Campus Connection: Photographer Kwaku Alston returns to RIT

Uploaded by RITUniversityNews on 20.04.2012

>>>KWAKU ALSTON: It's a great honor for me to come back here and be the distinguished
alumni for 2012 and represent my college. It's amazing because I remember as a young
child sitting in the audience and seeing the professors and the other students and not
knowing what I wanted to do with my photography. And now 17 some odd years later, I am here
showing my work to students and hopefully I can share some of the experience I had at
>>>KWAKU ALSTON: The industry has changed over the last 20 years. When I first came
to RIT, it was a film based industry. I remember using E6 slide film. Now it's a digital based
industry. So there's a huge learning curve there for a lot of professionals of my generation.
But I am very optimistic. I love it. I love film for my own personal work but digital
is so easy. It's convenient. It's quick. At the same time I don't sit there worrying about
getting the shot. When I'm done with that photo shoot, I know I have the shot because
I look up on the screen and my creative director and my art director is happy.
>>>KWAKU ALSTON: To all the new students coming out of the school right now, I would say follow
your dreams, stay true to your core values, shoot, shoot, shoot as much as possible because
when you think you have it, that's when you don't have it. Always examine your work, always
look for new ideas, always seek adventure, always give back, always just push yourself.
Because when you're on top of the world, your career is going to go like this: It's going
to go up, it's going to go down, it's going to go up, it's going to go down. When you're
up here in that arch, and you're high, and you're feeling good and everyone is hiring
you, it might not happen five years from now. So, save all that money when you're down so
you can build yourself right back up. Because you will have to reinvent yourself multiple
times to last in the photographic industry. It's very challenging. So I think the one
thing I've learned is to always try to change the way I see. And the one way to do that
is to experience life as fully as possible.