Since I chose my Major, Catholic Studies, and my two Minors, Studio Photography and Theatre Performance, spring of freshman year, I have been relieved to tell people a decisive answer to their question, "what are you studying?" rather than replying with a vague "undecided". However, whenever I do tell people what I am studying, I steel myself for their next response, which can be a confused or judgemental smile followed up by another question: "what are you going to do with that?". I have answers, but instead of just saying them and moving on I had the BRILLIANT idea of answering them in odyssey article format! The next three articles I will be publishing will be used to show what inspires me/what I'm passionate about/what my majors and minors will ideally be used for in no specific order. I'm pumped, yo! (If you want to be in the same zone as I am now while writing, please listen to Guardians of the Galaxy Mixtape, available on Spotify.)
Let us begin.
My minor, Studio Photography (at St. Kate's through the wonderful ACTC program), I want to use to develop my own style of photojournalism. Photojournalism is basically combining personal stories/writing with personal photography, usually portrait photography or of items specific to a person. I have a list in my head of really fantastic photojournalism that I would like to imitate/come up with a similar idea, but with a different focus. Some of these you will definitely know/recognize, but for the ones you don't, they come highly recommended by me, so if you're interested, READ.
1. Children Just Like Me
I first read this around age 7, and I still really enjoy it. The authors, Anabel Kindersley and Barnabas Kindersley, created this book in honor of UNICEF's 50th anniversary. They interview 37 children, who each have two pages with pictures of them, their family, their school, their signatures, their interests, etc. It's cool because it shows how we're all different, but in a lot of ways we're really the same. Cliche but true.
Here's an example of Omar from Cancun, Mexico:
2. HONY: Humans of New York
This is a popular blog started by Brandon Stanton. At first his photojournalism project was focused on just the humans of New York but his project takes on more specific focuses, such as his recent goal of taking pictures of pediatric cancer patients; he raised $3.8 million for pediatric cancer in a mere three weeks.
A screenshot of his work off of http://www.humansofnewyork.com/:
3. The Burning House Project: What Would You Take?
This book/website started as an online project (still going strong today!) where people around the world are encouraged to consider the question of what you would take with you if your house was burning? I like this because the pictures in the book are very design-oriented (a lot of the participants seem quite artsy) but also because it's interesting to decide what you would take. They all had descriptions as well, but I'm just including the pictures here. Check out the website at theburninghouse.com.
Here's some examples:
And my own Burning House entry:
I actually just discovered this project, by Jason Travis, and it looks super cool. Basically it's two pictures: one of the person/animal/etc. and one of objects that define them. See more of Jason's work: jasontravisphoto.com.
5. Peter Menzel & Faith D'Aluisio
Instead of listing the title of the project I listed the author's names because they have three books that are super excellent and I wanted to fit all three into one category.
The first, Material World, focuses on families around the world photographed with all of their posessions outside of their homes. Each family has a journalism article on them along with a list of all possessions.
Menzel on the parents in this photo: "Nalim and Namgay are subsistence farmers who live with their family in a three-story, rammed-earth house in the 14-house village of Shingkhey, Bhutan. Nalim and her daughter care for the children and farm. Namgay, who has a hunched back and a clubfoot, grinds grain for neighbors with a small mill purchased from the government. He also reads sacred texts and conducts house cleansing and healing ceremonies." - Material World
Hungry Planet: What the World Eats
This project, also by Menzel and D'Aluisio, is the same concept but focuses on what families around the world eat, ranging from refugees to vegetarians to fast food diets.
What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets
Again, same authors and a similar idea; this time the focus is on one individual, and what they eat, including why/their lifestyles and the caloric count.
That's it for now! This is what I would like to do in the future (probably combined with other projects). This summer I will actually be doing my own version of Humans of New York, Humans of St. Ben's, a blog on the members of parish in Duluth, Minn. Once that gets on the ground I plan to spread the word so keep an eye out!
I know that what I'm interested is unconventional and sounds less successful and concrete than Education or Business, but it's something that gets me super excited, and I hope these articles will help to spread my excitement.
Check out my photography on Flicker.