As the stress of finals begin to fade there is a rise of creative freedom as students try to take advantage of the end of the year opportunities and create as many memories as possible. Because for some graduation is soon approaching and emotions are becoming tangles as we realize that even though we are moving onward and upward to better things we are leaving behind a life irreplaceable. I thought the “graduation feels” would pass me. Getting my cap and gown… just another costume. Finishing my assignments… already planning future projects. But alas, on a simple Tuesday I was tasked to shoot some black and white film that would later be developed in an alternative process known as “Cafenol Processing”.
During a historic April snowstorm of 15.5 inches of snow in one day, this trip to Minneapolis was definitely not one to be forgotten. 9 sophomores and 2 instructors of the photo department braved the weather and continued their venture.
Recently the Photographic Communications Department at Northwest College here in tiny town Powell Wyoming put together their annual Alternative Print Weekend. This is a time where students can step away from the digital world and automated printers and make prints that are as unique as the images themselves. Never are two prints the same, each paper is coated with different brush strokes, the negative is placed in a different spot, and exposure time varies.
During the weekend we were able to make 5 different types of images, cyanotypes, van-dykes, traditional black and white prints, glass negatives, and tintypes. The glass negatives and tintypes were made possible by hosting NWC alumni Russel James from Salt Lake City, UT.
Building a brand and an identity is definitely quite the undertaking! Portfolios, website, business cards, business plans, job hunting, and the list goes on! Even as I write this my fresh new website is under major construction. However, this is an exciting step in my photographic career as I prepare to graduate from Northwest College in small town Powell, Wyoming with my Associates of Applied Science in Photographic Communications in 5 weeks. It has been a challenge to do some self-reflection and figure out who I am, where I want to go, and how I’m going to do it. I come up with an idea but then I question “Is this really what I want to do? Are these the trials and tribulations I want to settle with?”. Because every job and career path is laced with success and struggle, it is choosing which you want to claim as your own. With so many different opportunities it is hard to choose just one.
None the less, I am stepping and sometimes stumbling into the future. I may not know where I’m going but by building my identity as a photographer it will be easier to go somewhere and say, “Here I am, and this is what I do”. In the last few months, I have been building a portfolio of composites where each image is a compilation of images inspired by places I have been, things that I have experienced and even songs that I have heard! My goal is that this will be my main style of capturing a moment and sharing it. How exactly that will evolve into a career is yet to be determined. But I am optimistic!
I have much to learn and far to go, but the current journey is not one to be forgotten!