Jazz, The Photo Student

If you didn’t already know, I’m a photography student. I started taking photography classes two years ago, after switching from nursing to a photo & digital imaging major (I talk more about this in my introductory blog). It’s been a fantastic experience being able to do what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s also cool being surrounded by people who feel the same way. The photo department is terrific at my school. We have a studio, darkroom, Mac desktops, scanners, printers, cameras, lenses, strobes, and pretty much whatever equipment we need available for check-out. We also have FREE access to all the Adobe Creative Cloud apps, which is a huge bonus since I practically live in Photoshop and Lightroom.

As a photo student, my life completely changed when all of my classes moved online mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I now attend class virtually through Zoom and work independently throughout the week. Through Zoom, we critique each other’s work, and our professor does virtual demos. It’s worked out so far, but it’s not the same experience. I miss physically going to school and just feeding off of everyone’s creative energy. We’re still allowed to check-out equipment, but access to check-out gear isn’t as easy as just picking it up on the way home from class. It requires a drive I never feel like doing, so natural lighting has become my best friend this semester.

It hasn’t been an all-around terrible experience. If anything, it’s pushed me to try new things and problem-solve like never before. My office now functions as my classroom, gym, and a makeshift photo studio. I own a couple of continuous lighting sources, speed light, tripod, light modifiers, and various lenses, so I manage to get the job done because that’s just who I am. Being genuinely creative means having the ability to make shit up as you go, and I’m good at that (again veteran, Capricorn). The risk of COVID-19 exposure keeps me away from many places, so I shoot most of my assignments around my home. I’m an officer in the photo club, and we’re still trying to figure out ways to organize activities without putting ourselves and others at risk.

I’m currently in advanced photography, which is the last elective required for my degree. Weekly we’re given a phrase or word, and then as photographers, we’re responsible for defining what it means from our unique artistic perspectives. Since it’s an advanced class, we’re also shooting with our portfolios in mind. This is helping me to figure out which niche fits the work I produce. As a life-long photographer, I honestly fear the idea of putting myself in a single category because I feel like I can shoot anything as long as my eyes are open (this can’t just be me?). According to my professor, I lean toward the commercial/editorial niches. I’d like to think of myself as a visual story teller. I find inspiration in nature, culture, music, cinematography, architecture, food, and people. I’d love travel the world as a photographer, experiencing life and eating all the food from around the world sigh… more on that later.

So with all that said, let me show you what I’ve been up to so far this semester…






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