I’ve always been very opposed to mobile journalism. As a photoj student, I fear that my job is in jeopardy. The world cares more about speed than quality, while I disagree.

Regardless, it’s silly to pretend like mobile journalism isn’t a huge part of the future. Events like the Boston Marathon Bombing last year prove that speed is superior to quality in cases of breaking news stories.

Though I prefer a more documentary approach to journalism, I do believe in the importance of getting out information to the public in a timely manner, and that often means that quality is disregarded.

That being said, with the advancement of technology, mobile journalism has taken on a much higher quality than it once had. iPhone photography has taken off, creating stunning images. Several photographers even do entire projects on their phones.

For this assignment, Shane had us take photos with our phones and share them. These are two of mine.

The first is a typical college weekend. Friends at Kaldi’s Coffee in downtown Columbia working on homework and over-caffeinating.

The second is a picturesque photograph of Jesse Hall, an iconic building on Francis Quadrangle here at MU.



This entire post was also written on my iPhone using the WordPress app. I know, be impressed.

Photographer for Hire – Summer in a Small Town

This summer, I’ll be home in good ol’ Branson West, working (most likely in a cave) and spending my free time on the lake. I’m looking forward to not being stressed out about school, but I’m also sad that I won’t have a project to keep me busy. I know I complain about being overwhelmed and stressed with school work, but thinking about the summer, I hate the idea of being a bum. I want to practice journalism. All the time.

I think that’s a good sign. I obviously have a passion for the field that I want to spend the rest of my life in. That’s why I’m kicking myself in the butt for not applying for any internships this summer. I had originally planned to get a job as a server so I could make money and actually afford my Spring 2015 semester abroad. Unfortunately, I’m not entirely sure that will work out the way I’d like and now I’m stuck.

I love home, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a little too small town for what I have planned in life. I’m ready to start going places, meeting people, creating connections, building a portfolio and living my own life.

I don’t know where all this independence came from. The rest of my family loves the down-home life style. I love it too, at least for a little while at a time. What I really need to do is get a taste of a big city. Man, I really should have applied for an internship.

So instead, I plan to spend my summer building up a personal portfolio. I doubt it’d ever be published, but living in a town like Branson has it’s perks. There are a lot of unique people here that have amazing stories to share, so I figure why not? Maybe I’ll get lucky.

On top of that, I hope to work as a freelance photographer doing portraiture and whatnot, but we shall see. The future is an exciting place.

That’s about all I have for this week. I’m finally home, taking a break, spending time with family and loving life.

The End

Frivolous Dramatization of My Life

Disclaimer: This week’s blog post may or may not take a personal turn. (It will.)


I know what I want. I know what level I want my photography to be at, I know the experiences that I want to have, I know what types of jobs I want, and I know the person I want to be. Only one thing is holding me back. Myself.

This semester, I’m taking Fundamentals of Photojournalism, the first class in my Photoj sequence. I love it. I love the teacher and the assignments. I love the critiques and the knowledge. But I don’t love that I’m constantly comparing myself to others. I know we all have varying degrees of experience and photo background (mine being minimal), but it’s still hard to see the phenomenal photos made by peers when your own work does not meet your personal expectations.

This past week, we were given our Sports Action and Feature assignment. Basically, I have to go out and capture two amazing moments in sports. The thought was terrifying. Yes, I’ve played every sport so I know how they work. No, I’ve never tried to shoot them (other than high school yearbook, but that doesn’t count).

We had an awesome Sports Photog come in and talk to our class about his experiences (and he brought us candy, so basically I love him). His photography was beautiful and all I wanted was to be at his level. But I’m not.

I’d planned to check out some equipment this weekend from the photo locker, but alas, all the gear was snagged by the time I’d arrived Friday afternoon. That meant I had to shoot with my D7000 and telephoto 55-300mm F/4.5-5.6. NOT ideal, but still decent.

Fortunately, God shined down on me Friday by providing beautiful weather. It brightened my rainy attitude.

I went with a friend a high school track meet and spent an hour or so in the sun, watching fit people be fit, while I was making photos and what not. I wasn’t taking this shoot too seriously because I was planning on shooting tennis later. I was really excited about tennis.

At 5 p.m.,  I made my way to the tennis courts, confident and ready for the evening. Little did I know that I was EXTREMELY unprepared.

I’d shot tennis before (kind of) in high school. I played for one season so I knew what was going on and what to look out for. Unfortunately, my camera didn’t agree. I shot and shot and shot. I stayed for two hours, talking to a few of my photog friends between matches. A few minutes in, I came to the sickening realization that I had the most amateur equipment (other than an uncle I’d befriended using an iPhone) out there. I had no idea what I was doing. The worst part was that I was too embarrassed to ask for help. I had a bad case of Short Lens Syndrome. The Sports Photog from my class was even there and I could have easily asked for his assistance, but I didn’t want anyone to think I was incompetent. Seriously, Ellise? What is wrong with you?

I decided to leave before the end because I was so frustrated with myself and I’d already promised a friend a ride, but I was sick to my stomach.

I reviewed some of my photos once I got back to my room, but they were precisely as I’d imagined. Not anywhere near where I thought they should be.

“What am I doing here?” I thought over and over. “Why am I even pursuing photography?”

I feel like this happens to me weekly now. I panic about the future. I’m sure that’s pretty common of college students, but it’s extremely disorienting for me. I know what I want, but I question my aptitude.

I feel so natural with a camera. I love talking to people and learning their stories. I love moments and emotion. I know this is what I want to do. I know that just because I’m painfully subpar at this point doesn’t mean I won’t improve in the future. I know that I won’t be good at everything in photojournalism. I just hope that someday, I will be the journalist and person I want to be.


This past week really tested my sanity. For some reason, the majority of my professors thought that spring break was a time in which we do nothing but sit on our couches and watch TV, so of course we would have plenty of time to work on assignments, study for tests and write a paper or two. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

I spent my spring break with a group of 11 people in North Carolina for Alternative Spring Break. I didn’t have the time or consistent internet access to accomplish many of the tasks asked of me, meaning that over the first week back, I had several sleepless night and produced subpar work.

New ASB Album Cover

New ASB Album Cover

Now don’t get me wrong. I absolutely loved my ASB trip. I had an amazing time. We worked in the Macon County Program for Progress, a branch of the Head Start Program that provides education to kids 0-5. I got to spend my days playing with 1- and 2-year-olds that could say “cow” and “cat.” It was beautiful.

Though we were there to serve the community, I know for a fact that our students got more out of it that the community did. I watched hearts change. The joy of getting to work with the children and the heartbreak of knowing that they’re lifestyles are far below what is deserved really hit home for our small group of college students.

However, reality once again set in when it was time to say our goodbyes to a community we fell in love with. And suddenly, I was sitting in my 8:30 a.m. class on Monday morning as if nothing happened. It was jarring and made me want to crawl into a hole. How am I supposed to come back after something like that and go one with normal life?

I’ve been on many a service trip in my life, and every time it’s the same thing. Usually, however, it’s in the summer and I have recovery time. Here, I have zero recovery time.

The reason why this past week has been so awful is probably just because I am exhausted. I haven’t seemed to have a break since Christmas. Between ResLife, journalism and life, I am constantly going. Don’t get me wrong, I love all those things, but I am in need of a break. I tried to plan a spontaneous trip home this weekend, but then this and that came up, no one would take my On-Call shift Friday, my final project subject was able to meet Saturday (that’s actually really happy, but I still can’t go home), etc. The list goes on and on.

At this point, I am just ready for summer. I hate to say that because I know how precious these few years left of college truly are, but I just really need home.