Photography was the main focus of the class for about the first month, but it didn’t stop there. We used pictures or videos in literally every blog assignment we had. Pertaining to creativity, no one would’ve survived this class if they didn’t dig into their creative bone, including myself. It wasn’t just strictly writing like I was used to prior to this class, so I definitely got out of my comfort zone like I anticipated.
I gained so many production skills and I feel so much more confident with photography, audio, social media and video. I feel the most confident with social media and I’m so happy I got to dabble into it because that’s what I want to do in the future.
This class also really built my soft skills to a whole new level. It made me more confident in my interpersonal communication with subjects and helped me see things, hobbies and jobs in a completely different light. For example, the people live tweeting sporting events, that stuff is hard. I have a new found respect for those social media workers and the work they put in to getting good content out there, fast. If you didn’t use soft skills in this class, you would’ve failed.
Many of the blog posts also made me a better listener because I was thrown into some subjects I have zero knowledge of, and even though I researched before interviews, I had to be a problem solver and ask clarifying questions during interviews. Like when I did my Web Story blog about the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant, my interviewees talked about subjects I had no clue about, so I really had to listen so I could type out a story for everyone to understand.
Since I want to work in social media, getting experience with this type of production and soft skills is going to help me immensely in the very near future. I’ve dipped my toes in the water and this class has given me more confidence than I could’ve asked for. I thought I wouldn’t be qualified to work in social media, but I know now that it is completely possible. I know how to live tweet, take pictures of objects and people, make a nice social media post and have better ability to talk to people to get what I need for stories.
Dr. Kristen Landerville gave me the confidence that I needed and the experience that was pertinent for my future. I’ve learned more in this class than any other class and I can’t wait to continue doing this stuff outside of school.
The assignment I’ve been dreading all year: our video assignment.
For this Multimedia Production assignment, we had to shoot a promotional or journalistic video, edit it and post it to YouTube. Since we had to pick something visually appealing, I decided to do a promotional video for Kade McMillan’s photography, McMillan Photos. He just bought a lot more equipment and is trying to build his portfolio, so when I heard he was doing a photo shoot with my best friend Samantha Garvie, I knew this would be the perfect time to promote his photography.
I don’t know why I dreaded this assignment because I ended up actually really enjoying it. I enjoyed videoing the b-roll clips and giving people a behind-the-scenes look at a photographer doing his job. I also really liked being able to video the interviews and showing the interviewees expressions and hand gestures. I thought the b-roll videos I took were pretty good for my first time and it was exciting to see all the clips come together in the end.
I knew I was going to struggle with the editing process and I did, but not as bad as I thought I would. That was surprising because I figured it would be as difficult and lengthy as the audio editing, but it ended up okay. I struggled with the editing, but it was surprisingly not as hard as I thought it was going to be.
If I could do this assignment again, I would take more b-roll clips. I thought my b-roll clips were strong, so I would’ve liked a little more to add to the video. Other than that, for a beginner, I thought I did a decent job for someone that has no experience with video other than a couple videos I shot for my NGA internship.
In the future, I see myself doing video interviews for whatever I do. Like I said above, I really liked the aspect of seeing a person’s natural reactions to questions and that authenticity. Whether that be in sports or anything in between, I see myself doing on-camera interviews the most. I do not see myself being a video editor of any sort because that is not my strong suit and I don’t have the passion to dive deeper into editing and editing software.
This go around in my Multimedia Production class, I had to find a newsworthy event to live tweet, so I went with something I know best and a subject I want to pursue in the future: sports.
I ended up picking the Cowboy basketball team’s first conference game against Air Force. I took a journalistic approach to this assignment and took a lot of inspiration from local and regional sports reporters, WyoPreps, and areporter from my home town. I took this approach because that’s what most sports reporting is. There might be promotional content for games, but other than that, it’s usually journalistic.
For this assignment, we had to obviously live tweet our event and had to include a picture, video, two interviews and a direct quote. For my picture I took a picture of the team warming up because you don’t really see those pictures from a lot of reporters. There’s a lot of security down by the hoop, so I took my chance and snapped that photo. I also included two videos, with one being theband playing the UW fight song and a video of Pistol Pete putting up his finger guns.
The actual game was really fun throughout the whole night. Both teams were on fire with their threes and it was a very high scoring game. It was also close the whole night and got super intense there at the end, so it wasn’t a boring game to tweet and kept me busy.
I loved live tweeting a sporting event. I enjoyed that it made me watch a basketball game more in-depth than I normally would and it made the game go by super fast. I love sports and reporting on sports has always been a passion, so being able to take a different route of reporting a game was really exciting and different.
There wasn’t much I didn’t enjoy about this assignment other than how fast I had to get tweets out. Basketball is a fast-paced game and timeouts aren’t very long either. I’ve live tweeted golf tournaments before for my NGA internship, but golf is a completely different game than basketball. In golf, I had time between holes to craft my tweets for about five minutes, but with basketball, I had a minute or less to get a thought out tweet sent.
I learned that sports tweeting doesn’t have to be super repetitive. There’s ways to go about tweeting a game that is unique and gives the audience an actual sense of what’s going on rather than just scores. Sports jargon is unlimited, so it’s fun to use those words to get the point across easier and shorter in a tweet.
What surprised me was how much fun I had tweeting this game even though it took up most of my attention (besides a basket of nachos after halftime). To say the least, I was busy tweeting the game and it was fun despite the little spike of anxiety I got having to rush typing, editing and posting a tweet.
I wish I would’ve utilized pictures more in my tweets. It was a little difficult because it was just an average, Wednesday night game and there weren’t any fans wearing crazy attire or cute babies doing baby races at half time. I guess being content-oriented for my first time isn’t all that bad, though.
Like I discussed in myInstagram promotion blog, I want to work in sports social media. In that blog, I wrote about how I would use Instagram in my future career. For Twitter, I can see myself live tweeting games like I did for this assignment, promoting larger works through my tweets such as articles, and honestly just promoting anything since Twitter is quick and easy.
Instagram is my favorite social media platform hands down, so I was excited to make a professional Instagram account and promote my blog posts on my new account.
I have a good amount of experience with Instagram because I’ve had an account since the app ever came out and when I interned for the Nebraska Golf Association (NGA), I did a few graphics for the Nebraska Match Play tournament for the NGA’s Instagram. I never did anything like this with my personal Instagram, but I know how Instagram, hashtags and tagging people works. However, when it came to Canva, I had zero experience. I had never heard of Canva, but I did have some experience with Adobe Spark, so I wasn’t too intimidated.
When I was first assigned this blog post, I wanted all of my posts to correspond and look like one another, but when I got on to Canva, I didn’t want to be limited. Therefore, I didn’t have a promotional strategy. I wanted to be creative and try different designs.
I quickly found out designing on limited space without being told what to do is challenging. I also have a big internal struggle with not liking anything visually creative I do, so that’s a challenge I have to deal with. Other than that, I thought Canva was pretty easy to use and they have a lot of great tools to work with.
Nothing surprised me too much about this assignment. I knew I’d struggle finding designs and liking them, but I didn’t expect to spend as much time actually designing as I thought I would. Captions and hashtags were easy to do and went by pretty quick, so it was just actually designing that took some time.
I would love to work in social media. The dream is to work specifically in sports social media, whether that be for a big organization or a team. I see myself using graphics on Instagram to promote players and teams, give final stats for players, seasons and games, promoting feature pieces on athletes and seasons and everything in between. I love seeing stats and other player or team information right in front of me in a really clean design.
This Instagram story promotion assignment really showed me that it’s possible for me to do this kind of thing on social media and get better at it with practice. It’s opening so many doors to dreams I already had and giving me more to work towards.
Going to a new city or town can be a little intimidating, especially when you’ve never been to the place.
Lincoln, Nebraska is still in Nebraska, and Nebraska is presumed to be a state full of just flat and boring land and that’s an issue. That’s an issue because Lincoln is full of some not-so-hidden treasures and deserves to be explored like any other city. For anybody that is popping through Lincoln, wants to explore a new city or just wants a fun new place for a weekend getaway, this blog is for you.
Now Lincoln has a very special place in my heart and will have that place for my whole life. My grandpa,Dick Prusia played for the Huskers in the mid 50’s and was a captain one of the years he played. My dad, Scott Prusia, also went on to play football at UNL, but he just warmed the bench for the guys actually on the field. On top of those two, many of my family members attended UNL for schooling and the Huskers have always been a staple of our family. I’ve been going to Lincoln every year for a football game since I was about five with my whole family. My brother, Nick Prusia is currently residing there and has been for a couple years, so that’s why I got a second opinion for the best places in Lincoln from my big brother.
Below I’ve included an interactive map that you can cruise around to see where the best places to go, eat and shop in Lincoln are. Below the map, there’s a brief summary of why you should consider going to these places if the map isn’t enough.
Going to Memorial Stadium is a must. Football fan or not, the heart of Nebraska lives in that place. It’s the location of the NCAA-record consecutive sellout streak that started back in Nov. 1962 and holds a special place in a lot of people’s lives, including mine.
If you go to Lincoln during the football season, do not hesitate in going to a game. Fan or not, the Husker fans will make you feel welcome and a game in Memorial Stadium is a huge performance for all ages. There’s tailgating outside the stadium, but you can expect almost every bar in town to be holding a tailgate of their own.
However, if you are visiting Lincoln during another part of the year, Memorial Stadium still is a good attraction to see. There’s a mini gallery inside the stadium equipped with past awards, the history of Husker football, a large indoor waterfall and a small theater for people to experience game day on a screen.
Virginia’s Travelers Cafe
For breakfast, you should hit up Virginia’s Cafe. This hole in the wall joint leaves tummies full and a big smile on your face. Their large portions of eggs, hash browns, french toast and every breakfast food in between leaves you energized for the long, exciting weekend ahead.
“The quality of the food is tremendous and the generosity of the portions offered are unparalleled,” my brother said.
MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante
If you’re feeling a little fancier for dinner or lunch, MōMō Pizzeria & Ristorante is the place to go. They’ve got pizza, pastas and other Italian cuisine on top of a large wine collection. My personal favorite is the Lobster & Shrimp Macaroni, but any of the pizza options are to die for too. They also have good daily specials that allow customers to indulge in a lot of their menu.
My brother raves about MōMō’s duck and is very fond of their wine selection, particularly their whites. He also says the atmosphere is great, “especially for a date.”
Historic Haymarket District
The Historic Haymarket is a playground for all ages. It is the home of many bars and restaurants, shopping, hotels, arts and entertainment and professional services. This history packed area always has something going on even if there’s not a particular event happening.
There’s local boutiques, book stores, multiple Husker stores and quirky hidden treasures. Barry’s Bar and Grill is a good bar to hit up while Lazlo’s Brewery & Grill is the best place to sit down for a meal in the Haymarket. Do not skip out on eating Lazlo’s lahvosh.
Equipped with a movie theater, tons of shops and several places to eat, the SouthPointe Pavilions is the best place to shop in Lincoln. It’s also the home of Lincoln’s gigantic Scheels to grab some Husker gear. There’s a Charming Charlie, Michaels Arts & Crafts, Von Maur and a lot more places to shop, while there’s Chili’s, Valentino’s and many other places to eat including a Cold Stone for a sweet treat.
“If you want a traditional mall, Gateway is the only one,” Nick said. “However, the best quality shopping center is South Pointe Pavilions.”
Lincoln obviously isn’t LA or Chicago, but it’s a nice breath of city air with the small-town feel. The people are polite, the food is great and the Husker pride is just too much not to smile. It’s a break from the norm, but keeps it comfortable. If you have to stop in Lincoln, you’ll want to go back. If there’s a want to plan a relaxing, fun weekend… consider Lincoln, Nebraska and all the places I’ve listed above. You won’t regret it.
Audio is one journalistic aspect that I thought was in my comfort zone, but my audio assignment in class definitely humbled me.
I’m used to recording interviews with an audio advice for written journalism stories, but using it as a story itself, was challenging. It helped that I interviewed my boyfriend, Zac Gunter, but it was challenging for him to speak more elegantly for an interview rather than us just talking. It was also hard to find a good place for us to get my phone in a good position to record and for my phone not to pick up on vibrations from notifications. However, the actual process of interviewing with an audio device wasn’t too hard because I have experience in that department.
The editing experience was a different story. It took me awhile to get used to Audacity, but even now, I don’t have too good of a handle on it. The editing process took me A LOT longer than I expected and I’m still not completely satisfied with the final product.
I got a lot of “um’s” and the vibration from my phone out in the edited version, but it was hard editing out most of the content because I felt as though it was all important to such a deep, emotional story. It was frustrating and I’m still not one hundred percent on board with my edited copy, but I’m proud of what I did with the little experience I have with audio editing.
I chose to take a portrait of Zac at the football game, because this is where he is happiest and that’s just who Zac is… happy. Talking about losing his younger brother was hard for him because he always likes to look at the positives in everything. That’s why I asked, “What do you think Dallin embodies?” Even though this was the question that made him tear up in the end, this was also the question that made him smile. Even through something as terrible as death, Dallin left a positive mark on his family, friends and community.
I think the whole process went smoothly for the most part. There were hiccups during the process of recording and editing, but I like the finished products. I wish editing wouldn’t of taken me four plus hours and I would’ve put my phone on airplane mode. I almost do wish Zac and I picked a different, less important topic for him to speak about so it’d be easier to edit stuff out, but I’m glad I could pay ode to Dallin. If it was any other topic I would’ve re-recorded, but I didn’t want to make someone speak about something so real again.
For the future, I will definitely continue to use audio to record my interviews for my written stories. Since I want to work in sports, when I feature an athlete or a coach, I can supplement a long written story with a long, edited audio recording. Like we discussed in class, audio is more personal and I’m sure someone would rather listen to an athlete or coach be more human through audio than through written text. This assignment alone taught me the power of voice. If I would’ve written the story of Dallin’s last day, it wouldn’t of been as powerful as actually hearing someone’s recount of that day.
Death by suicide has always been an issue in Wyoming, so the University of Wyoming took an initiative to get funding for better mental health programs and hired on Amanda Matthews, the new Campus Suicide Prevention Coordinator.
At the end of November of last year, UW was among 19 colleges and universities in the country that was awarded the Garrett Lee Smith Campus Suicide Prevention grant after Lena Newlin, Assistant Director of the Wellness Center, wrote the grant and submitted it to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. UW’s Lifesavers Initiative, a comprehensive suicide prevention program, received nearly $102,000 per year for three years.
However, this isn’t the first time UW has received a grant regarding this subject. Newlin said this is UW’s third grant, with the first two being funded about 10 years ago. After the second grant, the university was no longer eligible to apply for that funding, but some requirements changed the past year with the eligibility. Due to their newfound qualification and still having a significant need to address suicide prevention, UW applied once again.
“This grant is really to promote upstream suicide prevention, host a plethora of different help seeking opportunities for students, creating programming around mental health awareness and ending stigma, and ensuring that all of our students and vulnerable populations have the resources they need,” Matthews said.
Beginning work in June, Matthews says her position is always growing and changing because of how new it is to campus, but with the grant coming up on its first year and only lasting for two more, it poses some questions and concerns for the program and Matthews’ position. Both Matthews and Newlin commented that it’s a lot of front loading and figuring out how to sustain programming and the new position and showing the need to keep the position.
The Suicide Epidemic in Wyoming
The need for suicide prevention is there and relevant on
campus. A “traditional” college-aged student is under 25, and in Wyoming, the
first leading cause of death is suicide for ages 15-24 according to the
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (ASFP). For the state as a whole,
suicide is the seventh leading cause of death and three times as many people
died by suicide in Wyoming in 2017 than in alcohol related motor vehicle
Being in and coming into a rural community, there’s perceptions
and stigmatization of the “cowboy mentality” and not reaching out for help or
other resources. A lot of Matthews’ marketing campaign has to do with ending
the stigma and show that being “cowboy tough” means taking care of each other
and reaching out. However, that’s not the only reason people in Wyoming, or the
Mountain West choose to end their life through suicide.
“There are several explanations [for someone choosing suicide],” psychology professor and suicide in the Mountain West researcher Carolyn Pepper said. “One is isolation, we don’t have that many people around, another is who is attracted to live in this part of the country, being a frontier area, people have always moved here who see themselves as self-sufficient, able to solve their own problems and they can pull themselves up by their bootstraps, so that doesn’t lend itself for asking for help.”
The university offers and offered a number or programs before Matthews position, including all of the Wellness Center programming and theCounseling Center, but many people aren’t even aware of these resources or what steps are best for them. This is where Matthews comes in.
Not only did UW create the Suicide Prevention Coordinator position to triangulate and streamline services while keeping initiatives going, Matthews also provides a safe space to go to. A new program available is that any student can make an appointment with Matthews to do a mental health screening, talk to her about the resources on campus, what their options are without going directly to the Counseling Center and assess what they want to do with her. It’s a conversational area and not a counseling situation.
The goal and plan is to sustain what is happening during the grant and continuing to give the UW community more personalized resources. Matthews is already making steps in the right direction and dedicating her time to mental health and suicide prevention.
On top of Matthews
position being created, the Laramie community just hired a Community Suicide
Prevention Coordinator and a Community Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator,
and Matthews has been working closely with those individuals. The athletics
department is also working towards hiring a welfare coordinator.
Newlin said it best, “Ultimately we want to save lives, prevent suffering, connect people to resources and help people feel a greater sense of belonging.”
For this general news photo, I stumbled upon the Bike to UW Day event. Sergeant Chad Bade and Officer Melinda Chamberlain oversaw bike registration and handed out free bike lights to everyone who registered. They were super nice about me taking pictures and continued their conversation while I moved around them.
This photo uses good focus because even though the male officer is the larger subject in the picture, we’re still focused on the female officer. Rule of thirds is also seen in this picture because the eyes go from the female officer, to the male officer, to the banner behind that says, “Bike to UW Day!”
I didn’t want to use a UW team for sports, so I went to a 4th grade football game instead. I found out about this game through my boyfriend because he’s a referee (his leg is not the leg pictured).
It was a little awkward shooting the event because I was sitting on the field in front of a bunch of parents that didn’t really understand why I was there. However, I had a lot of fun and was so excited my sport-action photo didn’t end up blurry.
I got lucky with framing because the traffic lights are almost perfectly framing the boys making the play. I was going to crop the ref out of the picture, but his action adds to the photo and gives the eye more to look at.
This feature photo captures biology major Triston Schwab sitting in the grass while the weather is still nice. He had all of his stuff sprawled out around him and he even took his shoes off to enjoy the moment a little more. There was picture that displayed just how scattered his things were, but I chose this one because it shows off his face more.
Even though I probably disturbed his peace and quiet, he was nice about me taking photos of him. He was super easy to take pictures of and the scene made it effortless to get a good picture. Texture is very prominent here with the grass being very detailed and the brick behind Schwab gives a good texture for the background.
I was just working out at Half Acre when I decided to take some pictures of people climbing. Peyton Valentine and Grace McCartney were more than willing to let me shoot them even though they said they weren’t “very good.”
It was difficult to get a good shot of them because they were moving so fast that something always turned out blurry. In this photo, Valentine’s hair is blurry, but I liked it here because it shows the movement in an elegant way. The creative device of color is also evident in this picture with the different steps on the wall being very bright against the darker brown “cliff” they’re attached to.
At the same 4th grade football game, I captured this sports-feature photo of the referees talking about what position they would ref at before the game started. This was my first time meeting these guys and going to a game because my boyfriend just started reffing a couple weeks ago. They liked that they didn’t have to be posed and could just continue their duties.
Color is great in this photograph with the blue sky covering most of the background. Pattern is also seen here with their striped referee shirts and the sun peaking in from the right makes the photo have more to offer.
While I’m very proud of the photos I got, I wish I was braver to do more photo shoots to get more variety and experience shooting people. I was surprised about how shy I was and how difficult it is to make other people uncomfortable. Regardless, I loved the photographs I took.
I had multiple lenses in my sticky kid hands since I can remember. I begged my mom to buy me a disposable camera every time we went to a gas station, I did mini-photo shoots with my parents’ digital camera in the backyard and when my best friend and I got Nintendo DSI’s, we filled the camera storage the first day we got them.
I always wanted to take pictures when I was younger and being a photographer was what I wanted to be when I grew up. As I got older, that childhood hobby of mine dwindled as I found other hobbies and focused on writing. However, I got to exercise an old love and take pictures for my Multimedia Production class.
Here are my best five photos from the week and the creative devices they represent:
Color is the most prominent creative device we see in the first photograph. The first aspect the eyes notice are the bright royal blue of the horse shoe and bottle cap. The grays of the concrete and shovel compliment the blue hues nicely to make this photo a very two-colored picture, that’s very pleasing to look at.
There’s also some interesting focus going on here. The horse shoe is the object most focused on in the photograph, but we aren’t losing the bottle cap completely. The shovel is the object most out of focus and the texture of the cement and gravel is emphasized as well to give viewers many aspects to look at after losing focus on the blue objects.
The main creative device for photograph two is focus. An iPhone camera doesn’t particularly blur the background of a photo very dramatically, but we still get the effect of the cacti being blurred behind our main focus of the frame, the tea cup.
We also get a little color in this picture with the different shades of green in the background and the maroon leaf sticking out from the white tea cup.
There are two very dominant creative devices that make up my third photograph. However, the superior one is symmetry. I wanted to take this picture in the first place because of the white parking line sitting right in the middle of my mobile device. The line isn’t solid or the same all the way through, nor is the cement on each side of the line, but it’s a pleasing symmetry photograph that looks very similar if you were to fold it in half.
There’s a lot of texture in this picture as well. After admiring the symmetry on my phone, my eyes were drawn to the texture of the concrete surrounding the line and the ruggedness of the chipped line as well. It’s so interesting there’s more breakage and less “smooth” cement on the right side of the line than the left, especially in the upper right corner.
Rule of thirds is prominent is this picture. The wooden fountain is one, the rocky water bottom is another and the background of leaves is the last. You almost follow the water from the spout to the water and then you move your eyes to the background of the main feature, being the spout.
There’s a lot of movement in this photograph because of the water flowing out of the spout to the water ripples in the pool below. Each third also has its own unique texture. We see a light-colored wood, very dark and very light rocks and green leaves and stems in the background. This is a very earthy toned and earthy photo.
Texture is the main creative device of this photo. When I see this picture, I want to go through the screen and touch the plant shown. The white fuzz looks soft while the red spikes don’t look sharp, making me curious as to what they feel like. I really do wish I would’ve squished one of those stocks.
There’s also a little bit of symmetry going on here. It’s not perfectly aligned, but the two main stocks in the middle of the picture appear to have smaller stocks poking out of them with another stock being shared between the both of them.
Taking pictures this past week was probably the highlight of my week. I was disappointed with the majority of my photographs, but the five I chose and a few others were actually good for a person that has a rather small creative bone. If I did this assignment again, I would spend more time with the small objects and plants in the conservatory and would’ve dove deeper into pictures I was taking outside of it. I was a little shy taking pictures out in public, so I do wish I would’ve been a little more bold with my angles. I’m a harsh critic of my work and seeing something relatively creative that I did myself that I actually liked, was fun.
A comfort zone is a comfort zone for a reason and if you don’t think you have one, you definitely do. And if you voluntarily are more willing to break those boundaries, you are a weirdo.
I am a person who does NOT like to get out of my comfort zone. I like having the same routine, being around people I’m stable with, doing tasks I’ve done before/are familiar with and, just, I like things that are the same. However, I know that’s not what helps me grow.
Since my sophomore year of high school, the only “journalism” I’ve dove really deep into was writing/reporting. I dabbled here and there with layout on Publisher and took photographs on rare occasions, but other than that, it’s been strictly writing. That’s what I’m comfortable with, that’s what editors and employers have assigned me to, so I’ve just stuck with that.
My Multimedia Production class is not going to be just writing. I anticipate
we are going to cover ALL “journalism” realms and test my boundaries. I suspect
photography is going to be huge. No one wants to read a story without pictures,
so we are going to have to pick the right picture or take our own for
assignments and our blog posts.
I also know I’m going to have to think more creatively when it comes to social
media posts, blog design, video and, of course, photography. I’m used to being
very technical and to the point, so I’m glad this class is going to make me
uncomfortable and push me to be more creative while learning these skills I
need as a journalist.
In the long run, getting out of comfort zone in this class is going to help
me when finding a career in the future because I will be able to say I have at
least a little experience in just about every category journalism has to offer.
As much as I hate doing it, I truly believe personal barriers are meant to
be broken in order to really grow. This class is going to be frustrating at
times, but that’s a normal human function. These anecdotes need to be said and
people need to be inspired through successes and failures and I’m sure I’ll
have enough of both during my Multimedia Production class.