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Jaime Yanez

Continue Your Path
Digital print
14″ x 11″

Participate in Big Changes
Digital print
14″ x 11″

Keep Your Head Up
Digital print
11″ x 14″

Searching For Hope

As a current college student who struggled through completing his education during a global pandemic, I began my photographic project based on ways to search for hope. When it comes to confronting the most impossible challenges, people have their own ways to find hope to succeed. Hope can be found in so many ways depending on what kind of person you are and the situations you are currently dealing with.

My first photograph is of me holding a chainsaw, standing near a pile of chopped branches that I cut down from my family’s backyard tree. I have titled this photograph, “Continue Completing Your Tasks”. In order for us to find hope even during hard times, we should just continue completing the tasks that we have started from the beginning. I tend not to have any fear over the tasks that I plan to fully complete. From cutting down as many branches from that tree as I could, it gave me the motivation to not overthink about how hard it would be to finish this type of task and just do the job. Once the job is complete, you have gained more courage for even more high-level tasks.

My second photograph is a portrait of me holding a small American flag, wearing a protective mask while also wearing a suit with an “I VOTED” sticker on it. The title for this photograph is “Participate in Making Big Changes.” This represents how I’ve managed to find hope when I recently became a citizen of the United States which then let me have the chance to have my voice heard by being able to vote while keeping myself safe from COVID-19. I never thought that I’d be able to gain my U.S. citizenship and my chance to vote during a pandemic. This is another way to motivate other people who have started on a goal that could take them years to reach for and that they shouldn’t let any barriers such as COVID-19 to get in their way of reaching those goals. Now that I have reached my first goal of becoming a U.S. citizen, my second goal was to vote for those who want to help us end this pandemic once and for all and regain balance for not only the United States of America but for the entire world.

My final photograph is of me sitting alone next to a big window, removing my protective mask and looking straight up to the skies. This one is titled, “Keep Your Head Up” and it demonstrates that after everything that we have gone through in the past, we just got to take a moment of our time and stay as positive as we can. The past year sure has put us in a tough position, but I for one decided to take some time by myself to think about what good things can happen in the future. When bad things happen, we can’t just let them get the best of us and then let it push us into a dark hole of depression. Whatever we’ve experienced that hurt us the most, we should use it as a lesson, about how badly life can really hit us but try to stay on our feet so we can’t let it knock us down to the ground.

Last year’s incidents have left us with scars, scars that will forever remind us of the pain that we all went through together. Most of us are still in pain from watching so many of our closest friends and families die from the coronavirus, which then it made us lose a part of ourselves. For those of us that are still standing, if we are to continue to have hope, then there is still a chance to save others from dying by this disease. As a Mexican immigrant, a recent American citizen and a dedicated college learner, I want to continue showing signs of hope that will motivate others to stand together to rebuild the world we have lost. I would also encourage them to pray for strength rather than pray for an easy life, because the challenges that we faced in the past have always made us better and stronger than ever before. So the best thing that we can do for now in order to gain hope, is to continue completing our tasks that we have started from the beginning with courage, participate in making big changes for everyone, and in the end, try to keep our heads up and hope that life will go back to the way it was before the pandemic but for us to come out of it healthy and strong.