2012 was a big year for me. I did a ton of video projects, shot lots of weddings, took a few road trips, went to Waffle House a lot, graduated from college, and a bunch of other stuff. For those who care to know more, here’s my year in detail.
I discovered Instagram in December 2011 and by January 2012 I was hooked. Make fun of me all you want, but I can truly say it has had a huge impact on me creatively. I never took iPhone “photography” seriously until I was connected with an awesome community of creative people on Instagram whose work was some of the best I’d ever seen. Since my beginnings in January 2012, I’ve come to understand that amazing photography isn’t about having amazing equipment. I’ve also become a much more optimistic person - strange, I know - but having a small, discrete camera in your pocket at all times puts me on the constant lookout for beauty (which is actually, believe it or not, all around you 24/7). Not to mention, as a social network, Instagram leaves almost no room for negativity. I typically don’t find myself scrolling past gossip, complaints, and immature debates. Rather, 99% of my feed is filled with thankfulness, encouragement, and innocent humor. I love seeing snippets of the day-to-day lives of people I admire.
I shot over half of all my portfolio pieces in February 2012 (Sprint Commercial, Burberry Commercial, Coke Commercial, Vogel Alcove Promo). I worked with some incredible people on those projects. I’m more proud of those four pieces than any video work I’ve ever done. I am so blessed to have been able to work alongside people like Heather Child-Aldred, Heath A. Cary, Junior Hernandez, Chris Skupien, Cy Cachere, and Nyeem Jackson. I don’t think most students at Ai ever have it as lucky as I did throughout my time there. Never once did I work with a group I wasn’t thrilled with. That’s rare. And there’s no way I would have been nearly as successful in school if it wasn’t for that constant blessing.
Most of what I remember about March 2012 involves helping Brad with his senior project. I did some art direction and a lot of production errands. That project required several early call times. I remember waking up at 4am a couple mornings so I could get some props together, load up the car and make it to the faraway location (mostly Venus, TX, and one time Paris, TX) by 7am. I remember doing my best to encourage Brad and his core crew because some of them were very sick, one of them was dealing with a death in the family, and all of them were extremely stressed. Something significant that came out of that time for me was meeting Omar Sebita, who helped produce the film, and would later become a great friend and important part of mine and Brad’s lives. Also, Bevan (our friend from high school) was able to do some grip work on that film. It was refreshing to have his company on a school project (he’s both hilarious and heartwarmingly kind), and I know his hard work was very much appreciated by the crew. When we weren’t shooting their film, Brad and I spent a lot of time with Heath A. Cary that month. College would not have been the same for either of us without Heath. One of our favorite things about him is how determined he was to hang out with us as much as possible. We would be dead tired from a long busy day, ready to call it a night, and he’d call to tell me he was standing outside of my apartment, ready to hang out. It sounds like it’d be annoying, but as grumpy as Brad and I were at times, Heath always cheered us up without fail. We hung out a lot in March because he would be getting married and moving into his own apartment the next month. We haven’t hung out with him much since then, but he’ll always be a dear friend of ours. We love you Heath! More significant/memorable things about March: I interviewed for my internship at YouPlus Media, and my senior film screened at the Angelika (a magically memorable night which I wrote about in another blog post).
Thanks to the Angelika’s free weekly screenings, Brad and I were able to catch Season 5 of Mad Men as it aired every Sunday night in April (technically, the season premiered at the end of March and ended at the beginning of June, but April was the main time frame). As mentioned in the paragraph above, our friends Heath and Lindsey got married that month and we had the honor of photographing their wedding. Brad, Jon and I took a road trip to meet Melody (Jon’s girlfriend) in Austin, TX later that month. Not only was it a fun trip and a good excuse for Jon and Melody to spend some time together (at the time, Melody was living on campus at A&M College Station), but we were also able to take Jon’s senior portraits. It was my first real trip to Austin and I enjoyed it very much. I’ll have to visit again sometime soon. Also, I officially began work on my portfolio in April when I took my Portfolio Prep class. On the last day of April, I got a speeding ticket. :(
I did my first job for YouPlus in May - working the iPad kiosk for their Big Freeze setup at the Dallas ComicCon (<—video by some of my Ai/YouPlus peeps, Junior, Luke, and Matt). Brad and I got to see his sister Stephanie for the first time since she shipped off to Korea. It was really nice to spend some time with her, even though she had to go back to Korea pretty soon after she arrived here in Texas. One of my all-time favorite Summer memories is of the day we spent at Six Flags with Stephanie while she was here. We got sunburned and sweaty and then soaked on that water raft ride, and then walked into Carrabba’s and feasted on some fine italian food. Brad and I shot a wedding for a couple we’ve known since middle school.
Because the lease on my apartment went up in June, I moved back in with my parents that month. I knew I would be graduating fairly soon and I wasn’t sure where I would end up (job-wise) by then, so we all agreed it was best for me to live with them until I was able to settle down somewhere with a long-term job. My brother, Jon, graduated from high school that month. Our family spent a day water skiing and barbecuing at Lake Worth. Brad and I had a blast shooting our first Arabian wedding with Omar. I turned 21 and celebrated with a segue tour and an Alcoholics-Anonymous-themed party (my mom’s brilliant idea). I also remember watching a lot of LOST with my brothers, and Melody. Brad and I had loved the show and we’re always looking for stuff to watch with them. In June, we were all out of school and had lots of time to sprawl out in front of the TV and watch a couple episodes at a time. Good times.
My internship at YouPlus officially, officially began in July. I was at the office between 15-30 hours a week depending on how busy we were (unpaid and on top of full-time school and freelancing). I was certainly busy, but I learned so much and I was able to use a variety of skills (not just video stuff, but blogging, photography, etc.). Of course, the most significant part about my internship was the job I ended up getting out of it. Like I said, I was pretty busy in July, so not much else happened besides working and going to class. However, one unforgettable thing about July: Breaking Bad at Brad’s with Bevan and Samm every Sunday night. :)
My best friends, Haley and Heather, turned 21 in August (they’re twins). We decided to take a trip to San Antonio to celebrate all of us being 21. Another one of my all-time favorite Summer memories, that trip was amazing. We certainly exercised our ability to buy alcohol (before they turned 21 I didn’t have many friends to do this with, so I never really did it). Don’t worry - we didn’t go crazy or anything. We just explored San Antonio and all it had to offer: its riverwalk, stores, restaurants, and bars. :) Honestly, the really fun part was floating on the river all day. It was a much-needed weekend of relaxation and “girl time.” I can’t wait for our next trip together! Other than that trip, August was basically a continuation of everything that happened in July: work and school. It was still a great month.
I became a paid employee of YouPlus in September. Roni Hernandez (another fellow Ai student!) recommended me as her replacement when she left her position as Media Manager so she could get married move out of state. So as soon as my internship ended, I got started on ingesting and archiving footage (plus some editing) for YouPlus. Brad was also hired there as an editor. We were both back-and-forth between school and work for the whole month of September. It may sound boring, but we really like it there, and we’re so thankful to have jobs!
The Horror Fest film race took place in mid-October. I teamed up with Evan Burns, Chris Olson, and of course, Brad, to do something we’d never done before: a horror comedy. Heath A. Cary and Bevan helped us, too, even though Heath had already graduated and Bevan isn’t an Ai student. It was so much fun and we were really pleased with the film. Melody and David acted in it for us, and we all did a little bit of acting, too. It screened towards the end of the month and we placed 2nd and got best screenplay. I still need to put a blooper reel together… Anyway, October was also the first month of my last quarter at Ai. I’m so glad I was able to participate in Horror Fest each year I was there.
This month started with my car breaking down. It had never happened before. My car had been running just fine; no problems… then all the sudden one day, it broke down while I was driving home from a doctor’s appointment. Since this was November, it easily could have happened on my way to a portfolio review or something. I was so glad it was just one of my days off. That day ended up being really good despite my car breaking down. My mom took me to lunch at The Woodshed, which is a really nice restaurant with delicious food. Brad and I shot a wedding with Heather not too long after that, then there was election night, then Thanksgiving.
I had my last portfolio review, my last week of college, and then my graduation. I was awarded with “Outstanding Graduate” (which apparently is also referred to as “best portfolio”). I went out to dinner with my family (plus Brad, Melody, Haley, Heather, and Bevan). I was very happy. It was all very lovely. I had some time off, did some Christmas shopping. Brad and I went to church with my family on Christmas Eve, opened presents at my family’s house, then went to midnight mass with his mom, and opened presents at their house. On Christmas day we had breakfast with my family and saw a movie. It snowed. Brad gave me some Impossible Project products for Christmas. I decided that if 2012 was my year for “instant” iPhone photography, 2013 will be my year for instant film photography.
Well, that was very detailed. I actually left out a lot of important stuff but… I’m tired. (From all the fun I’m having.)
This year started with a trip with my family to Georgia (stopping in Memphis and Nashville to explore). It’s been wonderful so far.
Happy New Year.