WES Winter Art Show

I held my first art show at school last Tuesday. I spent a week with all of my classes teaching them how to critique their work and having each student choose one piece of art to put in the show. Then we mounted each piece. (AKA some of my students helped, but I came in extra early for a week and for 3 hours on a Saturday to mount all of them). Three of my classes helped me set up for the show, putting mounting tape on all of the artwork, hanging each piece in the multipurpose room, making signs for the hallway. I was really proud of how much work they put in to help me, and how the event turned out. Unfortunately, with a school of over 400 students, only 25 adults signed the sign-in sheet at the art show, 8 of which were teachers/faculty and my roommate. Needless to say I was extremely disappointed.

The experience was even more of a wake up call about the community in which I’m living and teaching. I need to work harder at investing my students in the idea of not only creating art, but also showing it off. I need to work even harder at investing the parents and family members at my school in my art program. Moreover, this experience was another affirmation of how little art is valued even within my school, and I need to stop allowing my subject to be treated as inferior to “real” classes. Even though a part of me really wants to not even bother having another art show in the spring, I know soon enough this bitterness I have towards the low attendance at the show will turn into a drive to increase attendance at the next show. That’s what this job is all about – failing and coming back for more again and again.


Pretty much how the gym looked all night: empty.


2011 in Photos

I thought I’d start this year’s wrap-up with a quote from last year’s final post: “My biggest goal for 2011? Make it to North Carolina. I’ve been saying it for years, and this is my year to finally get there.” (To view last year’s post, click here.)

Joining Teach for America and being placed in North Carolina wasn’t my original plan to reach this goal, but either way, I’m happy to have accomplished my biggest goal of 2011!

Big things in 2011:

• Deciding to apply for TFA on my 22nd birthday, and being accepted in April
• Syracuse graduation ceremony
• Spending the summer in Mississippi. This was my first extended period of time somewhere other than the Northeast, and it was an important experience to see how people live in another part of the country. I made some wonderful friends, learned a lot about teaching and myself, and it was also my first time being in a time zone other than EST, which was cool!
• Having my placement changed to K-4 Art. I wouldn’t have changed my placement of U.S. History over the summer for the world. My CMA, CMA group, and students were such an integral part of how much I learned as a teacher, and surviving/loving Institute. But for me, being switched to art solidified that joining TFA and moving to ENC was the right thing.
• Getting my first place in North Carolina. Great roommates, in-ground pool, close to Wal-Mart. Not too shabby.

Even though I love teaching, my biggest goal of 2012 is to stop neglecting my photography. I think I did a great job keeping up with it at Institute, both documenting my experience and taking portraits, but I’ve hardly taken any photos in North Carolina. That’s going to change in 2012. I want to take more photos of my students, what I’m doing for fun, and get my name out there for portraits and weddings.

Other resolutions:
• Decorate my house more through DIY projects
• Teach my kids more technical drawing skills and steer away from craft-based projects
• Spend more time exploring North Carolina
• Donate blood regularly

Ok, ok. For those of you solely interested in the photos, here they are. I’d be interested to hear in the comments if anyone had a favorite photo that I did not include.

First week in the Mississippi Delta. Getting on the bus at 5:55 was rough that first week, but the sunrises were beautiful. I’m sure I made great first impressions snapping photos while everyone tried to sleep.

Mr. Steve, best bus driver ever. It didn’t hurt that he drove the only air conditioned bus.

Syracuse Graduation 2011

Hello everyone! Sorry for the long gap in posts! More photos to come after this though! Some portraits and a new wedding, too. But for now, here are some photos from the week leading up to graduation as well as the convocations and commencement ceremony at Syracuse University.

Senior BBQ on the quad (photo courtesy of Adam Schatz)

Some Gamma Phis hanging out on the steps of Hendricks during the senior BBQ.

hanging out on the 803 porch

Oh hey TOM! I made sure to get my very last veggie burger wrap that week. See more photos of our wonderful chef Tom here

I’ll miss you Chucks

Arts and Sciences Convocation. I have basically the same shot from the Newhouse convocation. If you’ve been in the dome for 8 hours everything starts to look the same.

Lots of graduates waiting to start commencement!

Oh hey Nance! Nancy Sharp, my awesome News Writing teacher, performing the Mace ceremony.

The Arts and Sciences section getting rowdy at commencement with balloons and beach balls (not shown).

I know her! Chancellor Cantor congratulating Carolyn McChesney on being a University Scholar.

Carolyn on stage again.

Mom, Dad and me after commencement. Mom just loves her “Syracuse Mom” pin. Dad forgot his in the car.

2010 wrap-up

I’ve seen a couple other photographers doing a year-in-review post, and I thought it was a great idea. So many big things have happened this past year, including so many changes.

In 2010 I:

  • started this blog! My blog will be 1-year old this New Year’s Day. In January 2010, my blog had 30 views. Since then, I have had 268 views in one day, and the highest monthly views was 2,335 in October. 9,140 views overall! My final photo story on Tom got the most views in one day.
  • turned 21! Probably my most fun birthday with great friends!
  • took 3 photo classes: Fashion Photography, Studio II, and Photojournalism, and learned so much from all of them.
  • worked for Joseph Prezioso and with Heidi Vail, and learned more from both of them than I could have in any class. And we had so much fun (especially on 3 wedding weekends)!
  • started doing a lot of photography work on my own with senior portraits, gaining valuable experience.
  • graduated from Syracuse University. I can’t believe I won’t be returning to ‘cuse in January as a student (just for the Nova game!), but I’m so excited for even more changes in 2011!

My biggest goal for 2011? Make it to North Carolina. I’ve been saying it for years, and this is my year to finally get there.

Here are some of my favorite photos from 2010. A lot of them were used in my senior portfolio to graduate from Newhouse.

I still have a couple shoots from 2010 that aren’t completely edited yet, so look out for those soon! Thanks for a great year everyone!

Print Sale: Very limited time only!

If I took any photos of you for studio or fashion last year, you may also buy those!

*****Shipping rates apply if you are not on Syracuse campus.


Gamma Phi Beta-Phi Kappa Psi lavalier ceremony

Girls in my sorority had been planning a surprise for our president for over a week. Bryn’s boyfriend, Andrew, wanted to lavalier her, and enlisted her friends to plan the ceremony. Kelsey, another sister in our house, is also dating a Phi Psi brother, so they served as the decoy couple to ensure that Bryn knew a lavalier ceremony would be happening this past Thursday, but would not know that she would be the one getting lavaliered.  And she was surprised!

This was an amazing tradition to witness, and I’m so happy for Bryn and Andrew! Congratulations!

It was so cute that so many of Andrew’s brothers came to support this romantic event!

Gamma Phi Beta, Alpha Chapter, Syracuse University

We are currently trying to update our chapter website and send photos into the sorority magazine The Crescent.  Over the summer, water severely damaged the chapter house’s  finished basement, the “rec room.” When we returned to school this fall, the room was boarded up. However House Corps Board gave us all a great surprise by renovating the room into what is now called the “Crescent Lounge” by live-in girls. Here is a photo of of the beautiful finished product!

This past weekend was also parents weekend, during which Gamma Phi always holds a special parents’ dinner.  Sheri, our Education Vice President, did a great job planning a beautiful dinner at Traditions at the Links in East Syracuse.  She asked me to take photos and I was more than happy to do something somewhat similar to weddings again. Unfortunately I have been sick for the past week, so I didn’t have a ton of energy to take as many photos as I wanted, or eat the delicious-looking food, but it was fun meeting everyone’s parents nonetheless. Here are a few photos.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, those are scoops of butter!

Kelsey really wanted to be featured on my blog, and I was more than happy to put this photo of her and her mom up, especially after Kels went on and on telling her mom about my blog and different photos that she liked. It really meant a lot that she and others have been following my photos and are really interested in my work. Here you go Kelsey, and thank you!

My little and her mom!

Some sisters whose parents couldn’t make it but they came for the free food and fun!

Civil Air Patrol Cookout

My brother Frankie is an adult supervisor of the Civil Air Patrol in Beverly. For younger kids, it’s kind of a mix between junior ROTC and boy scouts. The had a cookout for the members and their families a couple weeks ago, and Frank asked me to come along and take some photos for some promotional materials they’re putting together. Take a look!

Devon’s baby shower!

I had a great day today celebrating with Devon, Brian and her family at her baby shower in Wakefield. Devon is a friend I worked with at aerie, and I was more than happy to bring my camera with me to take some candids and family shots. There was great food and fun, and it was really great to finally meet Brian and the rest of Devon’s family. Now I can’t wait to meet Bennett!

This is Brian’s niece. She was one of the happiest babies I’ve ever seen and soo adorable!

You’d think with all the photos I took of her that it was a baby shower for Elle haha..

Brian enjoyed letting the balloons free with notes attached.