Sunday, April 29, 2012

Stress Mode

The end of the semester is quickly approaching. This means I am in full blown stress mode. I am working diligently on finishing my assignments in my Careers in Photography and Portfolio Preparation classes. Looking like a professional photographer is harder than I thought. I never thought about all the networking and marketing aspects that I need to accomplish. Not only do I need to take fantastic photographs; I also need to use great networking and marketing skills to get my name out there. To make a living out of taking stunning photographs, you need more than photography skills; you must also be a savvy businessperson.  
Some of the essential marketing aspects that I need to produce for my portfolio are an artist statement, biography, fact sheet, image list, price list, business plan and business cards. It was definitely hard to write my artist statement and biography. Trying to figure out who I am and why I chose photography as a career is a lot harder than I thought.
I have been using social media for years now; but more as a personal aspect not a professional aspect. Throughout this semester I have started to use social media and more of a professional tool. I have recently created a LinkedIn account, twitter account, Google+ account, and a professional blog. After this semester is over I am going to sit down and create a professional business page on facebook. If you would like to check out some of my work, please feel free to check out some of my sites.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The last Hooray

At the beginning of semester I was nervous to take Photojournalism but I am glad I took the class. Not only did I learn my rights as a photographer and how to use my manual capabilities on my computer better, I also learned how to use social media to help get myself out there. Before this class I would have never had a blog or a twitter account. I have always thought that twitter was a waste of time. I always thought it was for people to tell their followers their every move. But if you follow the right type of people on twitter, it can actually be a very useful tool to get your name out there.

We also learned how to use Photo mechanic to write captions for our pictures. I am a big fan of this program. It makes organizing, choosing your final images and writing them so much easier. I am actually considering purchasing this program.

After this semester is over I plan on continuing blogging or at least posting images and using my twitter account. I am actually going to use my twitter account to help the Owens Photo Club. Next semester I am going to be the communications officer for the club. I am going to try to get the word out to other club members or photography students who are interested in joining Photo Club. I may even use my blog account to show some of the activities the photo club involved in.

If I had any advice for future Photojournalist students it would to step out of your comfort zone. If I can do it so can they. At the beginning of the semester I was so scared to walk up to a complete stranger and ask them for their caption information. I mean I was terrified to the point of a panic attack. But as the semester went on it got easier and easier for me to gather caption information. So believe me stepping out of your norm is achievable. I would also suggest trying and photographing things that you are not used to. The only way you will become a better photographer is to make go out and shoot things you would not normally shoot. I would also say don’t be afraid to fail. It is acceptable to fail as long as you learn from those mistakes. Making mistakes and correcting them helps you become a better photographer.

My parting words to all photojournalism students are to go out there and try to tell a story through every image you capture.
Wide Depth of Field at Botanical Garden.

Shallow Depth of Field at Botanical Garden. Shot at F 5.6 @1/500.

Blurred Motion/Slow Shutter Speed at Botanical Garden. Shot at f 32 @ 1/10. 

Altered Vantage Point at Botanical Garden.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

What changed my mind!

Our assignment was to shoot a photo story as a class. We had to work as a group to tell a story. On November 16 our class went to the Cherry St. Mission Ministries to photograph the story.
In order for my readers to fully understand this assignment, you need to know a little bit about the Cherry St. missions. The ministry sponsors 10 different houses. The houses we visited were Sparrow’s Nest, Madison Food Services, Education and Career Center, Caleb House, LifeBridge Center and South Toledo Community Center.  The Cherry St. Mission Ministry operates solely on donations and volunteer work. The Cherry St. Mission helps individuals who are down and on the outs.
Our class split up into groups of two or three and went to as many of these houses to photograph the people that stay there. The group that I was in went to the Sparrow's Nest. The Sparrow's Nest is the women’s shelter. This shelter homes women who are poor and homeless.
Going to the Sparrow’s Nest and seeing all the women who are on the outs made me realize all the things other people and I take for granted. All the little things that I don’t realize are that important to me are the very things that these women need. While these women just hope they can take a shower today, I continuously walk by my clean shower with a curtain on it and never think twice.
It was a little nerve racking at first to go up to the women who stay at the Sparrow’s Nest and ask them if I could photograph them. I admit I was a little scared to go to the shelter because of what could happen there. I come from a little town and grew up a little on the sheltered side. I always thought that the people who stayed in a homeless shelter were bad people that would hurt me. But I realized I was very wrong after going to the shelter. Once I got over my fear, I went up to the women and started talking to them. They are harmless, just like me.
I am very thankful I got this experience to photograph at the 
Sparrow’s Nest. 

Residents socialize outside the Sparrow's Nest as a gurney awaits another resident at the Cherry Street Mission on November 16.
Ready for life resident Salene Gile, of Louisville Kentucky, folds her clothes at the Sparrow's Nest sponsored by Cherry Street Mission.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Cussing, tormenting and red cards...oh my!

We learned about shooting sporting events last week. I love to photograph sporting events, so I was really excited for this assignment.

I decided to photograph the 2011 Region XII men’s soccer tournament. The championship game was played by Schoolcraft College of Oceltos Michigan, and Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Surg on Oct. 30 at Lake High School. These two teams are huge rivals, and it usually comes down to them in the finals.

I learned a few interesting things. It’s a good idea to always show up early. When we arrived at the Owens Community College soccer field, no one was there. The field was too wet to play the game, so the championship game moved to Lake High School in Perrysburg, Ohio. When Cathy, a fellow photojournalism student, and I were about to head over to Lake’s soccer field, she realized she locked her keys in her car, so we had to wait for a spare key. When we arrived at the game, we only missed five minutes. It’s a good thing we decided to meet earlier than we needed to.

I also learned that I need to use all of my lens lengths. I have a 300mm zoom lens. While looking at my metadata, I realized that I was only using a small portion. Some of my images were not zoomed in close enough. I have a tendency to crop in too close to the subject, so I figured I would shoot wider. I need to utilize my long lens and not depend on Photoshop to crop in closer.

I never realized how much cussing and trash talk happens during a soccer game. Not only were the players cussing and trash talking, the fans were getting involved, as well. The excessive cussing from the players had caused three Cincinnati Surg players to receive red cards, forcing them to sit the rest of the game on the bus.

The game was tied 1-1 at the end of regulation time. The game went into two sudden death overtimes. With a little under seven minutes left in the second sudden death, the Oceltos scored to win the game.

After the winning goal was made, the entire Oceltos team rushed off the field to the Surg’s bus to taunt the three players who received red cards. The Oceltos players were cheering and pounding on the bus while the Surg players were trying to open the door on the bus. Luckily for them, they could not open the door. Otherwise, there could have been a huge fight in the parking lot. But I have to admit that getting pictures of the fight would have made this assignment awesome.

After all of the cussing and taunting between the teams, I was very pleased to see the respect they showed towards each other once they were all back to the field. I honestly think that most players went out of their way to either shake hands or hug their opponents.

Seeing that moment is what reminds me of how sports should be played.

Cincinnati Surg fans celebrate their team’s first goal of the championship game at Lake High School on Oct. 30. The Surg lost 2-1 in double overtime. 

Ocelots' Ryan LeMasters, center, fights through Schoolcraft defensive players Andrew Graham, left, and Bush Yormie.

Surg head coach Mike Combs argues with the referee after Andrew Graham was taken down by a slide tackle. Assistant coach Ron Pharr and athletic director Theresa Check watches the head coach react to the slide tackle. 

Schoolcraft Ocelots’ players and coaches celebrate their championship win over Cincinnati Surg.  Juan Garcia scored the winning goal with under seven minutes left in double overtime.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Where to get help with your chemisty!

Laura Norden solves a chemistry problem during her session on Oct. 17.
In class this week we talked about environmental portraits.
When shooting an environmental portrait, you may have to pose your subject. The best way to get an effective environmental portrait is to get to know the person you are photographing. By talking to your subject, they will be more likely to open up to you. Once you make them comfortable, it will be easier to capture their personality through your images.                                   
Laura Norden, Supplemental instructor
This week’s assignment was not as hard as last week’s. The hardest part was finding an interesting subject to photograph. I decided to photograph a supplemental instruction session in College Hall 154 at Owens Community College. Laura Norden was tutoring a student for his chemistry class. I was not able to shoot a lot of photos during the session because the supplemental instructor did not want to jeopardize the student’s learning time. I quickly shot my assignment so I would not bother the instructor or student from getting the help he wanted. I had 15 minutes to finish my assignment, but I think I got a few good shots. 
We also had to shoot a head and shoulder portrait of our subject. Posing your subject in a professional head and shoulder portrait simply allows the reader to see what a person looks like. Head shots are good for later usage in the newspaper.
Supplemental instructor Laura Norden, of Oregon, Ohio, assists Toledoan Adam Jeffery with his chemistry class at Owen Community College on Oct. 17. Norden holds these sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays from 2 p.m.- 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.- 5 p.m.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What caused me to have a panic attack?

We just finished talking about feature photographs in class. This week’s assignment was to go out and find a rover to photograph. A rover is when you drive around to find something interesting to  photograph. I chose the Levis Commons Fall Fun Fest on Oct. 8. Levis Commons put a fun spin on Halloween. There were hayrides and an art station for the little kids.

When we started talking about feature photography, I thought this was going to be an easy assignment. I was mistaken. 

Feature photography is a lot harder than it looks. I was so nervous to walk up to people and ask them for their caption information, I actually had a panic attack.  I am getting used to taking pictures of people, but the hardest part of this assignment for me was gaining the courage to walk up to a complete stranger to ask if I can take their photograph and get the caption information.

I realized that I am not cut out to be a photojournalist at this time. Maybe with a lot of practice I can abandon my shyness and become a great photojournalist some day. 
Perrysburg resident Inge Johnson, left, and South Toledo resident Ruth Summers take a break from there long walk at Side Cut Metro Park on Oct. 11. They said they usually have a picnic after their 4-mile walk.

Riley Wolfe, 10, of Curtice, Ohio, pets Bonnie while waiting for the hayride at Levis Commons' Fall Fun Fest on Oct. 8.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Camera controls

We just finished talking about camera controls in class this week. I thought I knew my camera pretty well, but after reviewing camera controls, I realized I had forgotten a few key points.  One of the controls we reviewed was ISO. I have always had a bit of trouble figuring out how to set my ISO in different lighting situations. Now I know the brighter the light, the lower the ISO. 

After reading chapter 8 in Photojournalism; TheProfessionals’ Approach, I learned why it is important to capture images in RAW. When I shoot in RAW I have a better chance of fixing any of the mistakes I could make with lighting and white balance.  I also now know that when I shoot in RAW, my camera retains all the information that my sensor sees. RAW doesn’t compress information like a JPEG does.

But when it comes to photojournalism, JPEG is the shooting standard. According to my instructor, Lori King, “Photojournalists shoot a lot of sports and action and don't have time to wait for the camera to store the information. If you shoot the photo right, you won't need Photoshop or RAW.” When I am out in the field shooting my assignment, I will use all of my camera controls to shoot my photos correctly so I don’t need to fix anything in Photoshop.