Life as a college student during COVID-19

Despite the restrictions imposed by the current pandemic, our photojournalism college program is moving ahead. Our classes are mostly online and I must say I do miss the interaction with our teaching staff and the other students but we’re making the most of it. It is a bit frustrating to only be able to hear, and if we’re lucky see, our teachers and the other students on a computer screen but we’re getting the same quality of instruction. I continue to be inspired by what we learn as budding storytellers and I’m amazed at how much I have been developing my skills in many areas such as portrait, storytelling, profiles and features.

The main challenge for us as photojournalism students is to be able to find events to cover. The restrictions are even getting more strict now with the onset of the second wave so it is a challenge for all of us. Despite these difficulties, we are moving ahead and “doing the best we can” under the circumstances. I am personally getting more adept at just walking around town and seeing potential stories develop. It is exciting to find interesting stories just by talking to a few folks on the street.

I took this candid photograph, for example, after I had a fascinating conversation with this nice lady. She had an interesting story which I would never have known if I had not been brave enough to start a conversation.

KINGSTON, Ont. (09/10/2020) – Iryna Janiec serves a customer from her food cart in front of the Kingston City Hall on October 9, the last weekend she will be here this season. The day started a cool one degree celsius but warmed up to a comfortable 15 degrees. Janiec emigrated to Canada from Belarus three years ago to move with her Polish-Canadian husband who works in Kingston. “I met my husband in 2004 on the internet,” she says. It took many years for her to be able to emigrate to Canada but she is glad to be here now, especially with the unrest currently in Belarus. “In the beginning, I did not understand English but now I have learned some and plan to go back to school to learn more,” she adds. Photo by Daniel Geleyn

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