Parker Gibbons, an 18-year-old photographer and student at the University of Utah, is a man on a mission.
"I'll do whatever it takes to spend the rest of my life telling stories to help people understand the world better," Gibbons tells A Plus in an email.
When Gibbons was just a kid, he transitioned from dreams of being a magician to becoming a short filmmaker and, eventually, a photographer. Determined to become the youngest person to win a director's Academy Award, he began producing commercials, working at a photo studio, taking self-portraits, acting, and directing.
"What I love most about photography is playing with visual elements and theory to figure out how to tell an entire narrative in just one frame," Gibbons explains.
This technique is apparent in Gibbons' recent photo series, RESOLVE, a collection of photos that highlight people's New Year's resolutions.
"Even though I don't keep resolutions well, and I don't think the majority of people do, I love that the New Year is a time for people to visualize where they want to be in their life. It's important to visualize where you want to go and practice gratitude. Even if you don't get there using the original resolutions you've made, you'll find a way to make it there just by being in that mindset of thinking where you want to be," Gibbons says.
Gibbons tells A Plus that he was motivated to begin the project out of the sheer desire to do something. On December 29, 2015, Gibbons took to the streets of Salt Lake City with a triptych and a passion and began asking strangers about their resolutions. In total, he walked over 13 miles to find his subjects.
Many people may find the thought of interviewing strangers to be intimidating — and the same goes for Gibbons. But there's something special about meeting new people that Gibbons finds rewarding.
"In the end, I think it's a great exercise to put yourself in different situations [that] you're [not] used to. With approaching strangers, you just have to be open to rejection," Gibbons admits. "That's a part of art. But have a clear explanation of what you're doing, approach the strangers with your camera by your side, and be happy and open."
For most subjects Gibbons photographed, the talented photographer collected three images to highlight their personalities, styles, and, of course, their resolutions.
The results are nothing short of beautiful.
"Finish my PhD."
"To promote equal rights."
"Show more love."
"To bring a positive change."
"All humans are artists, and we all have the power to shape our journey into a masterpiece," Gibbons once said in a graduation speech uploaded to YouTube last June.
Likewise, with that mindset, perhaps we can truly live out our resolutions.