This summer I spent a month studying abroad through the School of Visual Communication in Edinburgh, Scotland.
While I was there I was able to experience the rich culture Scotland has to offer and spend time improving my photography and visual storytelling.
Here, I want to talk about that experience and share some of the images I captured as a result.
Photographing in Scotland came with a few challenges that I had not experienced in the U.S. Scottish people, I found, aren't always as open to photography as Americans are. Plus, in the U.S., if I am standing in public property I can legally photograph whoever I want; in Scotland it's assumed people have a right to privacy to certain degree. Getting permission would be difficult at times. There are a number of photos I missed because I couldn't get access to a person.
My extended stay in Scotland afforded me time to work on longer projects with subjects I'm passionate about. As a lifelong soccer fan, I jumped at the idea of doing a story on soccer culture in Scotland.
In Edinburgh there are two main professional teams, dozens of youth and semipro clubs and countless pickup games happening every day. I tried my best to show the depth of the passion for the sport in my photos by covering as much of culture as I could.
The highlight of this project was photographing my first professional match. After emailing the right people and explaining my project, I was given access the field during a UEFA Europa League qualifier. Birkirkara FC of Malta came to Edinburgh to play Heart of Midlothian FC, the most popular team in Edinburgh. The away team was victorious and Hearts fans angrily threw their scarves on the field as they left the stadium.
Regardless of the outcome of the game, I was happy to cover it.