institute for documentary studies

{Week 12: Photo}

Week 12: Photo

I’m sure all you creative types can relate: Following a career in multimedia or photography can sometimes feel precarious. They’re both artistic and undervalued pursuits, and the reality that most of us Salties will soon enter the go-getter’s world of freelancing is one I find intimidating. Before my time at Salt, it seemed almost unfathomable, working as a freelancer — but I’ve learned over the past few months that with only a camera and tripod in hand, I can create some pretty good multimedia.
We’ve soldiered through this semester as one-man bands – hefting bags worth our weight in equipment, and collecting audio, interviewing, shooting photographs and b-roll — all on our own. Several weeks ago, we finished up our first video pieces, two-minute profiles highlighting a local character.
As much as we might feel that we’re positioned on the lower end of a steep learning curve, it’s not the case: We’ve seen the evidence ourselves, and the work we’re producing now is on par with professional work out there. True, we’re only just beginning our careers, but multimedia is a medium still in its infancy, too. With our skill set, we’re in a position to actively shape the field as it progresses.
What I’ve enjoyed about making videos is creating work on one’s own, and following a story from beginning to end. We’ve conjured whole projects out of mere bits and fragments: a line out of an article, a throwaway comment slipped in a casual conversation. Our stories were formed of our own initiative.
Ultimately, I feel legitimized. I’ve often felt – and have been made to feel – as if I were invested in far too many things, unfocused and lacking direction in my career goals. My interest in writing, photo and radio was something I sometimes considered a handicap, as if it spread me too thin, and cost me energy and focus. But I’ve found something here that embraces all the elements I’ve been exploring for years. Multimedia’s the thing.