Written by OTL Staff Editor on November 21 2017

Through My Lens: Polo

Polo, an 11th grade student at Hoover High School, has been involved with Outside the Lens for the past two years through our Cameras in the Classroom program and Cameras and Careers program. In addition to being a budding photographer, Polo is a talented poet, storyteller, and performer. Here, he shares about his favorite Outside the Lens photo - an image from his Cameras in the Classroom program, taken last year in tandem with a poem presented at the San Diego State University Dual Language Symposium.

How has working with Outside the Lens impacted you?

Outside The Lens has impacted me by giving me a way to spread my messages and share ideas with a lot of people. It has helped me gain knowledge about the art of photography and film and how to share my message. OTL has given me so many awesome opportunities, like going to Joshua Tree and speaking at the Dual Language symposium.

How does the world look to you when you look through the viewfinder?

When I look through the viewfinder, I see the world as a multitude of inspirations, waiting to be created into messages, stories, and poems. Seeing the world through my lens has inspired me to consider the many opportunities to show others from different states and countries how one specific place and view can be completely different and new to one's eyes.

What caught your eye when taking this image?

[The leaves] caught my eye because I was looking for inspiration for my poem. I wanted to capture something to represent society and do improv poetry with it. I felt like using nature would leave a strong message.

What does this image mean to you?

We usually see pictures of society and think that these beautiful images people or city scenes show us “normal life”. I didn't want that, and chose to show society differently.

What do you want your audience to feel or understand when they look at your work?

I want my audience to feel like they can be their own individual and do what they want. What a lot of people don't see is that not everyone does what they want in life, They get told what to do or feel judged when they do. I want to change that, I want people to do what they love.

What does it feel like to show you work to others? 

It feels like I'm doing the right thing. I hope to give them a message that can stick with them, and change the perspective of what they see within themselves.


SEE Polo's short story about his experience at Joshua Tree National Park, and seeing the full night sky for the first time!

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