Thursday, December 17, 2015

Ferndale welcomes Michigan's first cat café

The reason I chose to study journalism is that I believe everyone has a story to tell. Journalism allows me to reach out to people, get to know them and share their feelings, experiences and knowledge with the rest of the world.

Being in Detroit inspired me to seriously pursue my love of photography, videography and film. I not only want to bring depth and care to a person's words, but also document and showcase his or her story with pictures and video.

I hadn't made much progress on choosing a topic halfway through the semester. I knew I'd be on a time crunch in December to shoot and edit this project in addition to the two other final video projects I was assigned in other classes.

Seemingly out of thin air, I felt compelled to browse the websites of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News for any ideas or leads. Eureka! The Detroit News completed a small profile of a newly opened Catfé in Ferndale, Michigan: the first of its kind.

That weekend, I drove to the Catfé to size up the possibility of this place as my subject. I was greeted with warm welcomes by Deanne Iovan, the director of The Catfé Lounge, and she swiftly agreed to be the focus of my photo story.

This experience definitely brought me out of my shell. It was up to me (and me alone) to establish a rapport with this business, get the pictures I needed and produce a final video that both the lounge and I would be proud of.

Since I worked (and hung out) at the Catfé for a few weekends in a row, I also began to speak with the directors of the Ferndale Cat Shelter. One of the directors admired the pictures I had taken that day, and she asked me to assist them with videos for the shelter in the future.

So, in conclusion, you never know what a final project may bring. Whether it's stress, experience, opportunity or a room full of cats, following a career that brings you joy will always be worth the work.

Thank you to Lori King and my COM 2280 class for making this semester one to remember!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Guts, glory and the ultimate test of my patience

Warren Mott's Alexis Fleming advances around Centerline's Nadine Abroo during an out-of-division match on Wednesday.
Al Velasco, varsity coach of the Warren Mott Marauders, instructs midfielder Alexis Fleming during the middle of play. 

In the back of a pickup truck, some young Marauders fans get an up-close view of a Warren Mott Varsity corner kick.
    For my sports assignment, I attended a women's soccer friendly between the Warren Mott Marauders and Centerline Panthers. Warren Mott competes two divisions higher than Centerline during the regular season, so the game was exciting to watch as a Marauder fan. 

    Overall, the Lady Marauders dominated the game play with the goals distributed amongst at least four different Mott players. Mott's midfielder Alexis Fleming had excellent ball control throughout the game, giving her forwards more passing and goal-scoring opportunities. Mott Head Coach Al Velasco rallied his team with a calm nature during the game, and he encouraged the girls to work on making long passing runs and incorporating kickoff plays by the opponent's net.

     I didn't expect sports photography to be easy, but this assignment really tested my patience and endurance as a photographer. Not only do you need to follow the game play, you must keep an eye on the coaches, benches and fans and constantly adjust your camera settings (at least for outdoors events). Since I was lucky enough to have free reign of the entire field, I was able to vary my shots and look for interesting new perspectives. 

    Still, even if I had good framing, I needed the picture to be properly exposed and in focus to be considered a usable image. While I don't see myself shooting sports regularly for a career, I can take what I know and love about photography to produce quality memories for my family one day.

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