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Post Production Obsession

October 5, 2009

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If you are a detail-oriented Virgo like me, then you might understand how I was able to slip into place of obession as I fussed over every frame of my latest project.   It is still a work in progress, but the wonders of video editing allow for endless tweaking.

I was drawn into the art of crafting a project that has become personal.  It is an expression of an idea.  It is chance to share a journey of story telling.  It is a collection of moments that I have to combine with a sense of responsibily to display with care.

I opted to tell the story of two sisters who are losing their memory at a senior living facility.  I didn’t expect that to be the main focus of the story but as I spent more time with them I realized it was major element to their lives now.  It was something I had to document.

I realize now I was subconsciously drawn to this subject matter due to my own fears.  My fear of growing old in a way that seems too quick and wondering what happened to the best years.  I fear winding up in a nursing home of some sort and having my own memories slip away.  It is something that seems incredibly sad; at the same time, maybe it is just something I don’t understand yet.   I guess we all face this at some point to some degree.

I find it interesting that the world of journalism takes me on unexpected journeys.   One can’t help being affected by the stories one tells, yet there has to be a balance between the involvement and the detachment – the participant and the observer.   The pros figured out how to continue on from one story to another; however, I never want to end up as a photographer who just goes through the motions.

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Growing Pains

September 28, 2009

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I have decided to try to give this blog more purpose.  I am shifting to a more personal, regular offering of my feelings as I grow over the next year.  I hope you will join me.

I am coming off a tough weekend called the Fall Workshop.  It is a weekend of story telling organized through the university I am attending now for grad school.   With all these emotions ringing loud in my head,  I have realized this academic year is going to be a significant journey.   I am aiming for re-invention and settling into my real self and my real purpose.

I feel like I failed this weekend with my photography project, but at the same time I still hear what I am suppose to accept – that all this is really just about growing.  That advice doesn’t bring a sense of calm to my confusion though. I do know I chose a difficult subject about two sisters at a senior living facility who are losing their memory.   At the same time, I know I have more talent and drive inside of me – I am just having trouble tapping into it.

Sometimes I feel alone in this process –  looking for others who understand, wondering where my mentors have gone, impatient with the process, frustration on many levels.  I have heard all the things I am supposed to follow, most of which come back to the idea of growing pains.   I have even dished out this advice over the years, but for some reason, it is harder to apply it to myself.

I have been to several of these kind of workshops and I often see team leaders gravitating towards the strongest of the bunch rather than lifting up the ones needing the most instruction.   I don’t know where I even fall in that of range of “types,” but I am frustrated with myself that I would even care.  This is about me seizing the moments and maximizing every opportunity.

The first step in my evolution to be honest with myself.

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Who Am I?

September 19, 2009

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Who am I?

How often do any of us really take the time to stop and ponder this?   The wonders of the academic world have forced me to examine this question though my imagination and through the tools of my trade.

I was assigned an autobiography audio slideshow project this past week and it sent me on a difficult journey.  Just finding a starting point was a battle as I tried to zero in on a story that was worthy of visual exploration.  I hopped on a plane to Fire Island thinking friends and nature would inspire me.   I think I just fell deeper into confusion and it was especially difficult trying to remain focused on a care-free island.    Oddly, I felt very alone since asking for help doesn’t come easy to me.  I’d rather document the story in front of me rather than illustratively examine myself.

The process taught me more about story telling, the amount of content needed to produce multimedia pieces, and the notion of digging deeper to move beyond the literal.

Throughout this project, I have wrestled with my ever-present desire to have all my work be stellar.  I can see that it is not in this case.   There are glimmers of interesting ideas and a few successes here and there.   I know we learn in our weaker, more vulnerable moments, but that realization doesn’t make it any easier.

I do know I will grow and become the kind of multimedia journalist I want to be.  I am ready to step into my greatness.  I want to leave behind all that holds me back and all who choose to break down rather than lift up.

I want to make a difference.

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Embracing Audio

September 8, 2009

Have you had your awakening moment?

I remember having mine in Louisville, Kentucky.  I was attending the NPPA’s Multimedia Immersion course which consisted of a week of training in multimedia through exercises and presentations by industry professionals.    I had been working as a photo editor for many years and I knew I needed to start investigating what all the fuss was about concerning “multimedia.”

The moment came when I produced a slideshow on a local personality and I gathered audio for the first time.   I was surprised how the audio lifted the photo essay to new heights of communication and brought in extra layers of personality, feeling, and connection.  I had been taking for granted all the online examples of packaged stories, digesting them as a general consumer, but not truly getting it.    Basically, I needed to be a part of the creative process, break down each “hunting” stage in regards to getting the content, assemble the show together, and see the story take flight right then and there based on my own efforts and choices.  I thought “wow” – such beauty in the process, such power in the potential, such responsibility in getting it right….

I think many photo editors don’t give up on that love of being the “creator” – it is something that has brought me back to school.   I am searching for a way to return to this process and maintain my passion. I am sure motivation and inspiration will be topics for future postings.

Smile!

Todd

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Let Us Begin

September 8, 2009

Welcome to my blog!  I am beginning a journey of self discovery as well as professional growth.

Please visit my page often as I explore topics related to photography, video and audio on a weekly basis as I make my way through my graduate studies at S.I. Newhouse’s School of Public Communications.

This is going to be an exciting journey and I hope my postings and future discussions prompted by your input will help all who come to visit.

I would love to hear from you!

Smile!

Todd

www.toddcrossphoto.com
www.blogtalkradio.com/toddcrossphoto
www.linkedin.com/in/toddcross

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Welcome to Todd Cross’ Blog!

September 3, 2009