Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Life Through a Lens

"Photography is a means of recording forever the things one sees for a moment." —Aaron Sussman

This weekend was the first time I fully appreciated and understood the beauty of photography. For my semester project, I'm covering Rood Music who had their first live show this weekend in Lawrence, Kansas, so my boyfriend, best friends and I road tripped to Kansas City and made a day out of it. We carried around cameras all day and after loading them on my computer, I realized we perfectly documented all of our adventure. 

We started off the day at Oklahoma Joe's in Kansas City, one of the top 12 places to eat before you die. We had to wait in line for about 30 minutes before we could order and started talking to the adults next to us. Turns out they are all from Chicago close to the area we are, and we had a good laugh with them in line and learned about each other's lives. While we were eating, the MU-kU basketball game started.

After lunch, we drove to the Plaza. Someday I'd love to go back there and just spend the entire day taking pictures of all the houses and churches. The architecture is beautiful. We walked around and did some shopping, constantly refreshing the basketball game score on our phones. After we left Forever 21, the game was in OT, so we tried to find a place that would have the game on tv. We finally found a sports bar and ran in for the last 8 seconds of the game. We left the second the buzzer went off and the bar full of Kansas fans went crazy. Then we walked down by the river and pouted for a bit after realizing that we were going to be on the kU campus that night and have to deal with all the Kansas fans celebrating.

As we were taking pictures on a bridge, we saw a large group of people holding up a bunch of poster boards. Being 3 curious journalists, we walked over to see what they said. The signs said "Michelle, will you marry me?" We started talking to them and they told us how the couple was going to be coming around on a horse and carriage ride and stopping right in front of the sign for the man to propose. We offered to take pictures and a video for them. James went across the street and got the whole proposal on video, while I stayed with the signs and took photos. I was so nervous because I've never had to photograph something spontaneously and where I'd only have a few shots to get the perfect picture. The sun was setting quickly, so I had to work with the settings on the camera. After we combine our video and photos, we have a beautiful compilation of the proposal.

After the proposal, we continued on our way to Lawrence, Kansas. All of the kU fans were already out at the bars completely drunk and wearing "Muck Fizzou" shirts, so we drove around blasted Rood Music's "Doin' It (Mizzouted)" song and screaming MIZ out the window. We arrived at The Granada and checked out the area we would be working with. James is working on making a music video for one of Rood Music's songs, so we were able to bounce ideas off of each other for good shots. After we got all set up, James and I decided to walk around and find somewhere to eat. After we saw a few drunk kU fans in the street, we decided it would be a perfect time to interview some and see what they had to say about the game. We shot hilarious videos of 3 different groups of kU fans, which James hopes to put together if we end up playing them in play offs. 

After we finished interviewing people, we headed back to The Granada for the show. Photographing the concert was a great experience. I got some good shots, but also learned a lot. I was so focused on "oh my gosh, I need to get a good shot of Roy singing," when really I should have gotten more of the group as a whole, detail shots and more crowd shots. It was also really difficult to work with the stage lighting, so editing the photos was a challenge. Looking back on it, there's definitely a lot of things I would have done differently, but I'm happy with the work I did considering it was my first time photographing a concert environment. It was definitely an exciting, journalistic weekend!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Time Flies

"Do not wait; the time will never be "just right." Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along." — Napoleon Hill

This quote is definitely something I've learned this past week. I'm currently sitting at Panera trying to get some homework done (I'm so stressed about the rest of my week being jammed packed) without a clue of what I should write about since I've barely had time to do anything journalism-related this week. Then I realized that's exactly what I need to write about— time management and the importance of taking advantage of every moment you have, especially when it comes to journalism and photography. 

My roommate from last year, Teddy, always makes fun of me because she says at least once a week I come crying to her saying "my life's a mess, I need to get organized." But this time I seriously need to stay on top of everything. (I'm sure Teddy won't believe this) I work at KOMU one night a week. It's the beginning of lacrosse season, so I spent the entire weekend in Nebraska for our first tournament  where we won all three of our games (Go Mizzou!). I have lax practices Monday through Thursday right after my classes end until 5 p.m., but instead of going home and getting my work done, I will now be going straight to my lifeguarding job at the Rec until it closes at 11 p.m. some nights. I'm super excited about the job and to finally be having a steady source of income, but I realized I'm definitely going to need to start balancing everything more efficiently. 

Last week in Multimedia, we were assigned our three photos project. Luckily, I thought ahead and decided to take my photos last Thursday afternoon. I was only able to spend about an hour or two with Roy, but I made sure I made the most of it. I took as many shots as possible and tried as many different angles as I could, since I was working with sunlight as it was setting. I was running around, standing on tables and even sitting on someone's shoulders at one point to get the shot I was imagining. That night, I loaded the pictures on the computer and saw a lot of good ideas, but they weren't perfectly executed. I realized that I physically wouldn't be able to retake the pictures before the due date because my only free time would be a night after the sun went down. This relates back to the quote posted at the top of this post. You might only have one shot at getting the perfect pictures you need, so take advantage of it. If like in my case, your pictures don't turn out exactly how expected, you need be creative with editing the pictures and working with the shots that you were able to get. I'll definitely keep these lessons in mind for our next assignment and continue planning ahead!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Rood Music!

"Music is all around us- all you have to do is listen." — August Rush

Roy Jackson, sophomore music major, talks about his band Rood Music and its upcoming show. Jackson is the music producer for the band and is currently working on mixing new beats for the February 25th show. (1:00)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Soaring to Success

"There is no flying without wings." — French Proverb
I think the biggest trick to success is support. Whether the support is from a boyfriend or girlfriend, best friend or family member, having someone there cheering you on and appreciating your work motivates you to strive for more. I believe that support is huge in journalism. It's all about your connections and who you know. You could be doing amazing work, but if the right people aren't seeing it, you'll never get anywhere.
I've had some exciting journalistic moments in the past few days that have inspired me to keep striving for more and reminded me how passionate I am about everything I'm doing now and want to do in the future. 
On Saturday night, I had the privilege to fly out of Columbia to Sikeston, Missouri in a small, four-passanger plane. My boyfriend, James, is at the end of his training to become a pilot, and he has a few hours of flying left before he can take his Pilot's test. So Saturday night, I got to sit in the back of the airplane behind James and his flight instructor amazed at the view and all the hard work he has put into getting to where he was sitting behind the control panel. Like I said earlier in the my "Beautiful World" post, just the feeling of getting into an airplane and flying to a completely new place to experience different things is what inspires me and makes me so passionate about journalism. We landed in Sikeston, ate a delicious dinner at Lambert's Cafe, tried new foods and saw how they live, then flew back to Columbia. I brought a camera on the flight and experimented with taking pictures as the sun was setting over the Missouri River. 

Another exciting journalistic moment I had was my shift Monday night at KOMU. I was talking on the phone with my mom earlier, and she was saying how Mizzou was the perfect choice for me, since it has so many opportunities to get involved before you even start your journalism sequence classes. Last semester, I just cut national video and ran the teleprompter at the station every Thursday night. I just wanted to get familiar with the video editing software and the atmosphere of the newsroom. This semester, I have a Monday night shift as Live VO Patrol. For the past 3 weeks, I've gone to the station for my shift and sat around since all the reporters had already gone out to shoot footage, and there was no breaking news. So FINALLY, Monday night I was able to go out with a senior broadcast student at Mizzou and help her with her live shot for the 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. news. She was so helpful and explained everything she was doing so I could learn, and let me shoot video and help out. She taught me how to feed the footage back to the station from the Live Reporting Backpack (so cool!) and help get the camera, lights and mic set up for the live shot. She went live from the Columbia Public School Administration building at 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. It was so awesome to just be able to learn from someone that was once in my position and see how portable and independent broadcast journalism can be. Even though I wasn't doing anything huge, watching her reassured me that this is what I want to do, and made me so excited to start making packages and reporting the news!

Monday, February 6, 2012


"Old Missouri, Fair Missouri, Dear old varsity, Ours are hearts that fondly love thee." — Missouri Alma Mater

Deciding a college can be one of the most important, life-changing decisions a teenager has to make. At such a young age, you are trying to decided where you can fit in for the next four years of your life, on top of deciding which career path you think will suit you best. At the age of 16, not many teens are 100% confident with what they want to do for the rest of the their life. It's actually kind of crazy to think about how big of a decision we are faced with at such a young age.

I was fairly confident all of high school that I wanted to do journalism as my career path. I wasn't sure what I ultimately wanted to do with my degree, but I was set on journalism. Being the oldest child, I was the first to go through the whole college things with my parents, and I felt like I was pretty clueless. I applied to four colleges and ended up only liking two of them: University of Dayton and University of Missouri. 

I knew going to Mizzou would be best for my journalism career, but I wasn't entirely sold on the environment at Missouri. Dayton is a Catholic school, and I felt really comfortable on the campus, but their journalism program didn't come close to Missouri's program. I decided to visit Mizzou one more time, and when we drove past the football field for the first time, I knew that Mizzou was where I wanted to go. 

After spending a full year in Missouri, I can't imagine going to any other school. Mizzou is the perfect fit. It's a big enough school to always be meeting new people, while still having a condensed campus where you can see familiar faces each day. It has an amazing Journalism School with incredible opportunities. I'm currently sitting at KOMU as I'm writing this. KOMU gives students with no experience an opportunity to learn from professionals and get a feel for a real news room. 

The one thing I love the most about Mizzou is the school spirit. I love walking around campus and seeing everyone wearing Mizzou gear. I love all the excitement there was this past week before the big MU-kU game. Being at the Arena on Saturday night was one of the craziest moments of my life. So many people coming together to cheer on one team. The arena was booming with screams and stomping on the bleachers. The last minute when Mizzou took the lead over kU, the crowd went crazy and my roommate and I were jumping up and down. I've never been more proud to be a Tiger!!!