by Celia Gillam '14, photography major
Editor's note: As part of the "Lighting and Advanced Digital Camera" class taught by Eric Weeks, students had the opportunity to go off-campus to capture portraits of locally prominent Lancastrians. (Click here to read Eric's post about the project.)
Over two weeks in March, photo majors captured the following people: Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray; Judge Bruce Roth, Magisterial District 02-2-02; Pennsylvania State Representative Mike Sturla, 96th Legislative District; and Reverend David Peck (Rector), his wife Dr. Cordelia Moyse, and their daughter Theodora at Lancaster's Saint James Episcopal Church.
Celia Gillam '14 is one of the photo majors who participated in this project. Here are her reflections on the experience. You can also read a post by fellow photo majors Chelsea Crossett and Lindsay Garner.
As student photographers learning the practice, it is very important that we get out and meet people to get our names and our school’s name out there. When going into the field of photography, it is essential to meet people who make an impact on society and for us to make a good impression on them.
When we got the assignment to go out and shoot prominent people in Lancaster, I saw nerves reflected on all my classmates’ faces. I will admit, I was a bit nervous as well but I would have to say I was mostly filled with excitement. As a young photographer, I am not yet certain where I want to take my craft – photography -- but I am definitely a people person and enjoy photographing people in many different ways. The thought of going out and photographing significant people in Lancaster was exciting to me.
At the first shoot, I assisted my classmates, which was another learning experience. It was good for me to watch my classmates interact with their subject, how they engaged in conversation and how they treated him. This was the one thing I was nervous about in my own shoot: engaging my subject in proper conversation to loosen the mood. When it came time for my shoot, the nerves were escalating inside of me but there was still a hint of excitement. I was going over everything in my head; a checklist of all I was going to need to have a successful shoot. After some unexpected miss fires with the lights, my shoot was underway. My subject was Pennsylvania State Representative Michael Sturla. That title intimidated me until I met the man behind it. Representative Sturla was very easy going and easy to talk to, which made the shoot go smoothly and better than expected.
Once finished, I thanked him and let out a sign of relief. It was a successful learning experience to take with me.