my summer photo project: portraits

One of my goals for the year was to take photographs of a different friend every week all summer.  While that’s been a little bit hard with my travel schedule, I’ve still managed to do 4 shoots to date.  It really is amazing how much more you can learn on the job as opposed to reading websites.

Photo Session #1: Ryan

What I learned: This is probably the most pratical lesson that I’ll learn, do not wear a tight skirt while taking pictures.  You can’t move nearly as much as you need to.  Also, a week after I took these photos I had my boudoir shoot.  It was there that I learned that the photographer should come prepped with poses and learn how to tell the subject how to move.

Ryan1 Ryan2 Ryan3

 

Photo Session #2: Janalyn

What I learned: I learned more about posing.  I learned that it’s okay to try something that doesn’t work.  I learned that it’s easier to take photographs when you’re above or on the same level as somebody else – lower created interesting angles.  I learned that it’s fun if the subject has a prop because it gives you something external to work with.  I remembered the joy of black and white photography.  Also, I confirmed that there are certain pictures that I really like even though they are blurry.

Janalyn1 Janalyn2 Janalyn3

Photo Session #3: Zoha

What I learned: We wandered the city taking pictures, which was fun because the background was ever changing.  It was also during this shoot that I started to develop what I believe to be my shooting style – I talk constantly.  It makes me feel more comfortable, and I think it puts the other person at ease as well because it makes things seem less formal.  Also, I really like close up shots of people, it makes for some fun pictures.

Zoha1 Zoha2 Zoha3

Photo Session #4: Vania

What I learned: This girl knows posing.  It’s impressive.  She had so many ideas that I tried to take in so I could remember them next time.  I also had more fun with facial expressions.  I think I’m going to have a few go tos – the Home Alone face, tongue sticking out, looking really excited, and being pensive.  We’ll see what else I can add to the list.

Vania1 Vania2 Vania3

What’s Next?

Well, it was after Vania’s photoshoot that I finally read the manual for my camera.  I learned that some of the shots were wide angle because I was accidentally shooting in video mode.  I also learned how to manual focus – it’s not as intuitive as it was on my last camera, so I wasn’t using it.  I also bought the Photography Concentrate course called Really Easy Retouching, which I’m excited to take (when I find some time).  I also want to try shooting another boy sometime soon, I feel like masculine poses are harder to come up with – it will probably involve browsing some GQ magazines.  We’ll see what comes next.  My co-workers have been very good sports about posing for me – so we’ll see exactly who I can talk into it this week.

What have I learned from this experience overall?  I have pretty friends.

Pins that make me smile

Well, this is the last full week of my project in Louisiana.  It’s sad because we’re leaving.  It’s sad that we have so much work left to do before we go.  There’s many sad things.  So.  I’m going to try to combat that by making today’s roundup things that make me smile.

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Do you have any happy photos to share?  I’d love to see them.

stories of a resident assistant part 2

stories of a resident assistant2

This is part 2 of Stories of a Resident Assistant, stories told by real RAs about things that actually happened in college dormit… I mean residence halls.  Click here to check out part 1 of Stories of a Resident Assistant.

Warning: This post is rated PG13.  Mom, you might not want to read it.  All stories were submitted by a real (and retired) RA, names are being withheld to protect the innocent (or not so innocent).

  • I wrote a very stern email about how it is definitely not cool to ejaculate into the shared dryers.
  • My biggest regret was letting one of my residents take a keg up to his room on the last night.  I spent the rest of the evening paranoid about the activities that ensued.
  • My internatinoal residents confused our floor oven with a barbecue, putting coal and lighter fluid in the oven, catching the floor on fire.
  • My head RA asking me to sniff a yellow filled water bottle to ensure it was beer, only to find out it was urine.
  • My one resident punched the other in the face for opening the window. When I asked her why, she said, “I wanted to window shut, and she told me I was being a princess, so I punched her in the face.” The puncher’s name was Princess.
  • My resident nervously sat on my futon to express his discomfort with his roommate who routinely masturbated at 8am.
  • My residents making these cards when we went to make Christmas cards for the elderly for community service.

Residents1 Residents2

  • My video gaming residents deemed the lounge they never seemed to leave as pants and shirt optional.
  • Once all the students left for winter break and spring break we had to conduct room searches to make sure everyone left. Another RA and I would check the fridge and freezer for any liquor and take a shot of whatever it was. Needless to say we got pretty hammered by the end.
  • One resident was found sleeping horizontally under the bathroom stalls in the men’s room.
  • That one time i got called by EMS because a resident “only had three drinks”: a fishbowl, and 2 four lokos.
  • That time a resident asked me “how do lesbians have sex?”
  • That time I lied to the cops to save a few of my residents from some mischief they did after I planted the idea in their heads.
  • That time my drunken female resident peed on the communal kitchen floor. She had no recollection of anything the next day.
  • That time my residents accidentally turned on their oven that they were using as storage setting off the fire alarm on the building.
  • The difference between a cool RA and a not cool RA is not about how much bullshit you let slide. It’s about how many condoms you give away.
  • The first week of school I was having sex with my girlfriend when I heard lots of giggling outside my door. We proceeded to fake having sex and I walked over to the door and opened it to find a dozen freshmen huddled around the door horrified that I found them. I simply said “welcome to college and may your time here be as enjoyable as mine”.
  • Turns out, if you blow weed into the heating vents, it’ll be evenly dispersed across just about every room above you.
  • You mean to tell me that you thought it would be a good idea to cook your bacon directly on the oven racks at 8am? Why didn’t you wake me up? I would’ve preferred your knock over a fire drill.

If you’re looking for more entertainment, I highly suggestion watching these two videos.
If you were ever an RA or worked at the front desk, this is a must.
If you like nerf guns, this is a must.  Made by my residents my last year as an RA.

Do you have any more stories to add to the list?

stories of a resident assistant

 

stories of a resident assistant

You may or may not know that I used to be an RA – resident assistant that is.  Not to be confused with a research assistant.  This means that I was responsible for about 50 students a year, planned events for them, held meetings with them, made sure they did nothing wrong (or didn’t get caught), and was available to them 24/7 with answers to all sorts of interesting questions.  This also means that I have a lot of RA friends.  I recently emailed about 25 of them to gather the best stories they have.  The ones that they may not have been able to tell while they were an RA.  The ones that we still can’t believe actually happened.  But really, we can, because that’s what working in residential living is all about.  This is part one of a two part post, I’ve sorted them alphabetically.  Enjoy!

Warning: This post is rated PG13.  Mom, you might not want to read it.  All stories were submitted by a real (and retired) RA, names are being withheld to protect the innocent (or not so innocent).

  • A student was scheduled to move in a vacant spot. Another RA and I had to go in to make sure the roommate (a stunning innocent girl) had made space and moved her belongings so the new student could easily move in. The first dresser draw we opened was full of vibrators, lube, fuzzy handcuffs, and lots of other great toys. It was like finding the holy grail.
  • About 10 years after first becoming an RA, I can still attest that pizza and/or waffles will get anyone to come to the most banal of meetings.
  • Being woken up on my graduation day to attend to a drunk person locked in a bathroom
  • Definitely do not hook up with other RAs on staff, especially those that live 50 feet away. Or do. Sometimes they become your life partner.
  • During my first floor meeting ever I mentioned we had a floor budget. One of the guys suggested we go to Atlantis (A Strip Club) to be funny. I just said “I don’t know about you but I don’t have to pay to see boobs”.
  • I brought down my 40″ TV to the front desk and played Wii during one of my 12hr desk shifts during winter break.
  • I dated at least 7 of my residents during or after the time of being their RA.
  • I decided to cook 40 pounds of chicken wings for my first RA event.
  • I had a guest spend the evening one night when I was on duty.  I left her alone for the evening and she proceeded to get drunk with my residents.  When her ride showed up the next morning they insisted I call an ambulance to make sure she was okay.  This resulted in me needing to call the ADRD on duty and writing an incident report on myself for losing my guest.  I lost my guest privileges for a month.
  • I had an entire desk drawer of free condoms. Unfortunately, I wasn’t needing many myself.
  • I had to have a roommate consultation about how the one roommate did not appreciate the other roommate jerking off at night while he was there.
  • I knocked on the door and asked if I could come in.  I heard “I’m coming”.  Opened the door to see my resident having sex with his girlfriend.
  • I once had a resident stop by my room to ask me how to put batteries in her new sex toy.
  • I took a resident to his first counselling meeting in planning for changing his gender. It sparked a lifetime of civil rights activism.
  • I walked in on my resident rolling up once. His reply to my shock stricken face was, “there’s no need for you to write me up; you said you don’t like paper work”.

Stay tuned for part two next week!