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10 minute read

Getting to know our Students of Storytelling Winners Part 8

Our Students of Storytelling program is in full swing, and our winners are actively creating some compelling content. See below to learn a bit more about our student winners!

Lukas Flippo

College/University – Yale University
Age – 19

1 – How did you first get interested in photography?

I picked up a camera to photograph a game to impress a girl early in high school. Somehow, everyone liked my images, and I began travelling with every sports team, documenting the high school experience for 3 years.

2 – What’s your favorite type of photography to shoot? (street, landscape, portrait, etc.) Why?

My favorite type of photography is journalism. The opportunity to record moments in history, no matter how big or small, is extremely valuable to me.

3 – What do you find most challenging about photography?

Photography consistently challenges me in a new way every day, whether it is accidentally keeping a lens cap on or planning an important portrait. However, what I find most challenging about photography is consistently being in the right place to create a meaningful image.

4 – What’s your favorite image you’ve shot, and why?

My favorite image changes daily. Currently, it is an image from a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Gulfport, Mississippi. The man, who stood silently and emotionally in the back of the crowd, was visibly shaken as community leaders gave speeches and led praise with the city.

5 – What are you hoping to take away from Students of Storytelling?

I am hoping to become stronger at telling prolonged stories with direction.

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Malik J. Norman

College/University – University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Age – 23

1 – How did you first get interested in photography?

Growing up in rural North Carolina, my brothers and I would race up trees. We would reside in those branches for hours, welcoming stillness. With eyes closed, I experienced the wind’s secret song as the cicadas harmonized and the birds praised the day. I would open and close my eyes to a kaleidoscope of awe-inspiring light and shade. The wind seemed to choreograph a visual dance between the foliage and light. In hindsight, that was my earliest fascination to a camera lens shutter. That being said, I was introduced to the medium of photography for the first-time my junior year in high school. During that time, I experienced traumatizing racial discrimination and the lack of support from my environment became clear. I became socially distant and the visual language of photography was how I communicated. With a camera, I could dissipate and reveal the personal and universal truths. 

2 – What’s your favorite type of photography to shoot? (street, landscape, portrait, etc.) Why?

I enjoy the tableau and documentary aspect of narrative photography. Documentary approach allows me to create compositions inspired by the ethnography and narratives of a person or community. Tableau photography gives me the freedom to stage or manipulate light to further investigate the intersectionality of my being. 

3 – What do you find most challenging about photography?

The innovations of photography I find interesting but challenging. The greatest challenge I have is navigating the ways in which my photographic practice can encourage socioeconomic mobility for a community. Art used as a tool for economic mobility is what drives me. 

4 – What’s your favorite image you’ve shot, and why?

I find myself going back to the first image I took of my Granddaddy. With that one image it became clear that a photo could transfuse a person’s essence in a way that transcends time and space. Only collaborating with a subject can achieve that freedom. I am going to be honest the lighting was alright. It was a memory attached to the image that means the world to me. I was overjoyed by my Granddaddy’s wellness to collaborate with me. The process of making the image and the growth I experienced from what you learned.

5 – What are you hoping to take away from Students of Storytelling?

As a Student of Storytelling, I hope to educate myself on the recourse available to artist, expand my network at home and with Fujifilm, and lastly sharpen my visual storytelling skills. As an upcoming graduate from University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a BFA in photography, this opportunity will inform my fine art practice by emphasizing the importance of the process and showcasing the work. Furthermore, I will understand the roles in which institution and corporation can help participate in self-sufficient community socioeconomic reform. 

Bonus Question – Is there anything else you’d like Fujifilm fans to know about you or your
photography?

I love the medium of light. I love to empower people. We are all growing into ourselves so please love and be patient with your spirit. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones! Lastly, do not forget to smile because sometimes you must be your own light!

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