Hey all! I figured I’d make a post in honor of my graduation this past month. It was a longgggg time in the making. I took six years as opposed to the typical four. To be honest, I am so thankful that I did. In my extra two years I was able to really utilize the tools that my college gave me in the real world and I took my time in figuring out my niche in the profession of journalism. In that time, I was able to intern with the Baltimore Sun, get contracted with them for freelance, and take a lot of other classes such as cultural anthropology, literary journalism, nonfiction writing that sparked a lot of interest in areas that I didn’t even know I would like so much.
I feel like I learned more about my profession and myself in those two years than I did in my original four altogether. When I first entered college I was a political science major – I know, scary right? I don’t know how you’re supposed to know what you want to do and have it all figured out when you’re only 18 years old. It’s like, you have to raise your hand to go to the restroom in school and then a few months later when you enter college you’re expected to know what you want to do for the rest of your life while signing away your soul in student loans before most people even understand any of what they’re getting themselves into.
For people still in college: PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take your time. Don’t rush it. Don’t like your major? Change it. Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to do because you’re “almost done”. USE THIS TIME TO FIGURE OUT YOURSELF AND GET TO KNOW YOURSELF.
I get A LOT of emails from people wanting to know how I am able to support myself on photojournalism and how I was able to break myself into the industry. To be honest, I am FAR from considering myself stable in this industry. I just started getting paid for what I do this past semester. PERSISTENCE is what will make you go far. You won’t make a lot of money in this industry (it’s not bad money but it’s not rich people level either). Keep on keeping on. Keep knocking on the doors until someone notices you. If no one opens the door, break it down. BE PERSISTENT. I shot for free for three years until I was able to turn it into a career. Keep shooting, keep submitting, SOMEONE WILL NOTICE YOU EVENTUALLY.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, IN REGARDS TO JOURNALISM, I HAVE LEARNED THIS: Make sure you know how to do it all. Being a jack of all trades is really important and I’ve been teaching myself some video. I ultimately want to report (write), photograph and do video for all the stories I’m assigned to. There’s nothing more rewarding than completing a package you did yourself.
It doesn’t hurt to get yourself noticed on this powerful thing we have nowadays called THE INTERNET. Blogging, tweeting, instagramming – they all add up to get people to notice your work. Here’s a photo story (not in film, I’m sorry! I have no way to carry a camera with me)………
Thank you to all the amazing professors I had to guide me along the way and for always encouraging my ideas and love for photography. Not sure what is next for me now, possibly a master’s degree but I think I deserve a nice break to just be for a bit. To just be with me and my cameras and the people I love meeting and encountering every single day while on assignment. THANK YOU to everyone who has supported me and this little blog for the past few years, and to think I never would have a blog like this if I didn’t do my homework. Glad the one time I decided to do my homework it really paid off 😉