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.

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