I chose to travel to China because I wanted to immerse myself in a totally different culture and visual landscape. As a visual person in an environment that had so much to offer aesthetically, I used photography, rather than words, as a means of documenting my own experience. Although I e-mailed pictures back to friends and family, the photographs were taken for personal reasons. For me, each image functions much like a stand-alone journal entry, reminding me where I was, whom I was with, and what I was feeling. While I used photography to document my own experience, it was not my intent to use it to document China. However, it was through these pictures that I first realized the potential of photography as a medium for storytelling and, as a result, became interested in making photography a bigger part of my life, more than just a hobby. The four months I spent in China really were life changing. The experience positioned my interests and greatly influenced my decision to pursue a career in photography now. It gave me the opportunity to get out of my comfort zone, experiment, and simply take photographs of people, places, events and things that I otherwise may have never been able to see, let alone photograph.
Editors note: Nick Simonite is now a staff photographer with the Waco Tribune-Herald.