Photo Credits: Yakosu Umana
Weiqi Tang grabbed her camera and headed to Victoria park oblivious to the wholesome encounter sheâ€™ll have with a stranger.
She stopped an old woman walking by, and asked her permission to take a portrait photo for a project.
The woman agreed.
After taking the photo, Tang followed up with a question.
â€œWhat is one thing youâ€™ll likely remember from the pandemic?â€
Tang pulled out her phone to record the womanâ€™s response, and before she hit the record button, she saw tears roll out of the womanâ€™s eyes.
â€œMy son is in Tennessee and he wasnâ€™t able to come home,â€ the old woman answered, in a sobbing voice.
Such an emotional encounter is one of the reasons Tang loves photography.
â€œ[Itâ€™s] the genuine connection you can have with people you meet for the first time and the trust you can have,â€ she said.
Tang is a fourth-year UPEI student from China, enrolled in the Applied Communication, Leadership and Culture (ACLC) program.
Her passion for photography began three years ago when she borrowed a roommateâ€™s camera she saw lying around.
She didnâ€™t know how to take good photos nor edit, however, her friends loved her first few photos.
Their happiness motivated her to continue taking more, Tang said.
â€œI just felt this pure joy that I can do something that makes people really happy.â€
Since then, she has taken over 3000 photos.
Tang has used a digital camera to take photos, but she prefers using an SLR film camera.
Such a camera requires you to be patient and meticulous, she said.
â€œIt really slows you down to think about composition, ISO and shutter speed before you click the shutter.â€
The process makes her a better photographer, she said.
â€œIt forces you to learn how to capture the moment. It makes you follow your gut feeling.â€
Her favourite forms of photography are street and documentary photography.
â€œI like the human connection you can feel from the photos,â€ she told the Cadre.
Photography is her form of storytelling, she said.
â€œThatâ€™s what I feel like Iâ€™m doing [when taking photos], Iâ€™m documenting my interactions with the people around me. Friends and strangers.â€
Tang plans to create a photobook and online portfolio of her photos, in future.
Her most recent photography project was telling the stories of how Islanders would remember the pandemic. It can be found here: https://www.weiqitang.net/photography/6-feet-apart