From a female marijuana grower raising plants in her basement in Washington, D.C. to a human beat-boxer rising from the project to being a Grammy-nominated progressive hip-hop artist... the last four months of my life have been chock-full with my first attempts video story-telling, with many lessons learned along the way.
One of the most challenging projects I worked on was about D.C. marijuana grower Liana. I worked with an advanced video student on this piece for the University of Maryland's video series, Viewfinder.
The lights required for growing marijuana made it incredibly difficult to shoot the plants themselves. Thankfully Liana was patient and wonderful to talk to about her budding business.
One story that I independently worked on was a project about Kitten Lady, a nonprofit organization operated by Hannah Shaw. Shaw rescues neonatal and orphaned kittens, often nursing them back to health and caring for them around the clock. Through her social media platform, Shaw seeks to educate her followers about the needs of neonatal kittens across the globe.
One of the earlier projects I worked on was doing a segment on Christylez Bacon, a Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist who grew up in the projects of Washington, D.C. Bacon allowed me and two other classmates to interview and film him during a soundcheck for a recent event.
And finally, what I started the semester with: a piece on Rachel Pfeffer, and independent jeweler and artist working in Washington, D.C.'s Brookland neighborhood. Pfeffer welcome me and two of my classmates into the studio to learn more about her inspiration, methods, and the time Beyonce wore her necklace.
It was an incredible four months of growth, challenges, mistakes made and lessons learned. I find myself incredibly lucky to study under Bethany Swain, a veteran female photojournalist. I'm looking forward to taking skills learned to Myanmar this summer for my summer photojournalism position, as well as taking Swain's advanced class in the Fall.