Meet Mia Davis

Meet Mia Davis, the new creative mind behind Humans of UP! This talented young woman has taken it upon herself to get to know the students around school and share their stories online for the rest of us to read. Now it's her turn to tell us a little bit about herself.
Name: Mia Davis
Year: Sophomore
Major: Organizational Communications
Hometown: Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
Favorite animal: Hedgehogs
Favorite movie: Anastasia
Favorite time of day: Golden Hour
How long ago did you start getting into photography? How did you develop an interest in it?
I took a photography class in middle school on a whim, and I immediately became attracted to it. I quickly became interested in the stories you could tell through photos and photojournalism.  
What are some of your favorite things to photograph? Why?
Recently, I've fallen in love with portraits. I had never really photographed people until this year, and it's taken me by surprise how fun it is. Working with a human subject is fun because there's this interaction and connection you just can't get anywhere else. 
How has your style changed since you first began?
I think I have definitely developed more of an eye for where to place a subject, and how to frame a shot with balance. It definitely takes some practice. Something that I think has stayed the same is my love of symmetry. Although it breaks the rule of thirds, a perfectly symmetrical (or evenly balanced) photograph makes me so happy. 
So you’re the new person behind 'Humans of UP' -- how did that work out?
I think it has worked out pretty well! I'm glad I had enough drive to fight for it, because the project kind of died last year, but I think I have given it a new life. 
What made you want to take this on?
I am heavily inspired by Brandon Stanton's 'Humans of New York'. I wanted to take this on because I saw the opportunity for closer and more meaningful connections to be made within the student body. We're in a vulnerable time in our lives, and knowing that someone else feels the same way can really go a long way. 
What’s been your favorite part about being 'Humans of UP'?
My favorite part is absolutely when people comment on the Instagram pictures or Facebook posts. Whether it's because they know the subject, or if they relate to the content, it's that interaction that I strive for, and knowing that I helped facilitate that connection is everything for me. 
How do you usually decide who to interview for it? 
In the beginning, I mostly interviewed my friends because I, believe it or not, am a very shy person, which this has helped me get over. So, I was talking to my friends and getting to know them on a deeper level, and sharing that. Now, I have been reaching out to student organizations when there are events, such as the Racial Inclusion panel, and the Islamaphobia Panel. Also, I will always talk to anyone who needs to share their story. I want people to know that I am totally approachable and down to lend an ear. 
Do you ever plan to expand Humans of UP in some ways, or are you just keeping it an Instagram page for now?
I actually have a Facebook page as well! I post all the same stuff there. I would definitely like to partner with more student organizations, like I did with KDUP to build awareness of smaller groups on campus, or work with organizations who want the same things I do, like ASUP. But only time will tell. 
What’s your favorite thing that you’ve learned from a student or about photography since taking this on? 
From a technical standpoint, I have definitely honed my portrait skills. I can already tell my improvement from my first posts until now.  From the perspective of a student, I have learned a lot about my fellow students. I have learned through this that you are truly never alone. There are so many people who have told me that just hearing the wide range of stories from students has helped them, and I hope I can continue to do that in the years to come. 

Catch Mia on Instagram & Facebook: @HumansofUP and Humans of UP / @MmiaRosee and Mia Davis Photography