As a graphic design and photography student, every week I am awed by new tactics and tricks that bring graphic art to life. But more than this, I am consistently awed by how determined the professors of CAVAD (College of Architecture, Visual Arts, and Design) are to extend opportunities to their students to learn how to do these techniques on their own.

I remember as a high school junior coming to stay overnight at CBU for the annual “24” event that CBU offers to perspective students. During the morning of my second day on campus, I had the opportunity to attend a class from my chosen field of study. So, I attended a Photoshop class. This class experience was, in my opinion, the initial spark that sent me to pursue CBU as my college choice. I observed how small the class size was (which, coming from a graduating class of 13, was pretty significant to me) and how each student was provided substantial workspace and a huge Mac to work on. Granted, none of those things were good enough reasons to choose CBU, but they definitely inspired me to look into the school further. Sometimes, it truly is “the little things.”

Jake and his favorite guitar!

Now, as a student, I’m currently working on a studio photography project – which obviously means that I am required to use the CBU photography studio for my upcoming photo shoot. When we were first assigned this project, my heart skipped a beat because of how the idea both excited and terrified me. During class that day, my teacher took the time to show us how to use the studio, beginning to end, explaining everything from plugging the equipment in, hooking up the equipment to our cameras, testing the lights, etc. Already feeling a little overwhelmed by how complicated the process is, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to hear him slip a comment into the demonstration about how leaving the generator running after leaving the studio could burn the building down. Um, yikes!

I’m still hoping he was feeling sarcastic that morning.

Well aware that I had no idea of how to put all this fancy stuff to use, I reserved the studio for that Thursday evening–not to work on my project, but to mess around with the equipment and get familiar with it before attempting the assignment the following week.

My dear little sister and I! :)

My younger sister came to spend the night in my apartment that evening, which made for an extra fun experience that I was able to share with her and her growing passion for photography.  She, my boyfriend, and his roommate joined me initially in the studio and helped me to get everything set up. About a half hour later, my two roommates walked in, announcing as they entered that they had brought along four other people! Well, perhaps needless to say, this announcement added to the pressure of having no clue what I was doing.

Nonetheless I smiled, invited them to come pose on the set, and I snapped away. To my extreme relief, the process came pretty naturally, and in no time the ten of us were laughing, smiling, and having a wonderful time. I definitely remembered to turn off the generator (praise the Lord!) and, best of all, I left that night feeling like a pro.

I hope this post communicates what gratitude I feel toward my professors for extending this much freedom to their students, as aware as I’m sure they are just how ignorant and green the majority of us are.

Beautiful memories!

This week I learned that with some faith in myself, a whole lot of trust from my professors, and little bit of camera dust, I am able to produce beautiful memories. What a blessing that is!