Snapchat Adventures to, in, and from New Orleans

My snapchat adventures continued on my trip to New Orleans for the SPE National Conference. My mom and uncle tagged along, and, well, it was an interesting road trip.


We started in Michigan obviously and took a full day to drive through Ohio, Kentucky, and part of Tennessee. We stopped for the night in Nashville, ate at the Hard Rock Cafe (because tourism, duh,) and went to bed. We woke up, hopped in the car, drove about two hours and then had a four hour excursion through a ton of antique shops, because my mother and I have a problem.

I’m telling you, if you don’t go to antique stores, you are seriously missing out on some beautifully strange things.

Well, we finally left Alabama and got into Mississippi around dusk, and man… Mississippi is actually the worst state. Worse than Ohio. It smells funny, the roads are super dark at night, there are NO lights basically ANYWHERE, exits are few and far between, and when there are exits, the towns look so spooky you’d think Freddy lived there or something. So yeah, Mississippi? No bueno. If you’re from Mississippi, mad props to you, but sorry not sorry on my opinion of your poor, poor state.

But yeah, we got to Louisiana, checked into our fancy Motel 6, and crashed.

Only to wake up hella early the next day, because I had one day to do some sightseeing. So our marathon through New Orleans happened.

My adventures through New Orleans ended with an SPE related event, which was a lecture at the New Orleans Museum of Art by JERRY UELSMANN.

If you are unfamiliar with this amazing soul, go educate yourself.

He is one of the founding members of the Society for Photographic Education, and he is a charismatic speaker and has endless wit. I bought his book after and had him sign in, and he signed it TWICE. His reason? He didn’t like how the first signature looked. I love that man.

He asked if I was a student, and I told him yes. He said that he was too, and that it was important to never stop learning. I couldn’t agree more.

I went to bed on cloud 9 and woke up and spent the next 3 days above the clouds. SPE was incredible. I met some incredible people like Olivia Parker, Anne Noble, and faculty from Columbia College Chicago, Judy Natal and Ross Sawyers. It was a wonderful time, and I’m already looking forward to the Regional Conference this Fall.

And that was New Orleans. After a brief trip to the cemetery, we headed back to Michigan. In one go. Because we are insane.

Also, how creepy is that abandoned Toys R Us? It was down the road from our classy hotel accommodations.

And that is my snapchat adventures for New Orleans. I’m not traveling anywhere for a while, so the snapchat streak is coming to a temporary end. Thanks for browsing my selfies and bad jokes; I’m sure you weren’t avoiding anything important.

Happy Shooting!

Snapchat Adventures in Boston

Before I gush more about my trip to New Orleans, I have to gush about my trip to Boston (which was almost a month ago… I’m a bit behind the times here.)

And, of course, the best way for me to illustrate my trip is through snapchat.


My selfie game is gettin’ strong.

There were two things about this trip that were important: firstly, this was my first trip completely solo. No person traveling with me, no friends to stay with at my final destination. Solo~ Second, I was so sick and I thought I was going to die, so my time in Boston was spent in my hostel, taking Mucinex and sleeping so I would make it to my grad school interview not only with my voice, but alive.

They always say that it is about the journey, not the destination, and after this trip I can say that is very true. I spent 24 hours on a bus to get to Boston, including a 3.5 hour layover in NYC. While I was at Port Authority with every other poor soul who had to be at Port Authority past midnight, I met two incredible people. One was an Amish man from Maine, and we talked about Jesus and faith and all that good stuff. His love for others was clearly apparent, as was his love for his family, which he told me all about. It was lovely, meeting a kindred spirit.

The other person I met was a lady who lives in Maine but comes to NYC for her doctor appointments, something about not being able to get a doctor in Maine or something. The Amish man put her personality perfectly: “She seems like a well-to-do-person.” Her, the Amish gentleman, and I were the first in line for our loading dock, and we got to talking, because what else are you going to do at that time of morning while waiting for a bus that is three hours away? It was during our conversation she mentioned her health care dilemma. Apparently, she was an emergency response worker during the 9/11 attacks, and her lungs are all messed up from breathing in those harmful debris. I’m always so taken aback by stuff like that, and she said it so humbly, too. She did a lot of good on that day, and she’s paying for it with her health. Think about people like her, and thank them, because they are a special and rare kind.

But enough with my reflections. I hope my snapchats were enjoyable (I have so much fun making them on my travels, and hopefully that translates well,) and I hope that you pay some kindness forward today or meet a kindred spirit.

Happy Shooting!

Snapchat Adventures from Columbus, Ohio

If you’ve been with me for a while, you’ll know that I have become a serial Snapchat-ter whenever I travel.

Well, this past month I have traveled so many miles, I could be in France by now. Which means there are a LOT of Snapchats to be had.

I also have snaps of my adventure to Boston and New Orleans, but those are for another day, so I don’t drown you in my selfies and bad jokes.

So here is a behind the scenes look at my grad school adventure to Columbus, Ohio.

I visited Ohio State University and met some of the current graduate students and other prospectives. It was a wonderful time, and I stayed with great people (shout out to Melissa, David, and Hazel!) I really loved the program and all the people I met. I highly recommend it to anyone considering an MFA in Visual Art.

It was actually freezing. The bus was late picking me up because it was -30 degrees in Detroit, and a lot of the buses stopped working. Awesome. I didn’t feel warm until I got back home days later, when it was like 10 degrees. Yeah, way too cold.

If you’re ever in Columbus, go to COSI. It is a super fun science museum, and adults can have fun, too. (I also watched a cesarean section on a tv screen– that I do NOT recommend.)

So, enough of my life. I’m currently working on a guide to applying for MFA programs in Visual Art (namely, Photography,) so keep an eye out. This entire process has been extremely stressful, and I would have liked some insight or words of wisdom, but found little. The only MFA help I could find was for Creative Writing– which is cool and all, but not what I’m studying.

Well, that’s all for now. Happy Shooting!

Adventures in NYC: iPhone Edition

This weekend I ventured off to New York City to check out some graduate programs and to see my friend, Patrick, who I haven’t really seen for more than an hour in four years. I packed very lightly (I’m getting good at it,) which meant leaving my hefty cameras behind. So, I used my iPhone a lot to take photos, because this is the 21st century, and to be honest, the iPhone cameras are probably better than my DSLR.

If you saw right through me that paragraph, you’ll know that this post is really about my Snapchat documentary on my trip to the east coast. I had so much fun Snapchatting my trip to Chicago that I figured I’d do it again in NYC. Must be a selfish millennial generation thing, trying to make mundane things seem more exciting:

The thing about iPhones and apps like Snapchat is how narcissistic they are. I purposefully took these photos and made these captions to share with everyone, as if my life was interesting enough for people to care. It’s funny to me, how we create these artificial versions of ourselves to share digitally. These Snaps show that I had a great time, but what they didn’t show was all the not-so-great things in-between. Life is not always fun or glamorous or funny.

But let me knock myself off my high horse: I had no shame sharing my artificially fantastic life with people who probably didn’t care. YOLO.

NYC was really something, though. I spiffed up my not-snaps with some apps like Afterlight and BeFunky, because I’m super hip that way (and the bus ride was 13 hours so I had to do something to kill time.) Also totally threw on an instagram filter for the tree lights one. #photographer

image10 While I’m on the topic of iPhone/Smart Phone photography: people really need to calm down. There are some people who take a selfie, throw a filter on it, post it to instagram and call it photography, and for some reason people get mad about it. “But they’re not real photographers! Instagram doesn’t make you a photographer!” I can see their point, but really, who cares? Let them be creative, even if it means using the Valencia filter to look fly.

Also, there’s a thing called iPhoneography. There are artists out there who use the iPhone as their method of choice. There’s books on it, and if you’re one of the people who get easily offended with popular culture and it’s collision with creative fields, I suggest you read one of these books. It might change your mind.

You’ll also sleep better at night, having minded your own business instead of complaining about irrelevant things that make people happy without hurting anyone in the process.

So, yeah. Here is the photographic evidence of how awesome my life is. I know all of you care oh so deeply.

If you take anything away from this post, take away the knowledge that the red velvet cheesecake at Magnolia Bakery is possibly heaven sent, and everyone needs to eat it until they are in a sugar coma.

Happy Shooting!

Chicago in Selfies and Snaps

Last Friday, I went on an adventure to Chicago, IL. Now the last two times I’ve graced this metropolis with my camera, I ended up with zero pictures, because I was such a huge rookie in the analog world I didn’t know my camera wasn’t advancing film. Live and learn and cry over emulsion that had so much potential.

But anyways I went on the trip with the art department, thinking I’d spend the day alone and contemplating Magritte until my best friend, who lives in Chicago, would get out of work. So, because I’m a loser, I decided to record my day with Snapchat.

I deal with my loser-ness with humor.

The trip was the day after my interview with WOOD Radio in Grand Rapids, and I was riding the bus, friendless, next to a random girl who didn’t mind me invading her personal space because when I fall asleep sitting up I tend to lean to the left and she was on my left and I woke up a couple times practically breathing down her neck so I actually don’t know if she didn’t mind or if she was silently thinking about ways to end me. But yeah, she didn’t know she was sitting next to a celebrity, since being interviewed on live radio one time rockets you into stardom. Duh.

When we got to Chicago, I wasn’t sure what to do, so I just kinda walked in the direction of Lake Michigan because I wanted a shot of the skyline. Walking along the lakefront was wonderful, as the rainclouds were receding. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Lake Michigan in person, but it is so gorgeous and so blue. And cold- that damn thing has some icy wind. Be responsible. Bring a jacket or five.

I had an epiphany as the wind blew through my bones and I was getting sideways glances from the occasional passerby (I was really into this whole Snapchat Your Sorrows Away thing.) I didn’t need to be alone. Since I’m famous, I have friends everywhere, including my high school friend and freshman year roommate who is currently going to law school at Loyola. So, a couple texts and a tourist-spree later, we met at Starbucks and my Snapchats and I were in good company for the rest of the day.

Also- when did it become a thing for middle schoolers to go to Starbucks? No, go away, you have enough energy. Go get a Slurpee, the caffeine dependency will come later. Enjoy spending your allowance on Yu-Gi-Oh cards (or whatever kids play with these days,) instead.

So my adventures were on the Metra to Wicker Park to Gold Coast where my friend lives in a high-rise because NBD to meeting with my Chicagoan friend to take the train to the ‘burbs. And then we headed to Michigan the next morning. The end.

Also, that is a lot of selfies. I never take selfies.

I was really excited to be back in Chicago, and visiting the city has made my longing to go to grad school there even stronger. I’ll be back in early November to visit for future educational purposes, but until then I will pine away and look at the fun pictures I took with Lomochrome Purple XR film. Once they get developed. Because I’m avoiding the possibility I’m just not allowed to take photos in Chicago and another roll was ruined. Denial is a wonderful thing, my friends.

Happy Shooting!