This past Saturday was the my last RIT Relay For Life, an event hosted through RIT’s Colleges Against Cancer club in association with the American Cancer Society. From 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., we laugh, cry, remember, hope, and fight back against a disease that doesn’t discriminate.
Before RIT, I had never Relayed before, and I didn’t know what to expect. Was the whole night going to be sad and somber? Was it going to be full of medical jargon that I wouldn’t understand? Whatever I thought back then, I’m glad that my worries were unfounded and didn’t keep me from attending. I remember crying during each Remember Ceremony and feeling jolts of hope during the Fight Back Ceremony. I don’t know if I have many other nights in college comparable to the emotional rollercoaster, camaraderie, exhaustion, and hope that comes out of Relay.
There are few things that I think I will truly miss when I leave RIT- I feel ready to move on and happy with the time I’ve spent here- but this event holds a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to see the photos from next year’s Relay, and the new memories made.
This past Saturday was the first lacrosse game I’ve been able to photograph this season. The experience was interesting as it was my first time photographing lacrosse after my own lacrosse career came to an end. While men’s and women’s lacrosse are incredibly different, it was nice to be back watching and appreciating the sport I played for eight years.
The beginning of photographing lacrosse is also a reminder that in just over a month I will be leaving RIT for new experiences and places. The thought is both exciting and nerve-racking, because I am still on the hunt for an internship, contract job, or staff position after graduation, but the possibility of starting a new chapter in my life that can include a job, my own apartment, and a dog keeps me positive.
This past weekend, my fellow NPPA Eboard and I hosted the annual What We Do contest judging, with alumni Seth Gitner, Chloe Coleman, and Amy Rossetti as this year’s judges. The weekend was a huge success, filled with great feedback for the club and individual students and wise words shared my our alumni. Check out the link below to see the work! Be sure to check out the Sports Feature, Sports Action, and Picture Story categories for my images!
Our newest category, Interpretive Eye, had a lot of discussion surrounding the work, the methodology, and intention behind work that treads a line between photojournalism and fine art. We were lucky to have judges who spoke so candidly and critically about images, and Chloe articulated an issue/critique that I think is important to discuss. She noted that many of the images appeared to have been shot on film, but poorly executed for a variety of reasons. She explained that there must be a reason for shooting film, because just shooting film doesn’t make you more creative or ingenious or thoughtful. I’ve felt like noting this for some time now, but I felt fear of being judged by my more analogue-inclined peers. It’s perfectly well and good to shoot film and keep the dream alive; however, shooting film with the sole purpose of making images more nostalgic or artsy or vintage feeling is tired and shows no merit to one’s ability as a photographer. Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the world of photography and do things just to do them, or think about the medium rather than the message. Shooting a good story on a Rebel won’t make it a bad one, and shooting a bad story on a Phase or Mamiya won’t make it a good one. As someone who just isn’t a gear head, I don’t see the point of getting picky or elitist about gear, especially while still in school, because when we all graduate, dirt poor and looking for work that will pay us barely enough for our ramen and cardboard box budget, we’re going to have to work with what we’ve got.