Written and photographed by Ellie Briggs

I am a first-year photography student at SCAD Atlanta. When I was 14, I bought my very own DSLR camera with my saved-up birthday and Christmas money — it was by far the biggest purchase I had ever made by myself. 

I taught myself Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom in high school. I loved dressing my friends up in their clothes and photographing them; this led me to portraits and street-wear fashion photography. In the future, I would love to work in the field of fashion photography or be a film set photographer. I am heavily influenced by Petra Collins and Jimmy Marble.

I try to translate moments I can relate to, in a sense, déjà vu. It’s almost like the universe is telling you that this is the place you’re supposed to be right now, and these are the people you’re supposed to be with at this exact moment. You get goosebumps and feel like the stars have aligned, and you can’t recreate this moment ever, no matter how hard you try, but perhaps that’s the beauty of it. I’ve realized I’m always chasing after that feeling and this is what keeps me going every single day.

I believe photography has one of the biggest impacts on the human experience. The ability to document and keep moments is a gift I do not take for granted. I worry about growing old and not being able to recall the people I’ve met or forgetting the times I’ve felt most free. Besides, our lives are short, so how do we choose which memories are worth cherishing?

One thing I have always struggled with as a photographer was finding the confidence to capture — the thought of everyone staring at me with a camera or getting in the way of moving people. I found myself negatively comparing my work to other photographers as well, ultimately ruining creative concepts for myself. I would become so self-conscious over my work that I wouldn’t share it. Digging myself out of this hole was difficult, but I realized if you are not fully passionate about what you create, how will others be fully passionate about it either?