Monday, July 28, 2014

"Memories are mapped out by the lines we'll trace."

You're probably wondering why I'm using Bastille lyrics as my title which a very good question. A++ for being inquisitive. I was casually scrolling through Bastille's Twitter about a week ago and...


So I quickly looked to see if there was going to be a concert in Missouri or even Kansas. The answer is no, no there isn't. BUT...

Texas. Interesting. I quickly googled how far away each city was from where I live and Grand Prairie is the closest. Eight hours. That's not bad right? I asked my dad because concerts are usually the thing we do together, and after a couple days of dropping hints, he told me he couldn't afford this one. Needless to say I cried in a movie theater (he called right before a movie, can you say bad timing?). 

Anyway so my mom felt bad and SHE IS TAKING ME TO SEE BASTILLE. I'm sorry, that just needs to be typed in all caps. It's probably a rule somewhere. As if that wasn't the best thing ever, when we were ordering tickets, we found out that we would have to either buy two or four (we were originally going to buy three). So we bought four and now my best friend is coming with us. I cannot express how excited I am to see them. November 8 cannot come soon enough.

So anyway now that I'm done talking about Bastille, on to something else. I emailed Carol Guzy today. There's no telling if/when she will reply since she's on a temporary leave from The Washington Post and I don't know how often she checks her work email.

That's all from me. Updates to come if/when Carol replies.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Blog Makeover

Guys I changed my blog so that it's more fitting to what this blog is actually about. I love Britain, but I just decided that my blog's appearance should match what I'm writing about.

The whole point of this blog was for me to document my journey leading up to and during WJMC. If you go read my very first post in January, I think that's what I said. Now that WJMC is over, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my blog just yet. I don't know if I'm just going to cease writing or if I should keep updating with my photography news. If I choose the latter, I'll probably be posting a lot less often. I really don't want to get rid of this blog, so I probably will just go with the latter option.

I added one of my favorite Carol Guzy quotes to my Ansel Adams quote. "I think, as a journalist, what I try to do is tell a story with visuals instead of words. So, I'm basically writing paragraphs that just happen to be with images." It's so beautiful and it describes what I want to do perfectly.

I can't find Carol's email anywhere, so I'm going to email my group advisor tomorrow and see if he has her card and if he could possibly send me her email. I really want to contact her and tell her how her presentation affected me.

I think that's it from me. Until next time.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"It's been said that when you take a photo, you leave a part of your soul behind." -Carol Guzy

Hey guys. It was the last day of WJMC. Today, I boarded the plane at 2:00 and left this amazing university and the new friends I've made behind. But on the bright side, I got to see my aunt and uncle. I haven't seen them in about a year.

Wednesday was by far the best day of the conference. Photojournalist Carol Guzy came to speak to us. If you haven't seen her work, I highly suggest you stop reading and go google her. You'll thank me later.

Anyway, rather than saying "Here look at my photos, have fun," Carol told us the stories behind the photos. It made the video that much more moving. After she finished talking, she showed us a video of her work, and by the end of it, everyone in the room was in tears. It was so beautiful. The most amazing part for me wasn't her stories or her video (though I loved them so so much), it was what happened as soon as the credits rolled. Everyone in that room stood up and gave her a standing ovation. This is the moment when I completely lost it. In my area, no one cares about photography. No one looks at a photograph and is moved by it or feels any emotion from it. Seeing every single person stand up and acknowledge that a still photograph is a powerful thing overwhelmed me with emotion and that one presentation inspired me to keep doing what I love.

Since the seventh grade I've known that I wanted to be a photojournalist. Carol Guzy's speech just locked that dream in for me. I've never been more passionate about what I love than right now. Carol inspired me. She's my role model.

I think my senior advisor is going to give me her email address so that I can contact her. I just want her to know how her presentation affected me

Because of this newfound drive to fulfill my dream, I made a Twitter for my photography. It's @AStewPhoto and if you have a Twitter, I would really love it if you followed me.

And now I will leave you with this fantastic sign off video that we watched today that made me cry. It's just a bunch of photos and videos of the conference so it may not interest you.

I'm going to go reminisce now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Commence WJMC!

Hey guys! I'm so sorry I haven't been blogging. I am SO busy.

Yesterday morning, my flight was scheduled to leave at 11 AM. I got to the gate at about 10:40. So yeah, that was pretty scary. Also, as I was hugging my dad goodbye at the airport, I think he started crying a little bit and that absolutely broke my heart. I've never flown anywhere without my dad so I was getting pretty emotional myself, but it's different when you see your dad cry.

I got to DCA thirty minutes earlier than I originally planned so that was nice. I got to George Mason around 4:00 and I really only had time to get my room key, drop my luggage off, and go check in with my group advisor before I had to go change into my professional clothing. We had an excellent welcome dinner and then we had our first speaker of the week, Peter Doocy from NBC, join us. We then finished off the night getting to know each other in our color groups.

Today we woke up bright and early (5:45 AM to be exact.) and started our day off at the Newseum in Washington D.C. The Pulitzer Prize winning photos were my favorite part of the entire museum. I so hope I can win that amazing award some day. After that, we toured some of the monuments. Except there was one problem: I FORGOT MY CAMERA. But I took some photos on my iPhone and they actually didn't turn out that bad.

Tonight we listened to Candy Crowley from CNN talk to us about balancing our careers and our lives and exactly what it takes to be a journalist in this ever changing world. It was an amazing speech and I really enjoyed it a lot. I didn't get to personally meet her, but she seemed like a really friendly person.

Tomorrow is extremely busy and it's our most important day. Hoda Kotb is coming to town! Or rather, we're coming to her.. Same thing, right?

I'm so exhausted, but I just wanted to give you guys a quick update since I was too tired to do so last night. Good night!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Yet Another Photo Contest

I discovered another photo contest and decided to enter that one too. Because why not?

So yeah, that's the one I entered and voting starts in nine days. We'll see about the outcome.

I really must go make a late night Walmart run to buy last minute stuff (and food because my house lacks food).

-There are 4 days until WJMC-


I just thought I would show you all the three photos I entered in a photo contest last night. I searched for HOURS for an open contest and I finally found one.

So yeah, that's all I have for you. I bought a new suitcase today that is "lightweight" to make traveling easier. And everything that could possibly go wrong this week is going wrong. The stress is hitting me hard. Until next time.

-There are 5 days until WJMC-

Monday, July 7, 2014

I Don't Even Know

If you remember waaaaaay back in March, I mentioned I have been writing a story off and on.

Well I figure since I have zero updates other than "One week left IT'S TIME TO PANIC" I'll just start writing again. I've never let anyone read anything I've written, and I never planned on it, but now all I can say is why not. The worst anyone can do is not like it, right? So I suppose I'll post the first paragraph and see how that goes. Because why not?

I actually feel pretty good about it. It's the first time I've been satisfied with it (yes I'm still talking about the first paragraph..I'm a perfectionist). However, tomorrow I might look at it and find something to change. But that's just me. So here goes nothing:

"I woke to the sound of frantic pounding on the door. I was shivering, and I couldn’t feel anything in my legs except immense pain. I only vaguely remembered where I was. My head was spinning, and my vision couldn’t focus. I heard shouting, but my mind couldn’t process what was being said. Finally I understood. A deep, male voice, one I didn’t recognize, was saying, “We know someone is in there! We’re here to help!” And then, the same voice, quieter, like they were saying something to another person, “I hope to God whoever’s in there isn’t dead. Please God, don’t let them be dead.”  My mouth moved to form words, but nothing came out. I heard the door break open. That’s the last thing I remembered before everything suddenly went black."

So yeah, there's that. I'm just really bored and I have nothing to do other than read, write, and watch Doctor Who (and pack, but I might as well procrastinate a bit). If you liked it, yay, if you didn't, sorry I'll do better next time.

I'm going to go continue reading/writing/watching Doctor Who (or maybe start packing if I end up feeling productive).

-There are 6 days until WJMC-

P.S. I have a new watermark for my photos:

I quite like it. It's very modern to match my new website.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Website Update

Alright, quick update for you guys.

I've updated my website, so make sure you check it out! It's new and improved!


One Week Madness!

One week until I leave for WJMC! How time flies! This week is going to consist of packing, buying last minute things I might need, hanging out with friends and family that I won't see until I get back, and reading (so I can give The Death Cure to Lakin before I leave). It's going to be a hectic week.

I hope everyone in America had a great Fourth of July. I know I did. I bought fireworks for the first time in quite a while, we made a TON of food, and we had a game night. I decided to wear my British flag shirt for laughs and a lot of people commented on it. I also got quite a few weird looks.

Selfie with my new kitten, Hazel!
Being the typical photographer I am, rather than light the fireworks, I took photos of them. I only got a few good ones though.

Well that's about it for now. I hope everyone has a great week to come!

-There are 7 days until WJMC-