How has your art brought about an understand of yourself/your world?

I believe photography can show you two different points of view in the world. It can show you the overwhelming sadness, hurt, and negativity of it or photography can teach you to see the beauty of it. My art is portrait photography; it has given me, over the past 6 years, the ability to see beauty in every person I meet. It has taught me that nothing inspires me more than trying to show someone the beauty I see in them through a photograph. My art has also given me deep appreciation for things that are mundane, like the colour of the light at sunset, the interesting way that light creates shadow, and the way the wind makes everything come alive.

What is your preferred medium of expression? Why?

My medium of expression is portrait photography. It gives me life capturing other people through my lens.

Do you think that your art changes how people see you? Does it change how you see or understand yourself/others?

As I mentioned before, my photography has completely shifted the way I see other people. It has allowed me the opportunity to see people’s beauty before seeing what they might call their flaws. It has also enhanced my own self-image, through photographing hundreds of women and hearing them talk about all the things they wish they could change about their bodies, and has made me want to appreciate mine more. As if maybe, me being at peace with my body, could somehow make up for the hundreds of women I photograph who aren’t at peace with their own.

Do you think it’s more important to make an impact in your own world or the world at large? How would you/do you do this?

I used to put an enormous pressure on myself to work towards leaving a legacy in the world at large. Legacy and impact are things I think about often, and wonder what it truly means to leave one. I think that being a portrait photographer, there is one kind of impact I can create for the world. I can create portraits of people that will be passed down generations, as family heirlooms, and treasures. So that after people are long gone, people will still be remembered for the person they are today. My name won’t be attached to the work but I hope that in generations to come people will be thankful of the photographs they have of their ancestors.

What, for you, is the hardest emotion? Why?

This is a tough one for me to answer. I’m not sure if this is an emotion, but the feeling of being unsure. I’m a really passionate ambitious person and if I don’t have a clear direction in any given situation, that can really affect me negatively.

What for you is the significance of creating?

The significance for me, is that I have no other option. I was born with one passion, and photography is it. I live for photography, and I need photography to live.

What has been  the most difficult learning experience for you?

That not everyone is gonna get you or get ‘it’

What do you think are your defining qualities?

I’d say I’m real, in the sense, that my whole personality lies on my sleeve. I’m extremely passionate and competitive which results in my whole life being an all or nothing struggle. I’m very empathetic which makes me a total people person.

Is there anything you would like to change about yourself? Why?

I wish I was more of a balanced person. As I mentioned before, I’m an all or nothing kind of person, which is great if I’m all in, but not so great for the 99% of other things I’m not interested in… like working out.

Is there anything you would like to improve about yourself?

I think my answer above is applicable for this one too!

Do you believe in actively, consciously trying to mould yourself/self image or do you believe that it naturally evolves?

I believe it naturally evolves. I think taking inspiration from the people you admire and trying to incorporate that into your own life is great, but I think naturally, your own interests and personality create your self-image.

What are you passionate about?

Art, Photography, Friendship, Family, and Fashion.

What inspires you?

Fashion Icons, other artists and photographers, and strong female figures.

What does spirituality mean to you? How do you bring it into practice?

Spirituality to me, is being connected with the divine and the universe at large, as well as your innermost self.

What do you think it means to be kind to yourself?

I think it means to focus and pour your energy into your positive traits and your abilities,and not focus on your self-labeled negatives.

What do you think it means to be kind to others? Are these two practices similar?

I think being an empathetic person is the most important part of being kind to others. Giving someone your non-judgemental attention and ears is the best way to practice kindness in my opinion.

Is there anything specifically you want from life?

To make the most of human connection, time, and the beauty of the natural world.

Do you think you’re someone others can look up to?

I think I am.

Are you who you want to be? Who is that person?

I think I’m becoming that person. A girlboss, a good friend, and a good partner.

How would you like to be seen? How does this compare to how you think you are seen?

I would like to be seen as a powerful woman and a girlboss, like I mentioned before. I would like to seem passionate, ambitious, and a force. Above all, I would love to be seen for my talent.

I think I am slowly rising to these words that I would like to be associated with, I’m not quite powerful and I’m learning how to be a girlboss but all the ambition, passion, and talent is there waiting to make itself apparent.   

What “words of wisdom” do you live by?

As lame as it sounds, I really don’t live by any one else’s words of wisdom. Recently, after a huge binge of Project Runway I have been saying “Make it work” a lot.

Describe your relationship with yourself.

My relationship with myself is something I haven’t thought about. I guess I have many relationships with myself… my physical self, my creative self, my spiritual self, etc. They’re all at different stages.

Describe your relationship with your art.

I feed it and it feeds me.

Can you pin point a time or mindset where you feel your life brought you onto the path you are on now?

In highschool many great things happened that brought me on this path with photography. One was when I first started to get hired for photography when I was 14 years old and another is when I started winning photography competitions with a world renown gallery in grade 10-12.

What are your hopes and plans for the future?

To have my own successful portrait studio and work freelance for fashion and lifestyle magazines.

Two years ago where did you think you would be now? How does it differ?

I’m exactly where I thought I would be and want to be.

Where would you like to be in another year?

Either in a grad program or starting my own business.

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Find Alia’s photography here on her website