photojournalism student – Western Kentucky University

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Homecoming

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I received an email earlier this semester saying the Honors College needed photojournalism students to apply to shoot for the Honors newsletter, Arête.  It seemed like a good deal to me, so I applied and was accepted soon after.  (Happy day!)

My favorite assignment I had with Arête this semester was shooting the Homecoming festivities.  It was my job to follow the Honors candidate, Whitney Montgomery, and show her Homecoming preparations and experiences.  I went to the parade with Whitney where I met her sweet family and her “little sister” from Big Brothers/Big Sisters who joined her to ride along in the convertible.

The coronation during half time of the Homecoming game was a lot of fun to shoot and the energy was awesome. I really had a great time and learned a lot from this experience.  (It was full of great storytelling moments!)

To top it all off, WKU won the football game and we got to rush the field when it was all said and done.  Homecoming was a lovely weekend and I’m glad I have meaningful pictures to remember this exciting experience!

To see the pictures used by the Honors College, you can go to the article on their website!

http://www.wku.edu/honors/news/?p=1805

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A Look at London

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The last stop on our study abroad adventure this summer was spending four nights in the famous London, England.  Here are some of the lovely things we did…

1. We had our morning classes in a park where, oddly enough, Salvia was planted to add beautiful color.

2. We had afternoon teatime in Piccadilly Circus when sightseeing became too exhausting.

3. We went to The Globe theatre to see the Shakespearean classic, “Much Ado About Nothing” and stood in the rain for the majority of the show.  (What a true, English experience!)

4. We explored the Westminster District and even got to go inside Westminster Abbey for a prayer service that was really neat.  (No pictures allowed inside.)

5. We witnessed protesting by Big Ben & Parliament.  We also saw the Rosetta Stone and hand-written Beatles songs in person! (British Museum & British Library.)

6. We ate at a Japanese restaurant underground, got lost/ scared in the red-light district of Soho and learned how to master public transportation.  (The TUBE!)

Overall, London was everything I hoped it would be.  Fast paced, so many people, good shopping, lots of tea and beautiful buildings.  I can’t wait to be back in London after my first week of classes at Harlaxton in just one short month!

A Humble Hero

This assignment was on an “unsung hero.”  (Someone whose service and sacrifice for other goes unnoticed.)  I was initially so nervous about this assignment because I had zero ideas and didn’t know where to even begin.

I went to Dale Hollow Lake this summer with my dad and his friends and one night they invited more mutual friends over to the houseboat for dinner.  That’s when I met Dan and Lea Brown who turned out to be one of the nicest couples I’ve ever met.  It turns out that Dan and Lea are from Bowling Green and told me if I ever needed help finding a person for a story, they would try to help me out.

In my desperation I emailed Lea and she immediately told me the first person that came to her mind was a firefighter Dan worked with, Garry Preston.  I anxiously called this stranger hoping he would be willing to be “my hero.”  (Man, did I get lucky.)

Garry was the perfect subject for this story.  He’s a humble man with a giving heart and a lovely wife to top if off.  I’m so lucky to have met such a great people who have been so kind and willing to help me.  Not only did Garry and Karen help me with my hero story, but also introduced me to the sweet refugee families they serve.  I can hardly describe how grateful I am for them and for their kind hearts and openness in telling me their stories!

Whitby

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Over the summer I discovered my favorite place on earth.  I have never been somewhere more unique and breathtaking.  I never knew places existed where the countryside is to your right and the sea to your left.

Whitby is a seaside town in North Yorkshire and is the loveliest place I’ve ever been lucky enough to go.  When we went to England this summer we stayed in Whitby for a couple nights in between our stay at Harlaxton and London.  (I wish we had been able to stay longer!)  This town has a charming and calming presence that I didn’t ever want to say goodbye too.  Not to mention that every direction you turn has beautiful scenery that’s postcard-worthy.

One of the first places we went to was the Whitby Abbey, which is not only very historic but also extremely beautiful.  After the exploring the Abbey, we had plenty of time to walk on the beaches of the North Sea but not necessarily swim in the waters.  (Even though it was June, the water was ice cold!)

We also went as a class on an EIGHT MILE hike on Sunday morning to the neighboring town, Robin Hood’s Bay.  Once you got past the fact that it was very hot outside and bugs called “midges” were attacking our sweaty faces the whole time, the hike was a great experience.  You couldn’t possibly be disappointed when you are hiking in the North Yorkshire Moors and looking out at the North Sea.

I can’t wait to being my European Adventures next semester and travel to places even more beautiful than Whitby!

stories from this semester

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Each of these pictures represents a story I’ve been able to produce this semester.  Our class has done projects on war veterans, musicians and heroes.  We are currently working on our final story called “issues.”  These are some of my favorite shots from the different stories I’ve worked on.

I wouldn’t trade the stories I’ve been told and the experiences I’ve had with my subjects for any test grade or time spent otherwise.  Every minute working on telling stories is a minute well spent.

Even though my issues story isn’t working out exactly how I had hoped, I know it will all work out in the end and hopefully be much better than my original plan.  Praise the Lord for Mr. Kenney and his help coming up with Plan B!

Even though this class has been great and I’ve loved every week of it, I’m so happy there are only two more weeks to go.  I can’t wait for a stress free, much needed break.  I’m ready for Christmas lights, seeing friends at home, snow and most of all, for this semester to be over!

Is it time for England yet? 5 weeks until I’ll be living in a castle again!

A Call to Play

This assignment, “Making Music”, is the first story we did in Multimedia this semester where we began integrating ambient audio with our interviews.  (What better way to do that besides using some lovely guitar melodies, right?)

Logan Rose, a junior at WKU, willingly became my victim and kindly invited me into his life for a few weeks to shoot & record.  Not only is Logan a wonderful musician, but also an articulate and intriguing storyteller, whom I am very lucky to have met.  (I couldn’t have asked for a better subject!)

Since this was the first real story we did, I know it’s not perfect at all, but I’m still really pleased with the product and my progress since this piece! Great stories like this have made me love taking Multimedia this semester and have reaffirmed this is what I really love doing.  The people I’ve met and the stories I’ve been able to produce have taught me so much more than I ever expected.

I can’t wait to continue my journey through the PJ program, but most of all, to see what else the Lord has in store for me and other people He will put in my life through these classes.

While shooting Logan’s pictures, he reminded me of a verse that I’ve come back to several times this semester. “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” –Proverbs 16:9