Growing up as a woman of color in America, I’ve been hit with little microaggressions for one identity or another. I’m a woman, so I shouldn’t have a career, or my skin is dark so people assume I don’t speak English. Based on these experiences, I decided to highlight marginalized groups in a way that might not be expected.
My research paper was about teaching kids about social identities and microaggressions in school at a young age. Originally, I wanted to do something relating to youth and social identity to go with my research project. My idea then expanded into what I ended up doing, which still connected to my research paper, but in a subtler way. I had a lot of different photoshoots that involved different types of people and locations, so I had to contact people to model for my shoots. I used my friends or family as my models for most shoots, but coordinating and finding days where I could schedule different people for different shoots was somewhat of a struggle, especially because I was trying to get too much done in a short period of time.
Although it took me a little bit longer than I had initially expected, I was able to schedule all my shoots and models. I think if I were to do my project over again, I would give myself more time to get everything I needed done and to plan things better. I put myself on a schedule that did not give me a lot of time, making the quality of my project not as high as it could have been. I have a habit of not planning things completely through, causing me to spend more time on tasks that could have taken me much less time.
Despite my issues with timing, I was still very productive and actually finished my project earlier than I thought I would. By being productive, I was able to balance out the time I lost in being unorganized and slow. I also applied social and civic responsibility in my project. I used my photos and their captions to educate on society and public good. In my junior year, I mostly just was guessing on how to use different Adobe applications. For my zenith project, I worked a lot in Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop, and improved my skills and ability to use these apps successfully and efficiently. I also gained some experience in Adobe Illustrator for some of my graphic design elements.
This project taught me a lot not only on how to improve my skills using media but also taught me a lot about others. I had to do a lot of research in order to set up the scenes I photographed and their respective captions. Since my project highlighted discrimination, it showed me what things can be like for those who don’t have my privilege.