Category Archives: Grad School Life

2017 Year In Review

I was just reading a fellow photographer’s year in review posts and was inspired to create my own. My version will be a list of favorites. Here goes…

January

Favorite Art Therapy

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That time we painted a zen tangle on my living room ceiling. #cooplife #stillinprogress

February

Favorite Small Town

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Amesville, Ohio.

I spent several months here in the Spring documenting life and culture and portraits of place. I discovered I really like to take portraits of place (i.e. pictures of a scene with no people in them). I also discovered that Amesville is a really cool community.

Favorite Mashup

 

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A mashup up some of my favorite self portraits. #withoutdisguise

March

Favorite Exhibit

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The time Pete Souza came to town and I got to frame all his photos. Including this one. #rolemodel #photography #heinspiredmetocometogradschool

April

Favorite Self Portrait

Out of the Box

Out Of The Box

May

Favorite Adventure

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Hanging out with these two on a cross country road trip. #bestmodels

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Hiking a short trail down into the Grand Canyon to get this view. #nationalparks

June

Favorite Compliment

“You made god smile.”

July

Favorite Award

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Winning First Place in the Dith Pran Photo shootout Competition for this picture at the AAJA National Convention in Philly.

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This was my other photo from the rally that I submitted for the contest.  I actually like this one better because I have a thing for portraits.

 

September

Favorite Conference

There are so many to choose from. But I think the NLGJA National Convention in Philly was my favorite. I got to be part of the Connect: Student Journalism Training Project, and make some awesome friends and mentors in the process.

Favorite Story I Wrote

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Created in God’s Image is the story I reported on as part of Connect. I got to spend some time with Rabbi Ari Lev who is genderqueer and trans and leads a reconstructionist congregation in West Philly. What a cool person.

 

October

Favorite Portrait

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This is Trio, who I got to interview and photograph for a story about the new law allowing people in California to select a nonbinary gender marker on their IDs and birth certificates. Pronoun is a qtpoc zine I wrote, photographed, designed, and edited.

Favorite Profile

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I was photographed by one of my favorite undergrad photographers for a Student Spotlight profile in my department.

Favorite Mentorship Program

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I was honored to be be selected as a mentee in the Inaugural Women Photograph Mentorship Program. @womenphotograph is an awesome organization sheding light on gender disparities in the photojournalism industry and promoting incredibly talented female, nonbinary, and transgender photographers.

My favorite twitter thread is their Week In Pictures Gender Breakdown.  Every Monday they report data on the break up of male vs. non-male photographers highlighted in different publications’ week in picture slideshows. *Spoiler* they are usually heavily male dominated.

December

Favorite Class Project

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Did a project eliciting microagressions from people on post-it notes. Got a lot of good responses and it was very therapeutic. #arttherapy

 

 

 

 

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Your Golden Opportunity Is Coming Shortly

Last Summer, I attended a conference in Philedelphia and got to spend some time with one of my favorite people, K. On Sunday, ate some delicious food at this Malaysian restaurant in China Town.

Afterwards we both opened our fortune cookies (which neither of us could eat because we are both sensitive to gluten.) But we read the fortunes anyway. Mine was quite optimistic and a very apt fortune to receive at the end of a very positive and successfully network heavy conference.

Your Golden Opportunity Is Coming Shortly.

From being selected to attend multiple conferences and workshops to being selected for an awesome mentorship opportunity with Women Photograph, I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to receive multiple golden opportunities over the course of the last few months!

At the beginning of Finals week, I even had an interview for an internship program this summer, so fingers crossed that it becomes another thing on the list of golden opportunities this year!

Wish me luck!

10 Day Breaks

I’ve discovered a tactic to be more balanced this year: Take week long breaks, at least once every month.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend several conferences this semester which have allowed me to travel outside of Athens quite frequently. It’s definitely nice to take mini vacations from school outside of just the major holidays.

Here are some of the awesome opportunities I’ve been able to enjoy so far:

August
AAJA National Convention, Philadelphia

September
NLGJA National Convention, Philadelphia
Women Photograph Workshop at Photoville, NYC

October
10 Day Magazine shoot, California

November
Atlanta Photojournalism Conference, Atlanta
Thanksgiving Break, Chicago

It’s definitely been a lot of travel. But it’s always nice to get a chance to stuff myself with Malaysian food and gluten free sandwiches, catch up with old friends, and get lots of awesome networking time and inspiration from cool photo speakers.

I’m hoping to keep this trend up for next semester and already have out of town conferences lined up for February and April. With spring break in March, I’ve got all my months covered!

A Year in Selfies (Part 2)

 

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Semester 2 began with a fun non-literal photo project. #stilldepressedtho

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Some days were harder than others. #documentingdepression

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What the button says. #newpronouns #theythem #pronounsmatter

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Started working on a new documentary art project. #gonnabemymastersproject

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Carrying around all the photo equipment #forthenewproject #foundmyniche

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Went to Chicago for an LGBTQ College Conference. #queer #outandproud

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#documentingdepression

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That time Pete Souza came to town and I got to frame all his photos. #photorolemodel

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First time on a tractor! #thatmudtho

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#documentingdepression

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Did I mention about my new pronouns? #theythem

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Fresh haircut #arttherapy #shadowselfie

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Having fun at a photo shoot. #newdocumentaryartproject #masterprojectinprogress

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A photo of me taking a photo of a photo of someone’s door, hanging on their door. #meta #inception

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That time I flew home for a weekend wedding, when I thought I might be failing out of school #ididn’tfailtho

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Best wedding ever! #highschoolreunion

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Walk with Dad and the Dog #newfoundappriciationformydogafterhunting

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Another shadow selfie #arttherapy

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That time I came out of a meeting determining my future at school. #stressful

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One of my favorite photos from the semester when I started to experiment with mashups.

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Birthday Mashup

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That time I bonded with my room mate by running down the street barefoot to catch the sunset. #cooplife #friendshiphump

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That time school was almost over but I wasn’t quite done yet. #doesiteverend

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A view of the awesome zen tangle mural on my living room ceiling. #arttherapy #cooplife

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That time someone smashed my car but my housemates were there for moral support. #selfiesmakeeverythingbetter

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Final Mashup of the semester. One step closer to living my dreams. #arttherapy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Year in Selfies (Part 1)

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Started Grad School in Ohio

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Golden Hour selfie with the cohort buddies

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Road trip to Geek Fest in D.C. #gradschoolisaboutthecarrides

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Lived in a co-op

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Went to A’s wedding in D.C.! #kindergartenfriends #madeitjustintime

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Favorite Fancy Shoes

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#Bowtiesarecool

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Bought a bike before I bought a car. #ofcourseidid

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Rest Stop on the way home from Thanksgiving Break with S. and K. on the East Coast. #friends

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Started anti-depressants. #documentingdepression

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Spent a lot of time being depressed because #gradschool so decided to start taking pictures of the experience. #documentingdepression

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Finally Bought a car. Walk home after taking it to the shop for repairs. #arttherapy

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End of Semester 1 with a day at the art museum #designtherapy

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Winterbreak in S.F. with the Dad. #Ileftmyheartinuniqlo

New Year, New Semester

It’s the start of a new semester in Ohio. I’m taking a more manageable load this semester, so that I can really focus on my most intense photo class and still have time to breathe. Here are some other changes I’ve implemented to help myself have a fresh start:

-I moved rooms in my co-op.

-I rented a locker in the gym.

-I don’t have any classes that start before 10:30am.

-We are painting a giant zen tangle art therapy mural on the living room ceiling.

-Oh, and I finally took a self portrait today. I haven’t taken one in a while.

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Alternate Path. Self Portrait. #withoutdisguise

Everything is Fixable

This week, I finally began taking antidepressants. I’d been thinking of starting them for the last 6 months, but it took a while to get an appointment with the psychiatrist.

I also kept going back and forth on committing to starting. I would have a few weeks where I felt fine-ish and think, maybe I’m getting better? But then I’d dip again or have a panic attack and think, nope I was wrong.

I waffled back and forth like this for  several weeks after returning to the states, before I finally committed to making that first psychiatrist appointment. And then when I finally made a decision, it took another month before my doctor had an opening.

They say that it usually takes several weeks for antidepressants to kick in and up to a few months to figure out the right dose and find the medication that works for you. Some people claim they start working from day one. I’m convinced I’m one of those people.

The first few days after starting I felt somewhat lighter. I caught myself smiling more throughout the day and during conversations. I found myself saying hello to my roommates and classmates just a tad perkier than usual.

But I know depression doesn’t go away completely with one pill. And I still have days where I sleep most of the day, or am unmotivated to do work, or have bouts of crying for seemingly mundane reasons.

On the first day I got my prescription, I had an anxiety attack in class, noticeable enough that my professor checked on me after class to ask if I was ok. The first thing she said to me was, “Everything is fixable.”

I had a chat with her in her office and revealed that I’d been struggling with depression. And she was very supportive. She said not to worry about classes and deadlines. I can always finish assignments later, even if it has to be after the semester is over.

It’s good to know that I won’t fail. That’s one less thing to worry about.

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