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   State of Purpose

           I’ve always aspired to be a role model and an advocate for individuality. My goal has always been to show people that you do not have to conform to be successful, and that being exactly who you are is more than enough. Academia was a huge entity during my time at Albany State University but the empathy and appreciation I received form my loved ones in the Mass Communication program provided me with more than any text book could ever. The program allowed me to truly unapologetically find myself and I’m forever grateful.

           Before becoming a student of the program, I knew nothing about the field of communications. Soon I was educated in four main media genres, news, film, radio and photography. The first course, Basic News Writing provided me with an amazing foundation to build my academic structure upon. That was the class that introduced to me to what I believe is the need-to-know aspect of communications. The five W’s and the inverted pyramid. The five W’s which represent the who, what, when, where, why and sometimes includes how. The inverted pyramid is the method that shows public service reporters the way to convey noteworthy information firstly, while following with less substantial (relevant) material. Combining the two is an absolute must for reporting, blogging, and several forms of creative writings.

            Learning film was probably the most interesting area of study during the program. I assume what made it so intriguing was taking African American Images in the Media, simultaneously with Cinematography. Mondays and Wednesdays I would be learning the timeline of my people and their depiction in early films to present-day movies. Tuesdays and Thursdays I was being educated on the methods of producing and shooting films on my own. I was being showed the flaws and problematic beliefs that a lot of producers perpetrated in their art form, and next given the tools to combat their art with my own.

            Due to my education in film, I’ve become overly aware of the background work it takes to create any visual. It’s nearly impossible to enjoy an innocent trip to the movies. I complain about the showing’s transitions, lightening, and especially continuity! Two of the most important parts of film is continuity and tying up loose ends. Visually and conceptually everything must flow and make complete sense. A character’s living environment, possessions, and skills must match their personal traits and attributes. Tying up loose ends means, the conclusion shouldn’t leave the audience with any unanswered question.

            Another big part of the curriculum is radio! Although radio is a huge part of ASU’s Mass Communication program I never fully fell in love with it. I even co-hosted a radio show on 92.7 for a full semester, I enjoyed every second of my experience but I also remained aware I lacked passion. Eventually I found my true love in photography. Before attending ASU I was an amateur naive photographer, after taking photojournalism I learned so much more about the technical side of the art form. We were taught, first find your lighting. Superb lightening can make or break your photo, next you want to find a dynamic angle. Followed by a good focus. No matter how amazing a shot is, if it’s not in focus its useless. Finally there’s the rule of third and framing. Imagine your screen as a tic-tac-toe grid and place your subject in the center or along the intersecting lines and snap! You’ll be blown away at the beauty of your picture.

            The only negative aspect I faced was taking all my writing class earlier in the program and then taking production courses. After being in production classes and cutting yourself off from the writing portion of media, you tend to become a very lazy, uninvolved, inexperienced writer. Although my concentration is electronic, writing is a huge part of working in the field of communications. To develop my talent as a writer I began enterprising stories from the web, taking a bigger story and localizing it for readers. I even created my very own blog to push my talent even further. Something I’m still struggling with is using detail in my writing and being able to creatively see the world in motion pictures. To improve I’ve been filming and editing videos for music artists and constantly creating news packages for WALB, my internship. If I continued to work at my craft I could possibly add videographer to my list of professions.

             I decided to immerse myself in every major part of the curriculum from television, radio, and even research. To see just were I belonged. In doing so I became very knowledgeable in every field of study under the MACO umbrella. A lot of times as MACO students we become obsessed with what we want to know and lose sight of what we need to learn. Which is the reason why we have some students who only love film, others who only love radio, and some that prefer research. I was once a cast member of ASU-TV’s RNN cast, as an anchor and finally a president. I’ve been a co-host of a consistent radio show, and I’ve even become mildly intrigued with conducting research.

            In the end it was photography that captivated my interests. I aspire to become a renowned and highly sought after photographer. I Plan to network, hustle, and land lucrative positions in the industries of music, fashion and sports. I initially want to begin in a more commercial based areas such as small advertisements for big brands like Urban Outfitters, Nike, and Gatorade. My long term goals include having the cover of the September issue of Vogue, recurring credits in Sports Illustrator, and several music based magazines. I want to be able to call a magazine like FADER my home. The end result of my hard labor will the growth of my brand, B-Jai Avenue. As communications scholars we are responsible for providing awareness and being influencers. I plan to use my influence to provoke thought and creativity through various art forms and outlets. Shed light on social issues while encouraging the newest trends in fashion and music.

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