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This photo changed my perspective on an 11-year-old’s power

Micha Paulateer, a photographer and freshman at the University of Antelope Valley, in in Lancaster, California, won the 2015 Gold Medal for Photography from the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for this photo of her brother. In this week’s edition of Parallax, she tells us how a photo can change our perspective on who has power in our society.

Every time I ask my 11-year old brother Malachai what he wants to be when he grows up, he replies, “A police officer.”

But in the eyes of the world, he is a child. He has no control over anything, not even himself. Everyone else tells him what to do, and he just goes along doing what he’s told, sometimes. All he wants in the world is to be in charge, to be the boss.

In this picture, he is the boss. When I saw it for the first time, I thought, “I want you to be a police officer, too.” With this picture, I see him as a kid who has all doors open to him. He can walk through whichever one he chooses.

The word “parallax” describes the camera error that occurs when an image looks different through a viewfinder than how it is recorded by a sensor; when one camera gives two perspectives. Parallax is a blog where photographers offer the unexpected sides and stories of their work. Tell us yours or share on Instagram at #PBSParallax.

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