As 2016 comes to a close, I want to share some of my favorite memories from this past year:
1. Started the year traveling in Peru and Chile with my family
2. Martin Luther King Jr. Unsung Hero Awards Video
Melissa Scott and I had the opportunity to tell Kanisha Ffriend's story of being a disability rights scholar and activist at Syracuse University for the Martin Luther King Unsung Hero Awards. In January 2016, our film was screened inside the Carrier Dome during the awards ceremony and celebration. It was so rewarding to collaborate not only with Melissa, but with Kanisha and the people who she inspires with her work.
3. Pixels and Print
Working the Pixels and Print design workshop was particularly rewarding for me. I not only worked as the Assistant Managing Producer to Renée Stevens for the workshop itself, but I was able to collaborate with some of my favorite people to create a promotional video for the design department at Newhouse. This was the first time I had a producing role for a project, so it was exciting for me to learn about what that entails. I oversaw the production of the video, assisted with conducting interviews, made sure we had enough footage, and I also was the primary video editor.
This workshop also was when I discovered my interest in motion graphics. One of the designers was working on a motion piece for the client's website and I was mesmerized watching him work. Later this year, I took a motion graphics class to learn how to create projects in After Effects.
4. Spent lots of time with my grandma... and got to know her pretty well :)
I always knew my grandma loved fashion, but it was quite remarkable spending time with her down in West Palm Beach, Florida and learning about her history... not to mention seeing all of her magnificent clothes! And while it's always fun to share the video with others so they get to know her better too, the most rewarding part for me is the memory of creating this piece with her.
5. Skyworks Project
Skyworks Project is a drone project at Syracuse University where creatives & engineers come together to learn about and further develop drone technology. Arland Whitfield, the CEO & founder, and I designed a brand new website for the project and were able to recruit many new members. It has been so much fun working on this because I not only was able to take photographs, manage the blog, and help organize events, but I was able to learn so much about drone tech - and not to mention teaching others how to fly.
One of our biggest accomplishments this year was meeting the Chancellor and discussing the issues of a potential drone ban on campus.
6. CORE 4 with Lynn Johnson
I learned more about myself and what I want to do in the future during this summer when I studied under Lynn Johnson. CORE is a 20-day intensive class in which we work on a project, meet guest photographers & editors, ride bikes, eat food, and ask questions about the photography industry. See my blog post from the first 10 days: www.shirastoll.com/blog/2016/6/3/core4-with-lynn-johnson
One of the coolest experiences was the second half of the course where we all went to Pittsburgh and learned how to make tintypes with Jason Snyder in his studio. I fell in love with a Graflex Polaroid camera, my tintype is a photograph of the camera.
7. Interning in Los Angeles
This summer I had the opportunity to intern in the photography department of NBC Entertainment on the back lot of NBCUniversal where I learned about the NBC photo archives and was able to assist on gallery shoots and Press Tour.
Aside from interning, my summer in Los Angeles led me to Doris Wise, the founder of Jews Can Shoot & Children of Jewish Holocaust Survivors, who is the lead character in my Master's Film. I am continuing to work on the short film throughout 2017.
8. The Fall Workshop
In just 3 days, I challenged myself to tell H Richard Levy's story. Levy was separated from his parents in 1938 when they put him on the KinderTransport to escape Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. He recalls his lifelong journey to finally finding home.
It was an honor to win the Nikon Golden Eye: Best Vision Award during the workshop- and I have to give a huge thanks to my team and my coaches, Amy Toensing & Katye Brier.
9. Published in Narrative.ly & NY Daily News
10. Published in Thrillist for an assignment about pizza... and I really like pizza
11. Learned about light and portraiture studying under Prof. Gregory Heisler
Here are a few of my favorite portraits from this year:
12. Finished my coursework at Newhouse
Although I still have my Master's project to complete, in December 2016 I completed my year and a half graduate school coursework. This is my Motion Reel from the year showcasing clips from all of the projects I produced this year.
13. Ending the year traveling around the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, & Panama with my family
14. The People I met
This year, for sure, I met some of the most sincere and dedicated friends. The Newhouse Multimedia, Photography, and Design department has shown me how much friends can feel like family. I want to give a special shout out to the incredible people I met in MPD, MPJ & beyond.
I'm so thankful for all of the opportunities I've had and friends I've made this year. Here's to a happy & healthy new year!