How Picking Up a Camera at Age 13 Changed This College Student’s Life

How Picking Up a Camera at Age 13 Changed This College Student's Life


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College student Mariah Krey‘s love for photography has taken her all over the world. But her camera has provided her with a lens to capture her most important experiences.

Ever since I picked up my first camera at 13, photography has been there to capture my ever-changing life stages — for better or for worse,” she tells AwesomenessTV.

“From my pre-teen Belieber years to the 20-year-old confident young woman I have grown into… I am constantly defining and redefining my sense of self.”

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Photography hasn’t just been a way for Krey to chronicle her own life — it’s also been a way to document the lives of others. Krey recently spent six months photographing women artisans in Peru and capturing images of their creative work. This trip pushed herself way outside of her comfort zone.

“It was my first time living alone in a city where I didn’t know anyone, much less in a foreign country where I couldn’t speak the language, and a culture that was radically different from my own,” she explains.

“Walking into the unknown was one of the hardest things I had ever done. However, now, I have never felt more certain of who I am.”


Krey spent much of her time with Peruvian women from indigenous communities, and she says it was an eye-opening experience for her. “These women have little access to education and few chances for economic opportunities,” she says. “[But] they are charming, witty, stubborn, and as unpredictable as the weather in the mountains.”




With so much more of the world left to capture, this is only the beginning for Krey. She’s an inspiring example of how following your passion can literally open up your world.

“So here’s to leading a life full of Vitamin D, darker freckles, and taking the long way home if it means I can feel the warmth of the sun on my skin for just a bit longer,” she says.

All images courtesy of Mariah Krey.

Dahlia Neeman
Dahlia Neeman

Dahlia is a writer that is happy to have left the Northeast snow for the LA sun. She loves all things movies, music and pop culture, and is an editor and writer at AwesomenessTV.