By Katie Tran
“I am exceptionally boring,” remarks biology teacher Jason Dries when asked about his hobbies besides photography.
Aside from teaching here at Piedmont Hills, Mr. Dries spends much of his time taking photos, whether it be of his friends and family or of his clients. His interest in photography began about ten years ago, when his son was born. Back then, the phones weren’t great and he wanted better than his hand-held cell phone.
“I bought a kit off Amazon, or eBay and kinda started liking photography and then that camera became a better one and then a better one and then a better one,” explains Mr. Dries.
Mr. Dries owns a small business called Legacy Photographs, which was originally a website where he would blog and post photos, until April 2011. He read an article in the Mercury News one morning about a mother of three who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and decided that he would offer to take photos of her and her family so her kids would have a memory of their mother forever.
“I contacted her the morning I read about it in the newspaper and said ‘can I take thousands of pictures of you with your kids before you die?’ so we met up a bunch of times and actually took a vacation with them early on,” reminisces Mr. Dries. He then expanded his plan to make Legacy Photographs a small business by doing pay jobs to cover the costs of photos for them.
“To establish a legacy is to preserve things and I have taken tens of thousands of pictures of my son so his legacy will be very visible in the years to come,” responds Mr. Dries, explaining why he named his business ‘Legacy Photographs.’
Before deciding on becoming a teacher, Mr. Dries thought about pharmacy school and was accepted to the University of Pacific but turned it down because his parents couldn’t afford it.
“Not an option. I’m color blind and I can’t see rashes, jaundice, hives. I can’t see those things. It would be bad,” revealed Mr. Dries on why he didn’t reapply when offered admission again.
Mr. Dries has been teaching AP Biology for 15 years and the year after decided that Piedmont needed Forensic Science so he began teaching that as well.
“Our principal at the time, we were in one of our meetings, asked ‘who wants to teach AP?’ and I was the only one who raised my hand,” revealed Mr. Dries.
When asked who his inspirations were, he replied that every photo he sees that are better than his serves as inspiration to him but he doesn’t have any specific inspirations. ◆