Daniel Amaral: A passion for photography

Mohawk Graduate Daniel Amaral ‘17 has used his education in photography to launch a youth program in Glace Bay, N.S.

By Matthew Mastromatteo (Journalism Student)


Photography is a skill that displays the beauty of its subjects. For Mohawk alumni Daniel Amaral ‘17 photography is a passion that led him to starting a photography program for the Undercurrent Youth Centre.

Daniel began considering a future in photography when he was in grade 11, but his interest originated several years prior.

“I knew for a long time before that I had an interest in [photography]. My mom would always say I had the eye for it,” Daniel said. “In high school I noticed that it was the one thing I gravitated towards, and really put effort into.”

Applying to Mohawk based on the recommendations of his high school teachers, Daniel found success in the Creative Photography – Still and Motion program, graduating in 2017.

After finishing school and graduating Daniel moved to Nova Scotia where he found his home away from home and became involved with the Under Current Youth Centre.  

“I immediately felt the importance of the work.” Daniel said. “I love Ontario and back home but, I always say to people, I felt like coming home here. So, it was a natural transition for me.” 

According to Daniel the photo program came from a conversation he shared with his mom while driving up to Cape Breton.

“We were talking about the future. And one of the distinctive features of Cape Breton is the landscape and its beauty. We were talking about my experiences and skill set. She said, ‘why not use that?’  So that became the inspiration for the course.” Daniel said

Daniel also explains that the program gives youth of the area a positive activity to take part in.

 “There's not a lot of things for youth, or even young adults to do [in the city],” Daniel said.  “So, this was something I knew was a positive hobby. Something that could potentially turn into a career, and it could get students interested in [photography] at a young age, to get them to pursue other creative interests.”

As for the future, Daniel says that the photo program is expanding to be part of a new youth center being built in New Waterford, as well as connecting with local photographers to show kids it is possible to make a career out of photography.

Looking back on his work with the Under Current Youth Centre, Daniel feels a responsibility to the Centre.

“It's not just a job that I want to do, I feel it's a job that I have to do. And so that's been really inspiring and really fulfilling.”

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