Art Photography / Student Success Stories

Emily Reynolds


After graduating from college, Emily Reynolds wondered how to make her dream of being a photographer a reality. Her opportunity came during the pandemic when she was laid off and also learned that the Art Photography program had moved online. She knew that was exactly what she needed, so she “jumped right in.”

During her first class, she started documenting how her quarantine experience affected her. She fell in love with photography and film. She was later approached to take a special studies course in the darkroom, as there were no more film classes left to take. Emily worked on a collaboration with the stroke center, taking photos inspired by stroke patients. The patients could then vote for the photos that felt most relevant to their experience. She immediately got inspired by a young stroke patient who felt as if her mind was spinning, and she developed a series from there.

“I found my voice in my fine arts with this project.”
(The project by the Cabrillo Art Photography & SDLC collaborative produced a video.)

From the program, Emily gained a lot of technical knowledge as well as personal knowledge on how to direct her own career and what she wants to create. She also left with a lot of mentors that she met through Cabrillo.

Emily is now working on a series that she has imagined for years – about expressing trauma symbolically through photography.

“You don’t often see abuse and pain in fine art photos. I want to make it an open forum for inclusivity and diversity by inviting everyone to sit in.”

She plans on using her portfolio to apply to the Paris College of Art master’s program in photography.