Sunday, March 30, 2008

Friends, Family and a Dog

It was really nice to hang out with my high school crew again over break. We spent most of our time driving around or sitting at each others' houses and talking about school. It's funny how the dynamic of our group changed so much since everyone went away to college, we sort of all get to know one another as adults.

Roxy driving Jake and I to IHOP for an awful late-night snack.

Jake and Roxy deciding what to order.


Sam arguing with Derek about something with a lot of enthusiasm. 


My cousin Shona brought her dog with her to Peoria from Chicago for Easter. I've never really been a pet person, but I hung out with this dog a lot. I even took her on a walk (which I never did for my old dog). Boxer's are really funny looking animals.

I'm the youngest grandchild in my family so we haven't had kids around at family events in long time, but my brother-in-law's sister has two kids that we see a few times a year. It's so much more fun to celebrate holidays with little ones. 

Conner focused on his Leapster game.

Story-telling madness.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

TRU in Chicago

My sister Kiran works at a fine dining restaurant named TRU in Chicago, Il. It's a beautiful place with lots of art and character. I did a few hours of shooting for their new website and had a wonderful time! Luckily, the kitchen there is really large so I wasn't in the way as much as I feared. I wandered around before the first dining service so most of my pictures are of preparation.  I'm really pleased with the way these came out and show the clean and classy feel of the restaurant. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Break's Approaching

Today's the 5 year anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq war and a group of about 60 people gathered on the corner of Providence and Broadway during rush hour to protest.

After the protest Stuart, Will and I walked to Sparky's and enjoyed some delicious ice cream.

I'm ready for spring break. You should be seeing pictures of Peoria and Chicago soon!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Peace Rally in Columbia, MO

Over 1,000 people came out for peace rally in Columbia, MO this afternoon. It was nice to see such a vast array of ages supporting a single cause. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Headshots of Katie

My close friend Katie Hamlett is a Theater major at University of Missouri. I took some portraits of her for an acting class she is taking right now. The light was really pretty because it was overcast and about to rain. I don't think I will use portraiture very much in a career in photojournalism, but it is refreshing to have some say it what your subject is doing. 



After the semester ends this year, I'm going to India for 6 weeks to work on a photo essay and visit family. When I get back I'll have another 6 weeks to sit around Peoria, so I'm hoping I can find some sort of job shadow experience or an unpaid internship. My friend Adam Gerik works at the Peoria Journal Star as a photojournalist. I know how hard he works and the weird hours, so I think it'd be fun to see what goes on day-to-day at his job. 

I had my senior portraits done by Jeff and Julia Woods who are a very talented couple based out of Washington, Il. They shoot tons of wedding around the country (and also shot my sister's last April) but do portraiture mainly around central Illinois. I think it would be interesting to learn more about lighting and editing from them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beginning a Story

Sean Spence speaks to a small group of supporters at the Pasta Factory in downtown Columbia, MO on Wednesday March 12, 2008. Spence is running for State Representative of the 25th district and uses events at local restaurants to strengthen his grassroots campaign.

Leigh Leyshock, girlfriend of Sean Spence, directs students where to sit before a campaign event on Wednesday at the Pasta Factory in Columbia, MO.

A stack of thank-you notes addressed to campaign donors sits near the door of Sean Spence’s downtown apartment. Spence spends several hours a day knocking on doors and making phone calls to promote and fund his campaign.

Sean Spence makes campaign phone calls Tuesday March 11, 2008 morning from home. His fundraising goals have been set to collect $250 an hour during these call periods.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

From the Archives

I've been looking through my old work and trying to discover some images I didn't pay much attention to in the first edit. I'm supposed to make a page of  my work for an art collective magazine and I really have trouble identifying any of my recent work as art photography. Here's just a few things I'm considering submitting. 

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Classmate Project

Adjusting to Missouri
A photo essay on Yi Wen Tan

Yi Wen Tan describes Columbia, Missouri as slow but friendly compared to the fast-paced, hard-working and crowded atmosphere of her home city-state Singapore. Tan arrived at the University of Missouri as a one-semester foreign exchange student in January 2008.

Tan admits that she’s a pretty quiet person. “That’s me, I’m an introvert. I would much rather talk to one or two people than a group,” she said. Despite her reserved nature, Yi Wen has been busy at school, participating in numerous events on campus and exploring the city.

Her native country imposes stricter rules on publications than the U.S., which has an effect on the attitudes of her journalism professors at home. “Journalists don’t dare to push the boundaries because the risks are too high,” she said. She is more accustomed to a learning environment with the same sense of censorship; teachers in Singapore do not develop friendly relationships with their students or promote casual discussion.

In Singapore, Tan’s Chinese heritage is the majority of the population. “Being a minority is strange, but not uncomfortable,” she said about moving to Missouri. Yi Wen maintains a friend group that is ethnically diverse, which makes the transition into Midwestern weather, food and culture easier.

Yi Wen Tan waits for a serve from junior Travis Allen during a table tennis match at the University of Missouri Student Recreational Complex. Tan played the game competitively in Singapore when she was younger, but knows very few people who play in Columbia. She usually finds a willing stranger to compete with in the late afternoons when the gym is busy.

Yi Wen Tan listens to Fundamentals of Photojournalism TA Ann Hermes as she discusses editing a picture story. “I think we learn more because of the interaction,” Tan said, “teachers here are approachable.” She explained that students in Singapore censor themselves and are often tense about speaking in class because fellow students are quick to judge. “Everyone wants to be perceived as intelligent,” she added.

“One thing we all have in common is that we hate American food,” Yi Wen joked about her and her friends that often eat lunch at the Pavilion at Dobbs. She said one of the hardest adjustments is the cuisine, which lacks the amount of spice she is accustomed to.

Yi Wen Tan ambivalently assembles the ingredients for sushi in the lounge of her dorm. “The last time I tried this, everything fell out the side,” she said as she carefully spread the sticky rice along a sheet of seaweed.

Friends prepare a snack while others get dressed for an international fashion show. Yi Wen lives on the international floor of Laws Hall at the University of Missouri and has become close with foreign exchange students from France and Japan.

Yi Wen sometimes runs when she visits the University Missouri Student Recreational Complex, but prefers swimming and playing table tennis. “I like being in the back row,” she says about the gym’s numerous lines of treadmills and other exercise machines.