance. It was important for me to photograph Subrina because I wanted to show how fought against all judgements that were placed upon her and how she continues to fight her way through what people think about her.
The last person that I decided to represent in photographs was myself and the memories of my first time dancing. As I am still growing, dance remains a part of my life that is important and photographing this part of my life shows how I have grown as a dancer and fulfilling my dream of performing.