Over the past months as the Visual Media Fellow, I have had many meaningful experiences, from interactions to assignments. I have been a part of impactful work, projects that I hope will have a lasting effect on the college, as well as simple, everyday work, work that needs to happen just to keep things running around here. Overall, the things that have left the biggest impact on me, the things I am most proud of from my time here, are those things that challenged me. These are the assignments that pushed my limits, the ones that made me look at what I do every day for this job in a new way.
The first of these was taking set photos for the theatre department’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream this fall. I had never done set photos before, but I have been in theatre for most of my life, so I understand general lighting principles in the theatrical sense. However, getting quality images of the action on stage while preserving the integrity of the stage lighting was more challenging than I had anticipated. Being restricted to the light available, and not pushing past that in post processing, is not something that I often have to deal with. However, as I got more and more comfortable with both the photographing and editing techniques I had to use, I became more and more confident in the photographs I was taking, and by the end of the process I had a product that I was quite pleased with, and which was well received by those who saw it.
The next assignment that pushed my limits was the creation of the Christmas Card. Technically, this was not an overly complex video. However, the scale of this project was much larger than any I had worked on up to that point, and is the most viewed video that the Visual Media Department makes all year. As such, the pressure to make this video really well was much higher than it had ever been. That, combined with how much collaboration needed to happen to get this video done, made this a much more challenging project than it seemed on the surface. However, getting a chance to work with both the client and other professionals to create the final project was, while stressful, very rewarding. By the time it was being distributed I was very happy with what we had produced.
The most recent assignment that I think really challenged me was the bad lip reading video I put together for Giving Day. Emulating a creative strategy perfected by someone else is not something I have a lot of practice with, so I had to spend a lot of time simply taking in their methods. I spent hours watching their videos, taking in the strategies they used. After that, I spent even more time trying to use those strategies in my own video. It took a long time, but by the end, I was very happy with what I had produced. When the people who watched it liked it, and when Giving Day was as big of a success as it was, it felt good to know the work I had put in had been worth it.
Over this past year, as I look back at all of the work I have done, I have found a common thread in all the work I feel best about. The work that pushed me, that challenged me, that made me think in new ways, has had the biggest impact on me. It feels good to know that I overcame the challenge presented by these projects, and to know that I can overcome any challenges that future projects may present.