As a Filipino American growing up in a town where I am one of the few persons of color, I have used art to help me express my individuality and my story. As a child, I remember visiting museums like the Yale Center for British Art with my parents. This exposure inspired me to experiment with photography during my sophomore and junior years of high school, when I started a screen-printing brand with my friend. My ideas and creativity resonated with my peers who would wear my art, which excited my entrepreneurial spirit.
Some themes that inspire my photography include music, fashion, and the youth of my generation. My goal is to tell a story about the youth today and to incorporate these themes in my images. I want viewers to look and understand the creative and unique identities of Generation Z through my pictures. My pictures reflect us in real time in society today.
Photography has led me to meeting new people and is a great way to see the world from different viewpoints. Everyone has their own viewpoint, and everyone’s story is important. Photography has given me the chance to express my ideas through my own personal lens. My objective is to have fun, learn new techniques, and cultivate my own style in pictures.
Through photography and art, my personal lens has become wider. Art is a form of self-expression and reflects what one sees and how one experiences the world. This can lead to a deeper understanding of others. Because of this, ultimately I believe that photography and art have the power to bring people together. I would like to inspire others to be creative, look at different viewpoints, and appreciate different identities and ideas.
—Ethan Lopez, Amity High School, 2023