Final Project


I had a lot of fun with this portrait series. Doing a series on people who feel marginalized has been in my head for a long time. I am happy that this project made me get out there and actually start it.

I was really happy with how all my photos turned out individually, but then I looked at them in a group and I became very disappointed. I realized 3 out of the 4 have such similar lighting that it makes the 4th look out of place. By the time I realized this it was too late to do anything about it. So I’m trying to stay positive. The one that looks out of place is the woman in the church. The others I took outside, at nighttime and barely exposed the background. I realized after looking back that I should have lit the background more and give more importance to the space they were in. I was focused so much on properly lighting only half their face that the idea that I might want to light the background a little was lost.

The good news is that I do plan on continuing with this project. I’m happy that I now have some good images to add to the collection, and I’m hoping with some more variety in background the project will all come together.


Cat Cojocaru grew up Catholic but felt rejected by the church once she discovered her sexuality at age 17. Once Cojocaru solidified her identity as queer, she left the church. “Being raised in a tradition for so long, that spans back through generations of my family, and then being told that I am considered a second-class citizen by that tradition was heartbreaking. Being told “God loves you – but only if you ignore this part of you that He created” made me leave the church.”
Sera Holland considers herself a feminist. Holland says that as a woman, it’s not a rare occurance to be verbally harassed on streetcorners such as this one in downtown Columbia, where her and her sorority sisters delt with a random man verbally harassing them. Holland stood up for herself and confronted the man, but was not met with much support from passerbyers. “People were walking by and just staring at us and I felt like so helpless because everyone saw what was happening but nobody tried to intervene.”
Rachel Riggenberg was a waitress at Hooters but quit in August of 2014 after receiving constant harassment based off her appearance, gender and race. “One time a customer automatically assumed i was uneducated and stupid because i wouldn’t serve her underage son a beer. She basically assumed that a hooters waitress didn’t have a brain.”

Colleen Cutts was harassed on her walk from Greek Town to Turner Avenue parking garage while walking with her guy friend as she explained to him that cat calling is a normal occurance. “[My friend] seemed confused about what I was talking about [in reference to cat calling]. Right after that a car drove by and yelled “fuck that midget ass” to him. After that two separate cars drove by us and said similar things, which all interestingly seemed to involve my height, before we got the parking garage. It made me feel kinda scared because all of a sudden people were yelling things and that is something that makes me really anxious, and it was also pretty dehumanizing, because the cat callers weren’t even addressing me as they were objectifying me, all of them were addressing the guy I was walking with, and assumed that because we were together he was going to have, like sexual dominion over me. I was the butt of a joke I didn’t even get to be part of.”


Video Interviews


I was paired with Luke for my video interview.

Watch the entire thing… there’s an interesting twist at the end…

I decided to try something different for my lighting set up and make the part of his face that was furthest away from the camera brighter than the part closest to the camera. I ended up really liking how the lighting and quality of interview turned out. Editing wasn’t much of a problem either. I tried perfecting it as much as possibly because I enjoy video editing. John helped me a little bit with figuring out how to work Final Cut X. He showed me how to access the levels and color balancing when I needed to adjust those.

I am moderately experienced with video interviewing and editing but I’d never played with lighting as much in a video as I had with this assignment. It was cool to see how a room could transform after lighting and use the lights in a different setting than in the studio or with speedlights.

Overall I liked this assignment. I think it was valuable for us to learn since as journalists, lighting and video interviewing are an important part of our jobs.

P.S. I used youtube instead of Vimeo because Vimeo was having problems last time we looked at videos in class.

Here is Luke’s video of me. I look gross because I was crying about convergence that day… Ooops. haha Enjoy!