When I met with David Damberger, an alumnus from the Schulich School of Engineering, I was told the theme would be sustainable fashion. Turns out, the photo was supposed to illustrate his work for M-KOPA Solar, a company that provides residential solar-electricity systems to people in Kenya and Uganda.

After a short panic, some quick “just in case” photos were taken before we scrambled to find a new location. Luckily, we found an empty classroom nearby with a blackboard (which are rare to find in classrooms these days). The blackboard worked as the perfect backdrop to display his solar-powered flashlight.


Basia Ellis, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Psychology, received a Killam scholarship for her work studying the sociopolitical realities that undocumented migrants in the Polish community face.

Since I spent five years living in Eastern Europe, I found the topic fascinating. Despite her claims of hating to have her photo taken, Basia was a lot of fun to work with.


  1. Jorge
    December 10, 2014

    Hi Riley, nice to see a new post on your blog. Fantastic images, I specially love the first one, was this only lighted by the solar lamp? It looks so cool!

    • Rye
      December 11, 2014

      Hi Jorge,

      No the little solar lamp wasn’t strong enough to light the man. There is actually a flash off camera to the right that is being shot through an umbrella. So it looks like the little solar flashlight is lighting the image, but it is really the flash off camera.