UNTITLED, by Zinnia M., age 16. Los Angeles, CA


UNTITLED, by Zinnia M., age 16. Los Angeles, CA

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Zinnia started in the Venice Arts photo program in 2013.  She was exposed to photography at a young age as her father worked as a photographer’s representative. She focuses mainly on family, taking moody photos with a lot of emotional depth. She is also an excellent writer. Zinnia participated in Venice Arts’ Advanced Studies project “Twin Cities: Hong Kong & Los Angeles,” which paired students in Venice with teens in Hong Kong for an artistic exchange. The project came out of a four-year consultancy with the Hong Kong–based Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation and resulted in an exhibition presented at the Hong Kong Arts Centre and at Venice Arts in August/September of 2013. In 2014, Zinnia was one of four Venice Arts students who went on the trip of a lifetime, to the Grand Canyon, where they rafted down the Colorado River on a sponsored art exploration trip. In 2015, she was named a Finalist by the National YoungArts Foundation (one of 10 young photographers in the nation, from an applicant pool of over 11,000 across all disciplines), which included a week-long, all expenses paid trip to Miami to work with professional mentors. Zinnia is currently a student at UCLA and is working as a photographer for the school newspaper.

In Zinnia’s own words:

“I didn’t show an interest in photography until high school, when I joined my school’s media arts program. It was mostly focused around filmmaking, but learning to love being behind a camera made for an easy transition to taking still photos. My main subject has been my family, and documenting our interactions for the past few years has helped me to grow closer to them.  Lately, I’ve started taking pictures indiscriminately, often feeling uncomfortable if I go somewhere without a camera. There’s always the chance I’ll either see something memorable or want to remember something mundane.

I intend to keep taking pictures. I've been interested in International Studies for a long time, but participating in last year's Twin Cities class at Venice Arts opened my eyes to how it can relate to photography. By partnering with a student in Hong Kong, I saw how photography can transcend language barriers and connect people in different countries. I intend to keep that in mind as I continue my studies."