Mariam Sholaja is a Media and Communications student at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK. Now in her final year, she has been passionate about photography since her mid-teens and is currently considering her future career direction.
"At university, I've been studying photography and video, and the course has had a good balance between the practical and the theoretical," she says. "I really like portrait photography but want to get more into fashion and editorial work when I graduate."
Growing up, Mariam loved choir and piano lessons, but also street dance and swimming – "anything that wasn't sitting in a classroom learning equations!" Thanks to sympathetic teachers at school, she learned that "being creative was a thing and that academic subjects weren't for everyone." In fact that was how she was introduced to photography when, as she describes it, "I had one more subject to choose but I had no idea what else I had an interest in."
Mariam's heritage is Nigerian, although she was born in the United States and raised in south London. Her work draws on this rich background and reflects her personal perspectives. "I want to keep creating work including people who look like me and have had similar experiences," she says.
Under the umbrella of Canon's Student Development Programme, Mariam recently had the opportunity to meet Canon Ambassador Lucia Griggi, who coincidentally shares Mariam's love of the water.