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Friday, June 19, 2009


As I mentioned in the last blog {so sorry I haven't caught up lately}, I'm taking a photojournalism class. I was so excited about it - the challenges especially. In a five-week minimester, it's difficult to have tons of events in which you can take pictures for the expected curriculum but I think I've succeeded in that challenge. Most of the photographs were pure luck - being at the right place at the right time. I haven't felt nearly as challenged as I wanted to, which has been a massive disappointment to me. I tried to experiment with creativity and lighting for some pictures but my teacher said if I wanted a good grade for the project I shouldn't turn it in. If I could show him simple, I could give the rest of my talent to the world. As most of you know, I grew up in Georgia Bulldog country... and this class has been the one and only regret I've ever had in choosing Auburn over UGA. My teacher said he looked at UGA's curriculum and how they had the challenge of taking 35 portraits of strangers - on one roll of FILM - and if they didn't turn out, they failed. He said he would never do that to us. Oh, how I wish he had challenged us with that! I miss not having to use film. Our generation has become so digitized and immersed with using only the best technology that we forget that sometimes, the classic way of doing things is truly the most beautiful. This class, has however, instilled a passion in me which I never knew existed - the passion to reach the world through documentation. We watched a video in class today about photographers who travel overseas to capture the trenches and the depth of war. Adrenaline was rushing through my veins. I know it would be immensely dangerous but I would love nothing more than to let my photographs cry out my heart and my passions. A man on the video said, "A struggle without documentation is not a struggle." There are so many things going on right now, in America and beyond. How incredible would it be to scream out those things, those struggles, the hearts of the people which have no voice to the world through photography? 

For our final project, we have to tell a story. From beginning to end. I'm actually in the midst of shooting photographs of my roommate's boyfriend making a stencil, but if I had more time, my utmost desire would be to document a day in the life of a homeless person or someone who feels as if they have no hope {and of course I would take someone with me... not go alone, mom}. Not to embarrass them or to call them out - but to show people that life is so far beyond our own selves.A photo essay that would move society to action. The title of this blog is "restricted". Sometimes I feel restricted in the sense that I can't take creative photographs in my class, but most of the time, I feel restricted in the sense that I'm not doing enough for people. I'm not reaching out to people enough. I'm not giving people who can't speak, the ability to speak through documenting their situation. If I were to do photojournalism for a living, it would look something like this...


These were all pictures I took throughout Auburn. I LOVE the one of the kid. A few of my friends go out to the government housing every week and play with the kids down there. Jump rope, play basketball, draw with sidewalk chalk - doing anything to show these kids that they are loved. That's the only message I desire to portray. 


These are some photographs I've taken thus far for class. The first ones are of my brother, Chase, in which I used different types of lighting for: butterfly, 45 degree, and split. The two below him are complete strangers. The one with the leaf in his mouth... well, he was just excited to be getting his picture made. John Doyle, a guy I work with, is below those two. 


And these pictures were taken on my way back from home last Sunday night. One of those pure luck moments. I was 5 cars behind this accident, so by the grace of God I not only lived but I got some rockin' pics {and made friends with a couple of Georgia State Patrolmen}. 


"There are plenty of people who are miserable in their jobs, for they have not listened to God's call. And I would add there are many Christians who are not fulfilled in their spiritual lives because they have no sense of their gifts or purpose, and they just run to the mission field to save souls rather than transform lives and communities using their gifts and those people they live among. Both lead to emptiness and burnout... Often wealthy folks ask me what they can do for the Simple Way. I could ask them for a few thousand dollars, but that would be too easy for both of us. Instead, I ask them to come visit. Writing a check makes us feel good and can fool us into thinking that we have loved the poor. But seeing squat houses and tent cities and hungry children will transform our lives. Then we will be stirred to imagine the economics of rebirth and to hunger for the end of poverty."
Shane Claiborne - Irresistible Revolution

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