CaseCam utilizes a built-in mirror within the kickstand to reflect the photographs' image onto the cell phone's camera. Photo Credit: CaseCam

New iPhone case keeps the photographer in the picture

In the world of the outdoors, there’s two kinds of photographers: those with DSLR’s who head in with their tripods, accessories, and 18 batteries, and there’s those that hike in with a point-and-shoot or their cell phones.

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PFR

Best Rally Motorsports & Travel Teaser Ever

Enjoy your Rally Motorsports and Travel teaser.

The Portfolio Project

(Pot)Folio Photogallery

(Pot)Folio photo story – AON Media is going to pot (Linked)

Reflective Essay:

The biggest lesson I learned this quarter was contact information. I had the foresight to think of how others may want to contact myself, but at the beginning of class I neglected to get information from those I interviewed – something I remedied immediately.

It pains me, though, as I would love to do a project about some of the people I met earlier, but don’t have the ability to get ahold of them. Instead of feeling too sad about it though, I will learn my lesson and always get phone numbers and emails of the men and women I meet on the streets.

The second lesson is more like one refined, instead of one learned. I’ve been nervous about approaching people as I’m always expected to get a big fat NO and then be called bad things (there are a few choice words for journalists that always come to mind).

I’ve been trying to change my insecurities since I was given some rather good advice at Pacific Forest Rally. I asked a fellow journalist how he overcame his nervousness about approaching people. He replied with something along the lines of “You’re there to do a job and people understand that”. This quarter, I really tried to embody that mentality in all of my classes and projects. I was there to do a job and, dammit, that’s what I was going to do.

My third lesson from the quarter has got to be to always think outside my niche. I’ve really concentrated on a Auto’s, Outdoors, and a variety of News … Gee, I wonder where my business name came from… but I rarely venture outside of there. This quarter has been full of projects outside my normal purview of coverage and I’ve loved each minute of it; whether covering Ursulmas or marijuana.

Opening my available beats of coverage, will only help me in the future, too.

My greatest challenge with visual journalism is much the same as my greatest challenge with my written works – I am my own worst enemy. I am not the kind of person who thinks that all, or even some, of my photos are Pulitzer prize winners and I’m the best photographer in the world… instead, I think they’re all crap. Worth only the delete button and the trash bin.

Many of the photographers who I’ve met have said much the same thing – that my photos are nothing special or nothing that your average citizen photographer couldn’t accomplish. However, hearing from my teacher, Erika Shultz from the Seattle Times, and from others who came to the class and saw some of my work, made me feel hopeful for my visual journalism future.

Luckily, there are plenty of inspirational people in the area that have done just what I hope to do: take their niche media dream and make it into a successful reality. And hearing from some of those people, such as Daniel Berman and David Ryder, who have both made if big from starting their own businesses or brands, has given me the dedication and knowledge to keep going.

Not only have the professionals who have come to class to speak with us in class inspired me to pursue my dreams, but also the people I spoke to. I wouldn’t have come into journalism if I didn’t enjoy speaking with other people about what impassions them, fuels them to action, or makes them want to change society. And I got to see that while in the class, but through a new lens… literally, my camera isn’t that old. Plus, I looked for stories in new places, too. Seeing their lives through a new lens.

Hearing and showcasing the stories of those I encounter is always fueling me to learn more, listen more, and share more. It is why I got into journalism in the first place – to share the stories of those without a platform with the world.

Testing out the Xperia Z1s camera

At 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, the moon peaked through high altitude and fast moving cirrus clouds over the Northgate neighborhood. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the weather near Seattle is supposed to be mostly clear on Thursday with rain returning for the weekend.
At 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, the moon peaked through high altitude and fast moving cirrus clouds over the Northgate neighborhood. According to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the weather near Seattle is supposed to be mostly clear on Thursday with rain returning for the weekend.

I had recently upgraded my phone from the iPhone 4s to the Sony Xperia Z1s. For the last assignment for my visual journalism class, I wanted to test out the night capabilities of the camera and took a walk through my neighborhood for a bit of weather journalism.

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AON Media went to Pot

No, it’s not that we’re closing down, but trying a new form of photojournalism. After a portrait-seeking photoshoot in Granite Falls failed, miserably, I thought about what I could do to get the required footage for my Visual Journalism portraiture assignment.

The Green Skunk, located on Roosevelt Avenue in Northgate, is a medical marijuana dispensary that serves patients with recommendations for medical marijuana use.
The Green Skunk, located on Roosevelt Avenue in Northgate, is a medical marijuana dispensary that serves patients with recommendations for medical marijuana use.

I decided to head back to a world I had covered before and after the passage of I-502, the voter-approved legislation legalizing recreational marijuana. Currently, there are no stores open to recreational users, luckily, I had some contacts from when I had worked a few stories before.

Success! I found a place that was willing to give me a place and a face to photograph!

The catchy and creative marketing is part of what has drawn me to this store. As you drive around Seattle, there are many of these dispensaries look bedraggled and seedy, but this place is warm and inviting – and, hey, how can a cartoon skunk be wrong? 

The clever marketing of this storefront only part of it though, the other was the reviews from the patients online – they love these guys for their product, their place, and their friendly personalities.

“Best place for meds!!!! Friendly budtenders that are very knowledgable! I recommend this to all patients,” wrote Skinztrh in an online review, titled ‘The Skunk is the best hands down’ in April, 2013. 

The reviews from patients across the web intrigued me to go and see why this store rose to the top in an area with over 200 individual dispensaries.

The Green Skunk is family owned and operated. The owner, Geoffery Johnson, 48, started the store and has since expanded business. Not only is there a storefront, but a ‘skunk runner’ that brings it to patients doors. 

I stayed for at the storefront for a few hours and snapped over 200 photos, the best of which are as follows. It was such a relief to speak with people that were welcoming and happy to have me there.

In the future, I hope to get in touch with more of this industry as it is not only growing (pun intended) and the journalistic coverage of the medical and recreational sides of marijuana may be another route to look into. Who knows, maybe AON in the future will be Autos, Outdoors, and ‘Nuggs.

(Note: AON Media will always stand for Autos, Outdoors, and News. What kind of news only the future will tell…)

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