inspired to create

Don’t wait for others to shine a light on you, just be your own damn light.

As an M1, I’ve often been a fly-on-the-wall photographer, snapping candid shots at events, parties, gatherings, and outings. I find this kind of documentation enjoyable; there’s an intrinsic joy to capturing spontaneous moments and collective memories. But when the bulk of my output are candids, I start to feel my creative edge dull; like I’m always capturing, but never creating; like I’m warming up my voice but never speaking up; like practicing to play a concerto but never performing.

Thankfully, this photoshoot and recent narrative medicine related writing and projects have re-energized my fire and got me excited to continue creating.

To be honest, medical school can be an isolating, devaluing place for an artist like me. I experience such joy from conversations exploring the spectrum of our human experience and condition through cinematography, prose, and photography. And specifically, how these forms can be used to uplift, educate, and advocate for folks who are seldom heard or acknowledged. However, the opportunities, spaces, interest, and friends to do that in and with are preciously rare.

But that’s a topic for another time.

All I really wanted to say is that this shoot reminded me that when I make space and time to truly speak with my craft, not only do I have a voice, I have a damn strong one. And I’m damn excited to connect and ally it with the issues and communities I struggle and fight for.

Side note: DM me if you’re interested in a photoshoot or want some professional (not artsy) headshots!

Check out some more of the photos from the shoot to the right. This session focused on light, and the many ways it falls upon a human form. We both wanted to experiment and see what works! Fun fact, this was both our first time doing studio portraits.

Photoshoot w/ Lisa Zhai