“Still” Life

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I photographed Sammy with the Dexter poster in mind. I know that this does not fall under the typical still life images that we see when we google “still life” but I decided to just go with my gut. In the studio I had Sammy lay down on plastic and pull plastic wrap over her face. It is a very morbid photograph, symbolizing death or murder. I had one light sitting on a fan so it would be slightly elevated off to the upper left corner of the frame. The fill light has a large soft box that is over head to the right of the frame. I was on a ladder to the left of Sammy, shooting with a 70-200mm. dexter_062913_1600 o-DEXTER-SEASON-8-facebookScreen Shot 2014-11-09 at 9.25.32 PM20141109_211310-1

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Raising Bentley, young.

Sarah Pool, 17, cries after watching the nurses give her son, Bentley Israel, his immunization shots during his two month check up at the University of Michigan office in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Sarah Pool, 17, cries after watching the nurses give her son, Bentley Israel, his immunization shots during his two month check up at the University of Michigan office in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Hurley Israel, 19, right, looks at baby photos of himself to show his girlfriend, Sarah Pool, 17, to compare it to their baby, Bentley Israel, 3 months old, to see if he looks like his mom or dad in Hurley's mother's home in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., on Oct. 15, 2014.

Hurley Israel, 19, right, looks at baby photos of himself to show his girlfriend, Sarah Pool, 17, to compare it to their baby, Bentley Israel, 3 months old, to see if he looks like his mom or dad in Hurley’s mother’s home in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., on Oct. 15, 2014.

Sarah Pool, 17, gives her son, Bentley Israel, Tylenol after his immunization shots during his two month check up at University of Michigan office in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., as he cries hysterically on his Grandmother's lap.

Sarah Pool, 17, gives her son, Bentley Israel, Tylenol after his immunization shots during his two month check up at University of Michigan office in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., as he cries hysterically on his Grandmother’s lap.

Sarah Pool, argues with her boyfriend, Hurley Israel, as they move their son Bentley Israel's stuff out of her mother's home. "My mom is trying to raise my baby. She is telling me what I can and can't do with him," said Sarah. She is moving to Midland to live with her father.

Sarah Pool, argues with her boyfriend, Hurley Israel, as they move their son Bentley Israel’s stuff out of her mother’s home. “My mom is trying to raise my baby. She is telling me what I can and can’t do with him,” said Sarah. She is moving to Midland to live with her father.

Hurley Israel, 19, hesitates before changing his son Bentley's diaper in his mother's home in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., "The woman that adopted me [...] seeing her and my dad split kind of tore me, so I kind of don't want that for my son cause I know what it's like," said Hurley.

Hurley Israel, 19, hesitates before changing his son Bentley’s diaper in his mother’s home in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., “The woman that adopted me […] seeing her and my dad split kind of tore me, so I kind of don’t want that for my son cause I know what it’s like,” said Hurley.

Sarah Pool's boyfriend, Hurley Israel, lifts their son Bentley in his car seat over car mirrors after a Women, Infants and Children (WIC) appointment in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. "If it wasn't for WIC I wouldn't be able to afford formula for Bentley because one can is like $17, and it lasts for not even a week" said Sarah.

Sarah Pool’s boyfriend, Hurley Israel, lifts their son Bentley in his car seat over car mirrors after a Women, Infants and Children (WIC) appointment in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. “If it wasn’t for WIC I wouldn’t be able to afford formula for Bentley because one can is like $17, and it lasts for not even a week” said Sarah.

Doctor Hem Raj Regmi, of the Pediatric Specialty Center, at the University of Michigan office in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. looks at Bentley Israel during his 2-month-check up. Sarah's son weighed 16.8 pounds and is the 99% percentile for height.

Doctor Hem Raj Regmi, of the Pediatric Specialty Center, at the University of Michigan office in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. looks at Bentley Israel during his 2-month-check up. Sarah’s son weighed 16.8 pounds and is the 99% percentile for height.

Hurley Israel, 19, stands and watches his girlfriend, Sarah Pool, 17, shoot the bow he gave her for the first time as their son, Bentley, sleeps inside at her Father's home in Midland, Mich. on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Hurley Israel, 19, stands and watches his girlfriend, Sarah Pool, 17, shoot the bow he gave her for the first time as their son, Bentley, sleeps inside at her Father’s home in Midland, Mich. on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Hurley Israel, 19, carries his 3 month old son's toys, clothing, and gear to the truck from his girlfriend, Sarah Pool, 17, mother's house. Hurley is not allowed in the house so they moved things when Sarah's mother was in Mt. Pleasant shopping. Sarah is moving in with her father in Midland, Mich. where Hurley will move in to as well.

Hurley Israel, 19, carries his 3 month old son’s toys, clothing, and gear to the truck from his girlfriend, Sarah Pool, 17, mother’s house. Hurley is not allowed in the house so they moved things when Sarah’s mother was in Mt. Pleasant shopping. Sarah is moving in with her father in Midland, Mich. where Hurley will move in to as well.

EightCAP Incorporated worker, Lisa, meets with Sarah Pool, 17 at home for their first Early Head Start meeting for Sarah's 3-month old son. Early Head Start is a child development program that is offered to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers under 3. There are two program options available for families, Center-Based or Home Based.

EightCAP Incorporated worker, Lisa, meets with Sarah Pool, 17 at home for their first Early Head Start meeting for Sarah’s 3-month old son. Early Head Start is a child development program that is offered to pregnant women, infants, and toddlers under 3. There are two program options available for families, Center-Based or Home Based.

Before going to Dow High School Sarah holds her son Bentley as her boyfriend, Hurley watches television in her fathers home in Midland, Mich. ÒItÕs hard going to school, cause I really don't want to wake up in the morning cause I don't sleep at night, and then I feel like people are talking about me and stuff at school; I don't like it," said Sarah.

Before going to Dow High School Sarah holds her son Bentley as her boyfriend, Hurley watches television in her fathers home in Midland, Mich. ÒItÕs hard going to school, cause I really don’t want to wake up in the morning cause I don’t sleep at night, and then I feel like people are talking about me and stuff at school; I don’t like it,” said Sarah.

Hurley Israel, 19, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich. holds his son Bentley Israel in the waiting room at the doctors office as his girlfriend Sarah Pool, 17, checks them in. "Being a dad changed me, cause I now have to put other people first, before it was just me," said Hurley.

Hurley Israel, 19, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich. holds his son Bentley Israel in the waiting room at the doctors office as his girlfriend Sarah Pool, 17, checks them in. “Being a dad changed me, cause I now have to put other people first, before it was just me,” said Hurley.

Even after seeing two blue plus signs on the pee-riddled sticks in the bathroom at Mt. Pleasant High School it was still hard for Sarah Pool to accept that she was carrying her first child at age sixteen.

After dating Hurley Israel, Jr., 19 for three months and having unprotected sex, Sarah was faced with society’s pressure on what to do now that she was pregnant.

“My mom, at first was like, ‘well what about abortion’ and I said no, I could never do that. Then she was talking about adoption and I told her I could never do that either, I was just going to keep him,” said Sarah, 17.

The road has not been easy for teen parents Sarah and Hurley, before welcoming their healthy baby boy into the world they were faced with the difficulties of keeping a relationship together.

“We had our rough spots, because of me, mainly because of me, but we worked through them and we are here today,” said Hurley.

Sarah and Hurley are both currently not attending school, or going to friend’s houses or going to parties like they did before they were parents.

So I moved to midland, well not just because of that, that’s part of the reason. I think it will be easier to do classes online so then I can just stay at home and watch him [Bentley] and don’t have to get talked about at school,” said Sarah.

Aside from the having difficulties at school Sarah chose to move out of her mothers house and into her fathers, in Midland, because her mother, Bentley’s Grandma, was trying to raise him.

The choices Sarah and Hurley have made as a couple and the struggles of raising their son Bentley, 3-months-old, as teenagers are common in young parents.

The pressure society puts on young women once they become pregnant are troubling. The pressure to keep the child then the shunning that happens when you have a baby in high school. To terminating a pregnancy then to get backlash that she is being selfish. To the idea that you, the mother, are letting someone else raise your child without any input in adoption is careless. There are many assumptions and misconceptions that are talked about within our society that are not fair to the mothers and fathers. All decisions that come up once the plus sign emerges from the pregnancy test are ones that should be openly talked about in a non-judgmental manor with ones they choose to talk about it with. Young women rarely make this decision lightly and it is one that will be part of their life forever.

In Class: Painting with Light

I loved splitting the class in half, challenging a dual, who can make the best photograph. Ready, set, plan! Wait plan, yeah plan, we made a general idea but man oh man did we under estimate how hard it is to make a multilayered image while painting with light. Our team, Bubagumpasaurses, decided to make a photo illustrating a circus complete with a ringmaster, ‘trapeze artist,’ tiger, butterfly and two face. Great idea, in our head. We had problems strobing each subject as well as having too much light that created each subject to blur. Also, our trapeze artist isn’t very convincing when you can spy the ladder on the first glance into the frame, the strobe needed a snoot and to be fired at the same level as the model.

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This was a timed competition that we quickly felt was slipping away from us after each messed up frame. We decided as a last ditch effort to make an image that was tighter and well, safe. “Pile on the ladder and look interesting, you’re in a one ladder circus!”

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Painting with Light

Painting with light has never been my favorite thing to do in photography. It was neat the first time I was introduced to it but I found myself creatively on hold every time I went to paint with light. I find whimsical and romantic images to be pleasing to the eye, they have the potential to be timeless and emotional. I decided to depict a fairy like light swirling around a couple to create the effervescent loving look.

Alyssa Millard and Drew Moomey stand under a tree in Millpond Park after taking engagement photos. Their wedding is on September 19, 2015.

Alyssa Millard and Drew Moomey stand under a tree in Millpond Park after taking engagement photos. Their wedding is on September 19, 2015.

I ran into difficulties without having a remote for my camera body. I had to use a 30 second exposure and I was a one woman show, I didn’t have an assistant. This meant set up, snapping the photo, keeping mental time, strobing from the side, lighting a sparkler and then running around them in equal proportions with enough to get a line leaving the frame like it came in. I didn’t think about the light that the sparklers would give off onto my subjects, in most of the photos they were blurred and not frozen, as seen below. I know that I could have let the subjects leave the scene after I strobed them but I feel like I would have not been able to make the uniform circle without them as a guide.

Alyssa Millard and Drew Moomey embrace under a tree in Millpond Park after taking engagement photos. Their wedding is on September 19, 2015.

Alyssa Millard and Drew Moomey embrace under a tree in Millpond Park after taking engagement photos. Their wedding is on September 19, 2015.

Lighting set up

Lighting set up

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Studio & Location Lighting: Fashion

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Nicole Gross, Brittany Fowler, and Kaitlyn Millard, model eveningwear and jewelry before their senior Homecoming on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014.

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Megan Millard, 27, modeling a 50s housewife inspired look.

Megan Millard, 27, modeling a 50s housewife inspired look.

Initially I was very excited to shoot the fashion assignment until the actually time did come. Time, money and weather restraints put a damper on all initial plans I had made. I first went into the studio to photograph my sister in her 50s themed clothing to get there and notice that it is hard to model clothes without an item to put the viewer back into that time frame with only a white background. We tried different poses and movement but simply swinging around seemed to work best in my take. The location fashion shoot fell flat for me, I was here in a wooded area with good back light and stunning models. The only problem, these models were dressed like cinderella and late for the ball. I had only 15 minutes to shoot them and for some unknown reason my main light stopped working just as I got everything perfect. I changed the batteries with no luck. I would love to reshoot this entire assignment and work out some kinks and make it overall more visually interesting and accelerated to my standards that I set for myself.

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If The Shoe Fits

Cassidy Isaacson, 19, in blue, of Redmond, Washington dances on barre for her morning class at the Grand Rapids Ballet Company on Monday, Sept. 28, 2014. Isaacson joined Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011 as a trainee and is now a full company member.

Cassidy Isaacson, 19, in blue, of Redmond, Washington does a port de bra back on barre for her morning class at the Grand Rapids Ballet Company on Monday, Sept. 28, 2014. Isaacson joined Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011 as a trainee and is now a full company member.

Cassidy Isaacson applies eye shadow and makeup before going to morning class. She attends class with makeup because company dancers are expected to come looking professional and ready for anything such as a surprise interview or photo shoot.

Cassidy Isaacson applies eye shadow and makeup before going to morning class. She attends class with makeup because company dancers are expected to come looking professional and ready for anything such as a surprise interview or photo shoot.

Midway through full company dance class, teacher, Michael Auer gives the dancers time to stretch before using the entire room to practice jumps and combinations.

Cassidy Isaacson does a `A la seconde stretch midway through full company dance class, after the instructor, Michael Auer gave the dancers time to stretch before using the entire room to practice jumps and combinations.

During a rehearsal on the stage at the Grand Rapids Ballet Company for The Nutcracker, Cassidy gets lifted up by Steven Houser.

During a rehearsal on the stage at the Grand Rapids Ballet Company for The Nutcracker, Cassidy gets lifted up by Steven Houser.

Cassidy Isaacson,  talks about the weekend get together with Isaac Aoki that all of the dancers were invited to. They wear layers of clothes then take them off as muscles get warm. Cassidy comes in to warm up at 8:30 a.m. so she is ready for class from 9:30 - 11: 15 a.m.

Cassidy Isaacson, talks about the weekend get together with Isaac Aoki that all of the dancers were invited to. They wear layers of clothes then take them off as muscles get warm. Cassidy comes in to warm up at 8:30 a.m. so she is ready for class from 9:30 – 11: 15 a.m.

Cassidy Isaacson, 19, fastens her bun in the dressing room after returning to the Grand Rapids Ballet Company for an afternoon Nutcracker rehearsal on Oct. 6, 2014.  "We call ourselves professional dancers but then people think strippers so we say professional ballet dancers. We don't call ourselves ballerinas very often."

Cassidy Isaacson, 19, fastens her bun in the dressing room after returning to the Grand Rapids Ballet Company for an afternoon Nutcracker rehearsal on Oct. 6, 2014. “We call ourselves professional dancers but then people think strippers so we say professional ballet dancers. We don’t call ourselves ballerinas very often.”

Cassidy Isaacson, 19, eats lunch across from her boyfriend, fellow Grand Rapids Ballet dancer, Jack Lennon, 18, along with other dancers on their lunch break at 2 p.m following a rehearsal for Swan Lake. "I don't like to cook, but most dancers make all their meals so they can control every ingredient," said Cassidy.

Cassidy Isaacson, 19, eats lunch across from her boyfriend, fellow Grand Rapids Ballet dancer, Jack Lennon, 18, along with other dancers on their lunch break at 2 p.m following a rehearsal for Swan Lake. “I don’t like to cook, but most dancers make all their meals so they can control every ingredient,” said Cassidy.

Cassidy goes through one or two pairs of ballet slippers a week but she is good at making them last. Her maker is Maltese Cross.

Cassidy, right, does a Sauté with other ballet dancers, she goes through one or two pairs of ballet slippers a week but she is good at making them last. Her maker is Maltese Cross.

Guest teacher, Cassidy Isaacson, talks with a student after rehearsing the competition dance for the advanced lyrical class she teaches at Academy of Dance Arts in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Guest teacher, Cassidy Isaacson, talks with a student after rehearsing the competition dance for the advanced lyrical class she teaches at Academy of Dance Arts in Grand Rapids, Mich.

"I have never thought about not doing it, (dancing) it was never an option for me to do something else," said Cassidy Isaacson, 19. Cassidy started dancing at the age of 4 in her hometown of Redmond, Washington.

“I have never thought about not doing it, (dancing) it was never an option for me to do something else,” said Cassidy Isaacson, 19. Cassidy started dancing at the age of 4 in her hometown of Redmond, Washington.

Keeping time alongside the classical music Cassidy Isaacson, 19 of Redmond, Washington perfects her turn out and extensions.

Cassidy is a professional ballet dancer for the Grand Rapids Ballet Company that began her ballet training at the age of 4 in Washington. Aside from her steady training, she spent summers training at the Pacific Northwest Ballet and Long Beach Ballet in China. Cassidy attended the Julliard Summer Intensive in New York as well as the Grand Rapids Ballet Summer Intensive on Scholarships.

Cassidy joined Grand Rapids Ballet in 2011, the following year she became an apprentice to then become a company member since 2013.

“When I was three-years-old I saw Patricia Barker (Grand Rapids Ballet Company Artistic Director) in the Nutcracker and I told my mom after that, I am going to do that,” said Cassidy.

From that moment on the Ballet has been Cassidy’s life.

“There are a lot of cliches in the ballet world,” said Cassidy.

As much as the dancers roll their eyes when people talk about movies such as Center Stage, Ballet Shoes, Black Swan and Save The Last Dance some of the topics show their face in the real ballet world.

The Art Director sets a weight that looks good for each ballet dancer and if you do not match that weight you will be asked about it until the pounds are shed. A position on the barre during class comparable to where you sit in the cafeteria in high school, or even the desk you sit at everyday in English class; you just don’t take someones spot unless you want drama. Ballet really does have to take over your life, being a professional at 16-years-old is not a fairytale goal for them; they do it. And to top it all off, teachers do yell at you during class in front of everyone and tell you how awful your feet look, that is not just in the movies.

Even with all of the challenges and long days Cassidy says, “I have never thought about not doing it, (dancing) it was never an option for me to do something else.”

Being a professional ballerina is a privilege that vary few get to dawn the title of. The dance world can be challenging but it creates passionate, dedicated, and world traveled individuals.

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Location Lighting

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Alex Mikus, 22, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich. sits on his 1985 Kawasaki 454 LTD on Deerfield Road after riding around the city at night.

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Alex Mikus, 22, of Mt. Pleasant, Mich. sits on his 1985 Kawasaki 454 LTD on Deerfield Road after riding around the city at night.

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Lighting setup for my location lighting portrait with Alex Mikus.

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Kaitlyn Millard, 17, a Beal City Varsity Volleyball player holds her volleyball from a Ferris Volleyball Camp.

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Kaitlyn Millard, 17, a back row player on the Beal City Varsity Volleyball player at her home in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Chad Stevens kisses his new bride Larissa King on Sept. 28, 2014 at their wedding reception at the K of C Hall in Beal City, Mich.

Chad Stevens kisses his new bride Larissa King on Sept. 28, 2014 at their wedding reception at the K of C Hall in Beal City, Mich.


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& SON

Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City puts a milker on a cow that is fresh, at the Fox Farm on Sept. 14, 2014.  "I normally just milk these two cows," said Fox as he stood arms rested on each cows hips.

Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City puts a milker on a cow that is fresh, at the Fox Farm on Sept. 14, 2014. “I normally just milk these two cows,” said Fox as he stood arms rested on each cows hips.

Marty Fox, 53, talks to his son Sam Fox, 13, about his brother and nephew chopping hay in a near by field at the Fox Farm on Sept. 17, 2014.

Marty Fox, 53, talks to his son Sam Fox, 13, about his brother and nephew chopping hay in a near by field at the Fox Farm on Sept. 17, 2014.

Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City lifts a newborn calf that was born a day before into a pen with it's twin on the Fox Farm on Sept. 14, 2014.

Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City lifts a newborn calf that was born a day before into a pen with it’s twin on the Fox Farm on Sept. 14, 2014.

Sam Fox, 13, eats ice cream cake at his sister, Rachel Fox's 21st Birthday party as her boyfriend, Billy Myler, jokes with him about his football pads being too big for his small body at the Fox home in Beal City Sept. 20, 2014.

Sam Fox, 13, eats ice cream cake at his sister, Rachel Fox’s 21st Birthday party as her boyfriend, Billy Myler, jokes with him about his football pads being too big for his small body at the Fox home in Beal City Sept. 20, 2014.

Milk drips from the mouth of calves as they drink from a bottle that Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City feeds them on the Fox Farm on Sept. 17, 2014.

Milk drips from the mouth of calves as they drink from a bottle that Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City feeds them on the Fox Farm on Sept. 17, 2014.

After singing Happy Birthday, Sam Fox, 13, pulls a candle out too early for Rachel Fox, 21, to blow it out at Rachel's 21st Birthday party in the Fox home on Sept. 20, 2014.

After singing Happy Birthday, Sam Fox, 13, pulls a candle out too early for Rachel Fox, 21, to blow it out at Rachel’s 21st Birthday party in the Fox home on Sept. 20, 2014.

Marty Fox, 53, milks the cows by himself in the morning on the farm in Beal City, Mich. on Sept. 22, 2014. ÒI didnÕt think I would be milking cows now, I thought about raising other cattle, raising beef, maybe but then you donÕt make as much money, and then you almost would have to go do something so thatÕs why you stay with what you do,Ó said Marty while thinking about the future of the farm that he said will likely be handed down to his son, Sam.

Marty Fox, 53, milks the cows by himself in the morning on the farm in Beal City, Mich. on Sept. 22, 2014. ÒI didnÕt think I would be milking cows now, I thought about raising other cattle, raising beef, maybe but then you donÕt make as much money, and then you almost would have to go do something so thatÕs why you stay with what you do,Ó said Marty while thinking about the future of the farm that he said will likely be handed down to his son, Sam.

Before school on Monday morning, Sam Fox, 13, eats a cookie that is fresh out of the oven as his Mother, Julie Fox, 52 places them on wax paper to cool on Sept. 22, 2014.

Before school on Monday morning, Sam Fox, 13, eats a cookie that is fresh out of the oven as his Mother, Julie Fox, 52 places them on wax paper to cool on Sept. 22, 2014.

Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City waits in the doorway of the barn for it to be time to milk cows on the Fox Farm on Sept. 17, 2014. The cows also know to wait at the door once they are woken up and brought out of the free stalls.

Sam Fox, 13, of Beal City waits in the doorway of the barn for it to be time to milk cows on the Fox Farm on Sept. 17, 2014. The cows also know to wait at the door once they are woken up and brought out of the free stalls.

 

On a dirt road in Beal City, Mich. it is common to run into a farm, family run and operated with a long line of history that makes it what it is today. Down the flat, pothole sprinkled, Nottawa Road in Beal City sits the Fox Dairy Farm.

Third generation farmer Marty Fox, 54, and his son Sam Fox, 13, run the 266-acre farm. Sam has always had a strong interest in the farm, he is soft spoken and small in stature but he has worked hard on the farm since he was a child.

Over family dinner Marty and Sam attempted to recall when Sam started to drive the tractors. “I was 4 wasn’t I,” said Sam. “No, I think six-year-old when you started parking and then driving the skid steer and then I think at eight you were doing easy jobs like raking hay,” corrected Marty.

“Normally dinner is on the run, or half will eat then later in the night Marty will come in and eat. We don’t eat at the table very often, it is normally in front of the T.V.,” said Julie Fox, 52, Marty’s wife as she prepared rice, chicken, peas, corn and bread.

Marty and Julie have three children, Katie, 25, Rachel 21, and Sam, 13. The daughters that have moved out and live on their own. Katie and Rachel remember growing up on the farm where it was never boring and always welcoming. “In school my friends would always want to come here for sleepovers, heck Billy (Rachel’s boyfriend) even asks, ‘Can we go to the farm and stay the night,’ there is always something to do here,” said Rachel.

The women of the family know that the farm will be passed down to Sam if he wants to take it over.

“I didn’t think I would be milking cows now, I thought about raising other cattle, raising beef, maybe but then you don’t make as much money, and then you almost would have to go do something so that’s why you stay with what you do,” said Marty while thinking about the future of the farm.

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Job Shadow: J. Scott Park

Anthony Owens (2) walks during the Pink Viking Project at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.  The event was held to honor people that are fighting, have survived, or succumbed to cancer as well as help raise money for cancer treatment.

Anthony Owens (2) walks during the Pink Viking Project at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. The event was held to honor people that are fighting, have survived, or succumbed to cancer as well as help raise money for cancer treatment.

The Jackson High School varsity cheerleading team walks a lap around the track before the football game for the Pink Viking Project at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

The Jackson High School varsity cheerleading team walks a lap around the track before the football game for the Pink Viking Project at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

Jackson's wide receiver, Cortez Butler (15) runs against East Lansing in the first half at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Jackson won the game, 34-26.

Jackson’s wide receiver, Cortez Butler (15) runs against East Lansing in the first half at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Jackson won the game, 34-26.

Jackson's (1) attempts to makes a tackle against East Lansing's (11) to stop the touchdown run in the first half at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Jackson won the game, 34-26.

Jackson’s (1) attempts to makes a tackle against East Lansing’s (11) to stop the touchdown run in the first half at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. Jackson won the game, 34-26.

The Jackson High School marching band performs a half time show as junior, Blaise Easton swings her flag around at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

The Jackson High School marching band performs a half time show as junior, Blaise Easton swings her flag around at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

Jackson's Drew Monroe (44) and Cortez Butler (15) raise up their hands showing the number four with their team as the clock buzzed at the start of the 4th quarter at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. "Throw em up, it's 4th quarter," yelled Anthony Owens (2) to fire up the team. Jackson won the game against East Lansing, 34-26.

Jackson’s Drew Monroe (44) and Cortez Butler (15) raise up their hands showing the number four with their team as the clock buzzed at the start of the 4th quarter at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014. “Throw em up, it’s 4th quarter,” yelled Anthony Owens (2) to fire up the team. Jackson won the game against East Lansing, 34-26.

 

J. Scott Park the photo editor at the Jackson Citizen Patriot and the Mlive Media Group. After being a staff photographer for 10 years he became the editor, and has been for 9 years. He grew up in Jackson and is happy that he has been working in his hometown for 19 years. He graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in journalism in 1993.

I meet photojournalist J. Scott Park at the hub in Jackson where we chatted about my experience while he finished setting up forms for the soccer tournament he was working on this weekend. Talk about busy man. This made for a very casual and easy flowing start to my job shadow. I ran an errand with him on the way to the first assignment, which is very much, the real world. I noticed myself doing that in Texas when I was working so it was great to see that it is normal.

On the first assignment that I went to with Scott, I pulled a rookie mistake. I forgot my memory cardholder in my purse. It was in my purse because I was at work before going to Jackson. Thankfully it was not an assignment that I needed to shoot, as Scott said. I believe that I actually gained more by watching him. It was a million dollar home that was up for sale. Scott took photos of the home and talked with the owners and realtor. I used this time to ask about how he photographs rooms with bright window light and he showed me a few tricks to not lose all of the detail in the windows.

The assignment was twenty minutes away so we had a lot of time in the car to talk. I asked about getting a job or an internship in May and asked for his tips. He let me know that the biggest way to lose out on an internship or job opportunity is with spelling errors or spelling his name wrong. “Do you know how many emails I get where people call me Scott Parker or Jay Parks. It’s right there but people still mess it up,” said Park while driving back to the office from an assignment.

When we returned to the office he went over his photos of the million-dollar home and talked about toning and cropping. At this time we had Danielle Duval, a Central Michigan University alumni and intern at Jackson Citizen Patriot come and hangout with us in the office and get dinner before going to the game of the week, the Jackson High School v. East Lansing football game. The football game was a special game; it was the Pink Viking Project game. It was their first time hosting the event to honor people that are fighting, have survived, or succumbed to cancer as well as help raise money for cancer treatment. Then it was on to sports action and feature shooting.

To fellow students I suggest to just be personable, yourself and calm when making a first impression to a potential employer. Scott talked about hiring people that he will enjoy working with and that will mesh well with the newsroom. This is key in a job as social as ours.

It would be impossible to really get the hands on experience that the job shadow allowed in a classroom. I was in Jackson for eight hours; there just isn’t time to have an eight-hour class. A whole shift really changes the way you see the job. Other people also shoot in different ways than you so it allows a chance to grasp what they see when you shadow. When you read it in a book you do not get the entire context that is going on at that moment when they make the image. It really helps see why he made the choices he did while shooting.

Scott J. Park watches and waits for action to photograph as the Jackson High School football team takes on East Lansing at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

Scott J. Park watches and waits for action to photograph as the Jackson High School football team takes on East Lansing at Jackson High School on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

Scott J. Park sits on the Jackson High School track transmitting photos of the Pink Viking Project before the Jackson football game against East Lansing on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

Scott J. Park sits on the Jackson High School track transmitting photos of the Pink Viking Project before the Jackson football game against East Lansing on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.