Aja Crites began taking photographs while volunteering in a small village in the Dominican Republic. She was there to be a teacher, but frequently found herself outside of the classroom, a student to the new environment around her. She took her camera with her everywhere she went, capturing every hug, every laugh, every tear, every moment. She became fascinated with the way seemingly simple images could tell stories about the individuals she encountered and how those narratives could be shared with a global audience. Recognizing the powerful role photography plays in developing consciousness about social issues, Aja decided to dedicate her time to the art. She currently lives and works in Philadelphia, but continues to travel whenever she can.