I was told I was a good writer throughout school, but I never acted on that until being introduced to photojournalism with the Arts Paper. I was surprised to learn that journalism wasn’t just about writing. Photojournalism, as I understand it, is a collaboration between visual and textual storytelling with each factor reliant on the other, amplifying their strengths, and creating a compelling narrative for people to consume.
My camera attracts some who are eager to share their stories, while others avoid my attempts at conversation with a “No, thank you” or “I’m in a rush,” and that's okay. Not everything is meant to be captured, which makes the discussions I have with people who are open to being interviewed a thousand times better.
My pictures highlight the connection I have with my interviewees, who are gracious enough to share their stories with me. A picture that can be considered shallow at first holds many meanings because of the article and contextual narrative I create. I contribute to a picture's meaning by adding details people revealed through their interviews, and pictures ground my words in reality by displaying what I observed while reporting.
My life is characterized by the people around me, and I seek to share their stories through writing and photography. Journalism has strengthened my interpersonal skills, making me ask myself, "Who am I going to talk to today?"
—Abiba Biao, Southern Connecticut State University, 2026