When I graduated high school and entered university at the age of 17, I decided to chase my passion of film making and study Motion Picture Arts at Capilano University. What felt like just a dream started to become reality for me and I was so excited to start my education doing something I love. One week into the introductory phase of my courses and I am gathered in a large theatre alongside 200 other eager students. “Out of last year’s graduating class of 35, only five of these students were women,” said my professor. Hearing that felt like a slap to the face, a moment of unfortunate realization. It’s been almost five years and I still think about this comment.
As I continued along in my program, I was faced with many disheartening truths as I was led through countless student productions. Men almost always led the films in terms of directing/ producing and most of my male peers were landing major roles in the industry outside of class. Although I had an amazing experience studying film for two years, I decided that chasing my goals and working with media was something I needed to focus on individually. I had a drive to make my own path, set my own rates and make my own rules. I was already confident in my skills and abilities, so all I had to do was push to get my name out there. It started with shooting photography for fun, to applying to local photo companies and taking photos at galas/ events with over 500 people in attendance. I created my own website, networked with different clients and I started shooting portrait sessions and weddings all on my own. I was grateful for the base knowledge I retained from my time at Capilano, but I am proud of the woman I have become on my own.
Although there are things in life that I may come across that hinders my ability to reach success, it is up to myself as an individual to work hard to achieve my goals. From the moment I realized I was passionate about photography, I made sure to capitalize on my talents and do whatever I could to show everyone that I could make it on my own. I can now proudly say that I have developed my skills to such a level that I know my talent is worth investing into. My efforts didn’t come without mistakes and failures, but it is how I responded to these defeats that made me realize what I needed to adjust to keep moving forward.
As a woman, I have been faced with unjust discrimination and inequalities my entire life. As I continue my transition into a young adult, I realize that being treated as less is no longer acceptable. I also recognize my privilege and the fact that many women across the world have it much worse than me. I am grateful that I am put in a position where I feel as though I have the power to make a change and use my voice to speak up on different matters because equality should always be simple. When we uplift each other, share our stories, and display our creations to the world, this is how we learn from each other. After I have put my heart and soul into a project, it doesn’t matter if it fails. If I am furthering myself and proud of what I am creating, this is what makes me feel whole.