<p>For my common app essay, I want to try something different. I have the essay, nearly finalized. I wrote it of a photography endeavor of mine and in order to get a valid opinion you'll need to read the essay first. The formatting is a bit screwed up here, but here it is. </p>
<p>"I am a Gringo. I am a strange foreign object invading the tropic domain of El Salvador. I inspire curiosity, captivating native children. They crowd around me as we draw lines in a sand pile adjacent to my work-site.
They are restless, eagerly pointing to the camera that swings from my neck. They have a vague understanding of the object, knowing that somehow it translates their dirtied, clay-colored faces into viewable images. Some of the children finger the barrel of my lens. I can tell they want to know how it is that I can preserve their faces with my mechanical eye. Diffusing through the canopy of trees all around us is the answer.
It illuminates the unforgettable El Salvadorian faces surrounding me. And when bashfulness fades, smiles ensue and become abundant. I hoist a young boy onto my shoulders, and he becomes ecstatic.
From his new-found height, his eyes wander as we explore the primitive foundation of his future home being built by my team. Fellow gringos break from their work to smile up at him. Hola, cutie! they delicately greet him.
I let the boy down in a pool of sunlight and admire his tropical beauty, his short charcoal hair that complements his smooth adobe skin. I am amazed at lights power to radiate life.
I uncap and adjust my lens and my eyes are now fully open. The world transitions into f-stops and shutter-speeds.
Foto! foto! his friends cry excitedly, gathering around us once more. Whiskey! they hum, their El Salvadorian trigger to smile. I laugh at their expressions as I focus and shoot each face. After viewing the results, they are satisfied and scatter. I ask the boy to remain.
As if he understands why I want him to linger, he points to a rusting oil-drum containing his family's sole water supply. In a moment, I am watching him gaze into the dirtied the water. His glowing face reflects on the surface, complementing the crystalline radiance of the light penetrating from the trees above. Central-American light. The surrounding world dissolves, and I am with him in the barrel, looking down through the viewfinder at a child who sees the harsh truths of life in light. I pull my shutter, unknowingly taking one of the most powerful pictures Ive ever taken as the boy entrances me with his resigned gaze. Neither of us smile. We are lost in light, and the rest of our lives are illuminated in that instant of reflection."</p>
<p>Now, this photograph I took went on to be an honorable mention in an international contest judged by Art Wolfe of National Geographic. It's on the rotary site here: Rotary.org:</a> The Rotarian</p>
<p>I DON'T mention this in the essay. However...</p>
<p>My QUESTION IS: Is it totally against the rules to put a photo after your essay? Many people I've read think that it would be very fitting but I'm not sure if such a thing is "Kosher" with admissions officers. What do you think? I really need help with this one as I must decide what to do very soon. Could I insert the picture, centered, after the body of the paper? </p>
<p>Thanks so much.</p>