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Photo taken by contributor Quita, a teenager from England. She has experienced severe self-esteem and confidence issues since she was 14-years-old, when the pressures of school and her social life started to overcome her. She was then diagnosed with major depression. She thinks depression is harder to go through than many people think. She found it hard to talk to her mum about what she was feeling because she wasn’t sure herself, and it upset her mum to know Quita was going through things she couldn’t change. Quita has recently started to overcome some of her struggles with the help of her supportive boyfriend, along with photography. Taking photos has helped with her feeling of isolation, and she appreciates the freedom it gives her.
About this photo: “Smoke Signals was taken of my friend Erin who was one of the friends I envied for her looks! She became something of a muse to me after the photo was taken because of her understanding of what I wanted to capture in my photos which was so helpful because I sometimes have trouble trying to get across what I want in photography from others! I wanted to use the cigarette as a symbol of ugliness against her beauty, however I don’t really have any strong views on smoking itself.”