One of the great things about being a teacher is that I get to meet a lot of very interesting and talented young people, with whom I am sometimes privileged to stay in touch after they are no longer my students. Case in point: Matt of my previous post. Another case in point: Aalia.

portrait of Aalia

Aalia was a student in a religion class I taught back in the Winter semester of 2009. She has since gone on to journalism school and has already made something of a name for herself by organizing and producing a youth-oriented television show that featured, among others, Justin Trudeau, who is himself a (somewhat older) rising young star of the Canadian political scene. As in the case of Matt, I offered to photograph Aalia and to give her the “good ones” in return for her permission to use the photos through a model release. For the record, as of this writing she hasn’t signed it yet, but she has let me know that she has no objection to this kind of use of the photos.

These photo shoots I’m doing with various people is all by way of practice, and by way of enjoying the hobby that makes me passionate – and the more I do it the better I am getting, of course. Aalia is a very beautiful young woman, so she was easy to photograph from that point of view, and she also got into it so that by the end she was making all sorts of suggestions and really being quite a good model.

There is always that period at the beginning of any photo shoot, as far as I have experienced it, anyway, when the subject can be a little shy and feeling a bit awkward. I take it as my job to bring him or her out of that shell so that I can begin to capture something of their essence, if I can speak that way. Aalia was into the idea of the portraits, so it wasn’t all that hard, and after a little while she was really starting to enjoy the experience, I think. These photos show that, in my opinion. The first one was taken towards the end of the two hours we were together, outside the school. The ones below were taken in the radio studio and the television studio. All, in my view, successful shots, though each has a different feel and each captures a different side of her personality.

Thanks for a great time Aalia, and for giving me the chance to practice with such a great model!

Portrait of a student journalist
Aalia in the radio control room (the image was taken through the glass between the control room and the studio).
This shot was taken using the lights in the television studio at the journalism school. Surprisingly to me, they were a little dimmer than I expected, and the shot came out somewhat darker than I thought it would.