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Posts Tagged ‘SMU’

I forgot how nice it feels to be productive.

Lindsey and I met with Jose Bowen, Dean of SMU’s Meadow School of the Arts, today to discuss our project. He seemed really excited about the trip and gave us some tips for further grant research. Hitting people up for money in this economy has been kind of difficult, though. But Lindsey and I are troopers and we’ll apply for grants until our fingers fall off.

Then we met up with our first Romanian contact. We’ve decided we’re going to get in touch with all of our random Romanian contacts, conduct interviews and put together mini-packages to post on our blog as part of our plan to get as familiar with Romania as possible.

Today we met up with Cristian. He’s working on his PhD at UTD and stumbled upon our blog. It was a really interesting interview. So interesting, in fact, that I can’t tell you all about it now. I don’t want to spoil the excitement of watching our audio slideshow. But let me just say we talked about what it was like growing up in Romania (he didn’t move to the States until after high school), how he feels about Romania’s portrayal in the media, Ethan Hawke’s mom, gypsies, dogs and Brigitte Bardot, and a whole lot more.

Stay tuned. Trust me, it’s worth it.

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My National Press Photographers Association’s News Photographer magazine came in the mail today. I always love looking through it, but this month’s issue is especially relevant. The cover story, written by Alisa Booze Troetschel, is about shooting for NGOs (non-governmental agencies).

Troetschel interviews a few photogs that have worked extensively with NGOs. The article was informative, but I especially like the teaser on the first page that reads, “Many photojournalists want to use their talents as storytellers to make a difference in people’s lives. But opportunities to delve into an issue sometimes sink to the bottom of priority lists in the current ‘do more with less’ newspaper environment, and it’s a challenge to devise a financially viable project while working as a freelancer.”

I think this perfectly sums up one of the many conflicts that journalists face today. I know that one of the reasons I decided to pursue photojournalism instead of commercial photography is because I wanted to use my skill to shine light on societal issues. If my photos bring attention to a problem, my work has more meaning.

And Troetschel hits the nail on the head when she talks about how hard it is to make these projects financially feasible for freelancers. Sommer and I are struggling to put together enough money for our two-week trip. That said, I’m so glad that we are able to do a project of this magnitude with the assistance of our grant from SMU that was made possible after a sizable donation from the Meadows Foundation. Without the grant, none of this would even be possible.

-lindsey

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