Saturday, November 6, 2010

Recent projects

I realize I'm long past due for updating my blog, but I figured now is as good a time as ever — especially considering what's currently going on in my life.

October was one of the busiest months I've ever experienced. Aside from finishing up my master's at NYU — and juggling all the work that goes along with that — I spent almost half of the month traveling.

My first adventure led me to the Eddie Adams Workshop. The workshop brings together 100 fiercely talented students, incredible photographers and photojournalists, and a host of other photo experts for an amazing four-day experience.

This is how it works: The 100 chosen students are divided into 10 teams of 10, and each student is given a topic on which to base his or her photo project. Additionally, one student from each of the 10 teams is selected to work with a multimedia producer to create a multimedia project instead of a traditional photo essay. My role at the workshop was to work as one of the 10 multimedia producers — an amazing opportunity I still can't believe I was offered.

The student I was fortunate enough to work with was the incredibly talented Alice Keeney. Working with Alice was such a great experience — she is an awesome photographer and a great journalist.

The final pieces each team produced sincerely blew my mind. I was so inspired by each of my colleagues and learned a lot from them. The piece Alice and I produced, "Sunup to Sundown," is something both she and I are very proud of.

The experience as a whole was life-changing for me. The people I met and got to collaborate with are some of the most talented people in the industry. One of the executive producers of our multimedia pieces — founder and CEO of MediaStorm, and the man so many look to for multimedia guidance and inspiration — is Brian Storm. Being able to work with Brian and learn from him was — at the risk of sounding like a total fangirl — a dream come true. Hearing firsthand his philosophies about multimedia and working alongside him taught me so much, challenged me and reaffirmed my love for storytelling and multimedia production.

My second great adventure was a trip to the Arizona-Mexico border with 16 of my classmates, a couple of professors and a handful of freelancers. Our trip, tentatively called "Beyond the Border," was sponsored by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Led by our amazing professor and program director Yvonne Latty, and with help from some students and professors from the University of Arizona, we flew out to the Southwest to report on immigration. I spent most of my time there in Mexico, assigned to examine and photograph the fence itself.

I returned with more than 1,000 photos and many stories to tell. I would have loved to produce several multimedia pieces, but I was faced with the challenge of the language barrier while in Mexico. I was able to collect a ton of audio, but in the end, I came out with just one cohesive story, "The Thin Line," which looked at the changing landscape of the border fence and how it has affected the lives of two Mexicans over the past few years.

The work produced by the rest of my classmates is absolutely phenomenal. With only two days of reporting — and a deadline that came as soon as our plan landed back in New York — my peers turned out some unbelievable stories.

The last of my travels came at the end of the month, as I traveled to the 2010 ONA conference in D.C. It was great to meet up with some old friends and meet some new ones — and putting human faces to my many Twitter contacts was an added bonus.

The conference was at the same time as the Rally to Restore Sanity, and D.C. was PACKED. I slipped away to check out the commotion and ridiculous signs. It was complete chaos, but I enjoyed being able to see some of it firsthand.

Now, I'm back in New York and working nonstop to finish my degree in December. I'm working on several exciting projects, in addition to job searching, which is beginning to seem like an impossible task. Regardless, I'll keep at it, hoping to soon find the perfect job somewhere out there... If you hear of anything you think I'd be well suited for, please let me know!

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