Friday, July 1, 2011

New Blog

New Blog

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lessons Learned

It is officially the week before summer, two weeks before I start my internship at the Erie Times-News and I have survived my third year. Before this whirlwind of a summer begins, I get to spend one week at home with family

Going home means being bombarded with the question that college students dread: What did you learn this year?

Planning is everything - Not only plan for equipment but plan for what you want to photograph. Do your research, you will understand where you need to be and what you need to be looking for.

Find a story you really care about - it will make the story that much more important to you. It is not going to happen with every assignment, but find at least one small reason why you want to tell it. Find that little point that drives you.

Give yourself to your subject - it is the only way you will convince them to give back to you. The more you give of yourself to your subject, the more they will understand your reasoning and let you into their life.

Balance is everything - its great to have a strong work ethic, but you have to be able to have a balanced life too. Fall quarter, all I did was photograph and my work grew exponentially but I plateaued winter quarter because I wasn't happy. It's important to be happy. It's easy to hide yourself in photography, but your work will become so much better when you can see yourself in it.

Most of all, Love what you do. Live it, love it, always keep learning it. Photojournalism isn't something that you can just leave at the door on Friday at 5pm when you leave work. It's in your blood, that fire isn't something that you can turn off. If you don't find yourself loving it, find another area of work.

Three cheers to surviving third year, and growing a lot along the way.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Defining Family

After a crazy quarter, I've come up with a final edit for my story on the Beta Upsilon Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon. Doing this project has helped me rediscover that the girls in this sorority are my family, however dysfunctional we may be.

Defining Family

Fourteen sisters become alumni last night.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk

Photographed on assignment for JDRF on their Walk to Cure Diabetes.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Defining Family

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Defining Family

A sister will never let you fall

"I've never had this many people to miss before, it's overwhelming."
- Nadya Spice, freshman

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Imagine RIT Festival

People ask why I am in a sorority and I try to explain all the things a sorority is that they cannot see. A sorority is more than letters on a sweatshirt, I say. More than traditional songs, a gold pin, rituals, and obligation, or a way of life. A sorority is learning about people, a sorority is giving without expecting a return. A sorority is earning respect from others, as well as for yourself. A sorority will not solve all your problems. But I have made good friends and found confidence there to help me take life one step at a time.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Defining Family

"We are all so beautifully different and unique. Most sororities you think of being cookie cutter with cookie cutter members all perfectly inline. But we are not... we are beautiful, imperfect, loud, unpredictable, connected, and yet some how set apart by what makes us US. "
- Tori Konopasek
Member at Large, Delta Phi Epsilon Beta Upsilon Chapter

Thursday, May 5, 2011


"Sometimes, in order to get where you want to be as a artist you need to be happy in your own life first. The people that can find happiness in their own life will be able to see it in the lives of others."

Words of wisdom from my Grandmother. I think I'm getting there.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Defining Family

Old Film

Looking through and scanning some old film from high school.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Defining Family

I can't decide which one I like better, but I think I'm finally starting to get somewhere

Saturday, April 30, 2011

"Take a drive with scenery you haven't seen for a while, to a restaurant with slow service so you can talk with the love of your life and remember how to laugh and how much you miss each other."

- Loret

Some wise words on how to remain motivated.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Defining Family

Following long conversations with professors, I have realized that I have been focusing on everything that I was saying did not make up a sorority. I was shooting the chants, fun rituals and crazy antics but I was completely missing the concept of family. I am starting to focus on the little moments that remind me that we are a family, the things people don't think of when they think of a sorority.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Weekend

I will forever be inspired by photographing family dynamics.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Defining Family - Big/Little Night

In conversations with Loret, she asked why people do this. Why do they spend all this time joining a group of girls and why do they spend so much time on an organization once they are in. It's not about the shirts with the letters delta phi epsilon on it, it's not about a name on a resume. It's about finding a family. People you can laugh with, cry with, crawl into their arms if you are having a bad day. I remember contemplating joining and thinking about the exact same things. In the end it's about relationships and finding a family with a group of girls that have the same values as you do.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Sunday, April 3, 2011

After a week in New York, I am feeling inspired. I guess that sounds really cliche but we sat in rooms with my idols. The people who's bylines I have been staring at for years. The people who run the publications I have been reading since I was kid. They were exactly that, just people. They may have accomplished amazing things that I dream of doing but they were people. They sat down with us, gave us advice for the future. They told us all the mistakes they made and how not to make them.

I do not know what I was expecting, but it good to know that the people in the field are just as open and helpful as my professors at RIT. I cannot wait to become a part of it.

"It is our job to tell these stories for the people that can't."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day Two

From VII, to Mediastorm to Getty the sentiment has really been the same. It's all about putting the work in, things aren't going to come to us. We need to go out and get it. It is all about being constantly looking for ideas and thinking them through. It is a matter of gaining trust from editors and subjects but most of all it is about keeping it.

"The best photographers are the ones who can manage to gain their subjects trust at their rawest and worst moments."
-Pancho Bernasconi

Day Three

"Always think about who you are going to be when you are 40. Your reputation is everything. Own up to your problems, own up to your mistakes."

The Wall Street Journal was honestly inspiring. I was not expecting it to be but what they had to say was amazing. They spent a lot of time on the photojournalists need to be able to problem solve and that reputation is everything. It is about detail, precision and heart. We need to be able to "marry our profession" and think into the future because we are only as good as our reputation.

The AP hit on some similar topics, the need to be a good team player. The assignments we get aren't going to be amazing, especially right away. Being a valuable photojournalist entails being able to take that assignment and do something with it. We always need to come back with something.

In the end, it is always about story. It is about telling the story in a unique way. The people who are able to do both, are the ones who can rise to the top.

"The language of photography is universal. What we have are different dialects."

Day Four
Sitting in one of the conference rooms at TIME was chilling. I remember flipping through the pages of the magazine in high school, tearing out pages and pasting them all over my walls. I've always wanted to be able to photograph like that, they were the images that always stuck in my mind.

"Always make the image."

We need to always make the images, even if we think they may not be published. If something in a conflict zone might be too graphic we still need to always make the picture. Leave it up to the editors to decide whether it needs to be published. We need to care enough with what is going on with the world to tell that story.

Sports illustrated had something very different to say than I expected. Moments for SI are all about "tears and cheers."

"Anyone can make a picture anywhere, you don't need a dugout credential."

That has kind of stuck with me. I have used that excuse in the past and hearing it said aloud makes me think of sports photography in different ways.

"Art director is the latin meaning for butcher."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day I

Frank Fournier's kitchen, his apartment perfectly matched his personality and I did nothing but smile when he talked. He was inspiring without attempting to change the way we see the world.

Photojournalists really hate being photographed (myself included). This is going to be a problem on this trip.

It's the first day of the photojournalism trip to the city. It is kind of weird being back here; the last time I was here for more than just Penn Station, I had my F3 and a backpack of sandwiches. Its strange almost being a tourist in my own city.

"It's an act of god but got cannot be indited for war crimes so what can we do about it?"
- Alan Chin

That quote really struck me during our meeting with Facing Change. Frank Fournier echoed that with "It's not the event. It's the story."

That is something I think a lot of photojournalists, myself included are struggling with. It is not the actual event that matters-- whether it is a natural disaster or war. It is the stories of the people that are affected by the situation that really matter, not the event itself.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I remember this night, and how excited I was to be able to become a new member of Delta Phi Epsilon. I'm so excited to follow their journey to being a sister.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Bid Night