Welcome to my blog!

Thank you for stopping by! This blog was created to display various skills I am working on mastering- such as newswriting, audio and video production and photography. I love learning and have a powerful sense of curiosity about the world around me. As an aspiring communications specialist, I hope to not only continue learning after college, but also keep up on new technological trends to be as much of an asset to an organization as I can possibly be.

“Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow.”

-Anthony J. D’Angelo

post

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Video Storytelling Project- Blog 10

Video link: https://youtu.be/pM07K2OEZ0U

  1. For this assignment, we were to create a video project on a topic of our choice (either event related or non-event related.) Our group chose to report on the 2016 Dodge Hunger and Homelessness Dodgeball Tournament, a cause dedicated to helping provide winter coats that double as sleeping bags for the homeless population in Laramie. The event is run by students of the Cross-Cultural Communication class at the University of Wyoming.
  2. I enjoyed attending the event and meeting the students who dedicated their semester to helping a population of people who often go unnoticed in Laramie but need our help. The cause is especially important because the coats provided are made by single mothers in Detroit as a way to generate income for themselves, so it is an all-around impressive effort on many levels.
  3. What surprised me about this project was how difficult the editing process is. Our files were not in the correct format for the program UW offers so we faced many challenges in creating this video. Storage space is limited on UW student computers and our files exceeded the storage limit, and IT is understaffed and overworked and could not be of enough assistance to us as students to be successful in this project.
  4. I see myself using video in a future career in several aspects. It is important to highlight the exciting and philanthropic efforts your organization is a part of and video is a wonderful way to accomplish that for your different audiences. Also, depending on the organization you work for, information about what the company is doing can be overwhelming for audiences who aren’t familiar with the subject so video can help close the gap on information because there is both a chance for explanation as well as the images provided. Video is a great way to tailor information in a fun or creative way to represent the organization as a whole. 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Live Tweeting- Blog 9

Live Tweeting the UW vs SDSU game, 11/19/16, Laramie, WY

screenshot-1 screenshot-3 screenshot-2

1.  I tweeted the UW vs SDSU game on Nov. 19 in Laramie. My goal was to have at least 10 tweets, 2 interviews with direct quotes, and a photo or video. This was the last home game of the 2016 season, and extremely important for UW’s future in a bowl game so there were lots of fans in attendance and a tremendous amount of energy in the stadium I wanted to capture in my tweets.

2. I enjoyed attending the event, since I love football, and visiting with fans around me to obtain the interviews and quotes for my page. I did not enjoy tweeting during the game, because it made it hard to pay attention to the action. Also, my phone wasn’t cooperating so that added more frustration to the situation since I didn’t have a computer at the game.

3. I learned that it is extremely hard to capture the essence of an event on twitter because of the character restrictions. It is also hard to update frequently for people at home who are tuning in because there is so much going on, so if you don’t dedicate all of your attention to your twitter page, you won’t do a good job. I wish I could have done a non-sporting event, like a speaker, so I could plan my tweets ahead of time and be more organized. You definitely can’t plan your tweets for a sporting event, you never know what’s going to happen!

4. I could see myself using social media in some way in the future, but I’m probably not cut out to be a social media specialist. I need to be in the action, not reporting on it!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Social Media Critique- Blog 8

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-9-54-30-pm
screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-9-55-00-pm

The purpose of this blog post is to compare the social media accounts of two local Laramie businesses, The Curiosity Shoppe and Sweet Pickles. By critiquing the social media presence of these organizations, I can learn more about effective and ineffective practices of businesses on these platforms.

I chose these organizations because I wanted to see how small businesses are utilizing social media accounts to increase business. Large corporations have more resources for an online presence, so I chose to spend my time evaluating how a small business can have effective social media platforms without the resources of a larger company.

I looked at the 6 major social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn.

The Curiosity Shoppe:

The Curiosity Shoppe took advantage of all 6 social media platforms I investigated. They focused most of their efforts on showcasing their jewelry and awards. They did a wonderful job branding themselves as a local, small business with a flair for unique gifts. You could find all their contact information easily, information on inventory, and customer reviews.

If I had advice to give, I would tell them to expand their Pinterest and Instagram pictures beyond jewelry. The large candle display, cards, and home decor would be an asset to showcase so that potential customers can see all their worth before making a choice on where to buy their next special gift. According to Social Media Hat, keeping visuals are key for a business’ social media page. Also, engagement is highlighted by Social Media Hat. It is very important to create dialogue with customers over social media, and the majority of their posts on Facebook were not attempting to create “conversation.” Lastly, I did not find them on Twitter (although I am new to the Twitter world so I can’t offer too much advice on this channel) so I would advise them to try Twitter and see if they can connect with younger adults (college students) in town! According to Peter Gartland, you can use Twitter to make friends, not just followers. Overall, great job Curiosity Shoppe!

Sweet Pickles: 

Sweet Pickles did not have as strong of a presence on social media as The Curiosity Shoppe did. I didn’t find them on Pinterest or Twitter, but they had a strong presence on Instagram and Facebook.

I would recommend Sweet Pickles work on keeping up with trends, especially on a Pinterest account. Kids clothing is very popular and there are lots of amazing trends they could be taking advantage of, and bringing in local customers. The ideal brand is trend focused, also according to Social Media Hat. They also say you should be fun on social media, so I would recommend they do some fun give-aways or something similar to draw customer involvement.

The Panel Discussion:

We had a few experts come speak to our class recently about their job on social media for various small businesses in Laramie. Their excitement and passion for their work was very inspiring. I had no idea how involved a job in social media can be. The analytics they work with on a daily business are fascinating, and I can see how those numbers can help them do their jobs very effectively. You can see how many people you’re reaching, how they found you, and how you’re comparing to the your competitors. I hope to learn more about analytics before I graduate, so I can have that experience in my portfolio when I’m on the job hunt.

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Audio Story- Blog 7

11224145_1325662474124696_6128932492663599507_o

Amy Waiss- Big City Girl

 

  1. My audio experience was definitely a learning one. I initially thought “this assignment is going to be a piece of cake” when we listened to examples in class. I was wrong. It is extremely difficult to tell a story with only audio and little experience. Luckily, Amy and I are friends so we were comfortable with each other when recording, but I can imagine it would be even harder with a subject you aren’t familiar with.
  2. I enjoyed learning about audio, it is a very interesting and compelling medium. Learning about all the different ways sound can be manipulated was very fascinating and I enjoyed listening to examples in class. I appreciate audio a great deal more now. I did not; however, enjoy the editing process. It is very tedious and difficult. I would need a great deal more practice before I felt really comfortable with it. Our guest lecturer made it look so simple and easy, you can tell he is very experienced after trying it myself.
  3. I was surprised by the editing process. It is extremely difficult to cut out sections you want to delete from your story. Small pauses and “ums” were hard for me to cut out while keeping the story smooth and uninterrupted. Also, cutting the story to 2 minutes was difficult for me because there were several great statements made that I had to cut in order to fit my story into the outlined time limit.
  4. All in all, I am glad the project was assigned to us. I learned a lot about general audio as well as audio storytelling. If I had to do the project over, I would give myself more time to edit because it is a long, difficult process and I underestimated how long it would take me.
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Raw Audio- Blog 6

Amy Waiss- “Big City Girl” living in Wyoming

  1. The interviewing process was relatively easy for me since it was so short and open. I can see how it would be more difficult with a narrower objective and an interviewee whom you didn’t know. The interviewing process was more challenging when I was the interviewee because I found it difficult to articulate exactly what I wanted to say, even though I was talking about something very dear to me. I wanted to do the topic justice, so I felt a lot of pressure.
  2. I enjoyed being able to discuss animal rescue because I feel it is an important cause that needs a voice so being able to spread information about it, in any way, is great. I also enjoyed learning about Amy’s background in a city and her views on Wyoming and moving here from the West coast.
  3. I wish I would have remembered to request that Amy stated her full name, and I wish we would have done a practice one so that we could articulate our thoughts a little more clearly. We conducted the interview at her house and had a few interruptions when her roommates came home unexpectedly so it would have been better if we were somewhere a little more private. Also, her SUPER adorable cat wanted to help us with the interview so he made a few noises that will probably made editing a little more difficult. I would say his presence was still worth it though because he is so sweet and fluffy!

All in all, it was a great learning experience for me and I’m glad I can now tell a future employer that I have had a little experience in audio storytelling, no matter how tiny.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Photojournalism Basics- Blog 5

  1. Football Bond
Robert Moody enjoys an afternoon at Mile High Stadium on Sunday with his daughter, Charity. Denver lost for the first time this season to the Atlanta Falcons and will take on the Chargers in San Diego on Thursday.

Robert Moody enjoys an afternoon at Mile High Stadium on Sunday with his daughter, Charity. Denver lost for the first time this season to the Atlanta Falcons and will take on the Chargers in San Diego on Thursday.

***This photo would be a Sports Feature photo. I attended the Broncos vs Falcons game on Sunday and noticed a father and daughter sitting together with opposite team jerseys on and snapped a quick picture of them. The device used in the picture would be Focus and Rule of Thirds because the people in the background are small and slightly blurry and the main subjects split the photo into thirds. Sitting in the stands made photographing people very challenging because there were many people and objects blocking different shots. Also, it was hard for me to concentrate because I was so invested in the game.

2. Worker on Top

Jeff Porter works on building the canopies over the gas pumps Monday morning. Construction is well underway at the new gas station in West Laramie.

Jeff Porter works on building the canopies over the gas pumps. Construction is well underway at the new gas station in West Laramie.

***This photo would be considered a Feature photo. The device used to capture it would be Rule of Thirds. It was extremely difficult to get because the construction site requires hard hats and I only had my cell phone with me so I couldn’t zoom in very well.

3. Puppy Pals

Celeste Hefti enjoys a beautiful morning with her associate, Monica Bockman, and dog, Miss Bianca, on campus. University of Wyoming students and faculty are soaking up the last of Fall before the harsh Winter months hit.

Celeste Hefti enjoys a beautiful morning with her associate, Monica Bockman, and dog, Miss Bianca, on campus Monday morning. University of Wyoming students and faculty are soaking up the last of Fall before the harsh Winter months hit.

***This would be a Feature photo because it shows the lighter side of life, a morning spent outside with friends and pets. Focus would be the main device because the dog is most in focus. Also texture because of the fur and stone she’s standing on. This picture was one of the easier ones I captured.

4. A Day in the Office

Nichole Person, office associate in the Engineering Dean's Office, gears down for upcoming midterms on Monday. Person has been a University of Wyoming employee for 10 months.

Nichole Person, office associate in the Engineering Dean’s Office, gears down for upcoming midterms. Person has been a University of Wyoming employee for 10 months.

***This photo could be a portrait photo, depending on the story that accompanied it. I wanted to try to get a portrait, but it was actually more difficult than I imagined it to be without posing the subject. Rule of Thirds could be at work here.

5. Dog Days of Fall

University of Wyoming student, Kristina Polk, walks her service dog, Fisher, across Prexy's Pasture on Monday afternoon. Many UW students are taking advantage of the nice weather Laramie has been experiencing by doing homework outside on campus.

University of Wyoming student, Kristina Polk, walks her service dog, Fisher, across Prexy’s Pasture. Many UW students are taking advantage of the nice weather Laramie has been experiencing by doing homework outside on campus.

***This photo would be a Feature photo. This photo was also one of the easier ones I captured as well, probably because I love dogs and have a lot of practice photographing them. Color would be the creative device used here because of the dog’s vest and the beautiful trees in the background.

 

Overall, this project was a lot more difficult than I originally thought it would be. People were difficult for me to photograph in an effective way without posing them. Also, whenever I wanted to take a picture I didn’t have my camera with me, and I’m not used to using my cell phone so that also made it very difficult. Asking for names and talking to people was the easy part of the assignment for me, since I’m very social and comfortable in those situations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Photo Assignment- Blog 3

Hello! I practiced my photography skills this weekend at various locations around Laramie and Vedauwoo. Here are 5 pictures that demonstrate some key, creative devices used in great photography. The creative devices I tried to capture are:

Rule of Thirds, Balancing Elements, Leading Lines, Symmetry and Patterns, Viewpoint, Background, Create Depth, Framing, Cropping, Color, Texture, Establishing Size, Contrast, and Focus.

1.) Mountain Paws

A dog explores rocks around Vedauwoo Recreation Area. The first day of fall was Sept. 22 so locals are trying to spend as much time outside as possible before winter hits.

A dog explores rocks around Vedauwoo Recreation Area. The first day of fall was Sept. 22 so locals are trying to spend as much time outside as possible before winter hits.

This photo demonstrates the creative device of Cropping because only the front legs and paws of the dogs are shown in the photo. You can tell what there is a dog in the photograph, but only a small portion of him is shown making it a unique take on the image. Also in this picture is Texture and Color because of the rock and leaves, as well as the rule of thirds because of the position of the main elements.

 

2.) Sunset Blossom 

Exotic plants are in full bloom at the Williams Conservatory on the University of Wyoming campus. The conservatory is free and open to the public and displays interesting plants from all over the world.

Exotic plants are in full bloom at the Williams Conservatory on the University of Wyoming campus. The conservatory is free and open to the public and displays interesting plants from all over the world.

This photograph is a good example of Color. Because of the vibrant color of the flower against the prominent green background your eye is immediately drawn to the bloom. The plants in the background are not in focus, also bringing attention to the flower. Texture and Focus are also devices being utilized because the picture is zoomed so closely on the flower.

 

3.) Mossy Sherman 

Moss grows on the Sherman Granite rock at Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Sherman Granite is some of the oldest rock in the world dating over 1.4 billion years in age.

Moss grows on the Sherman Granite rock at Vedauwoo Recreation Area. Sherman Granite is some of the oldest rock in the world dating over 1.4 billion years in age.

This photo is supposed to demonstrate Focus. The moss that grows at Vedauwoo is so vivid in color against the rocks. Texture and Color are also being utilized because only a small portion of the moss is in focus, but you can really see the texture and pattern of the moss which holds the attention on it.

 

4.) Sharp Beauty  

A flower blooms on a cactus in the Williams Conservatory at the University of Wyoming. The conservatory updates their Facebook page to let students know when flowers are in bloom.

A flower blooms on a cactus in the Williams Conservatory at the University of Wyoming. The conservatory updates their Facebook page to let students know when flowers are in bloom.

For this picture I tried using the Background technique. The bright orange flower really stands out against the white cactus I framed as the background. Focus is also at work here, as well as Color and Rule of Thirds.

 

5. Riverbed Buildings 

Rock pillars are displayed all over the University of Wyoming campus in an effort to keep the concrete balanced with natural elements.

Rocky pillars are displayed all over the University of Wyoming campus in an effort to keep the concrete balanced with natural elements.

The last photograph displays Texture because you can see every little groove, color, and design on the rocks in focus. The angle of the photo and different sizes of rocks also helps add to the texture of the photo. Color is another important component of the picture since your eyes are drawn to the orange tones. The Rule of Thirds is also working in favor of the picture since the orange rocks separate the picture into thirds.

 

This assignment was very enlightening for me. I am extremely passionate about photography, but have never worked on my own skills. I have just followed different artists and admired their work, when I really should be doing that in addition to honing in on some of these skills to enhance the photos I take in everyday life. This assignment also puts into perspective how many photos these artists have to take in order to get a good one. I took well over a hundred photos to capture 5 that I felt could receive a passing grade for the class.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment