I am a digital and visual designer with experience working in marketing roles, working mostly in the pharmaceutical and global education industries. Over my last four years in the Interactive Multimedia program at TCNJ, I’ve been able to hone my talents in graphic, web and digital design to create innovative and compelling products. Along with being a digital designer, I have also been a photographer for about 8 years. Photography is one of my passions along with cooking, watching cricket and also practicing martial arts. My love for photography was my inspiration for my senior thesis project, Photo Rec.

PhotoRec is an easy to use, straightforward and accessible website geared towards helping amateur photographers become professionals. On the website, I’ve included tutorials, videos and tips to help amateur photographers navigate the path to becoming professionals. Someone accurately defined the website as “training wheels to becoming a professional.” To access the website, visit photo-rec.com. One of the most important aspects of my website is the scenario page, which directs the information to a specific way to take photos. It helps the viewers learn how to approach a specific scenario, such as night photography or sports photography. When people asked me about why I made another photography website, the answer was always, “to help people like me.” I am a visual learner, and when I was starting to pick up photography, I only learned through visuals. The resources I found truly did not help me reach my goal. However when I talked to other professionals on how they learned to become better, the visuals and the steps they showed me taught me more than any other book, website or class taught me.

Home Page of Photo Rec

The project was shown and presented for the first time at the Interactive Multimedia Senior Showcase 2016. This event is the basically the end game for every IMM Senior. We’ve worked long and hard developing, prototyping and promoting our projects and it’s the one night we get to show off our work. The show also is a great venue for future employers, family and friends to peek into the lives of all of the talented students in the IMM department. Each of the students work on their projects all year long, whether the projects are websites, games, installations or movies; this was our night as graduating seniors.

The beginning of the creative process began with deciding the look of the website, what would appeal to my consumers and viewers and how can I communicate my information in the best way possible. That was one of my biggest struggles, just trying to come up with a structure of the website. There were many ways I could go with the website and I had trouble finding the best path for a while. Once I realised the best way to communicate the information was in a very straight forward structure, the rest was pretty easy.

I am not a web designer by trade so some of my coding skills were under practiced, so over winter break I practiced coding and creating some basic web pages. I also worked on finding the components and information for my website so that plugging those aspects in the spring semester would be easy. As the spring semester rolled around, my skills were tested since I was using a lot of javascript to tie all of the components together. I ran into a lot of bugs and my website crashed a lot (very expected), however the solution to fixing all of those was not a different code, but people. I was able to access all of the resources around me (aka other IMM majors) to help put all the pieces together.

If I could some advice to incoming seniors embarking on the same journey I just finished would be the following:

  • Don’t procrastinate! This is the WORST thing you could possibly do. You’re going to want to take some time off and say you’ll do it late, but set some time to the side each week to work on your project.
  • Use all of the resources at your disposal. This could be fellow classmates, professors or friends who have special talents.
  • There is always going to be a solution to a problem, even that solution is to move to Plan B.
  • Have a Plan B for every aspect of your project, there will always be bumps and obstacles but having plan b’s will make things easier for you.
  • Do something you’re passionate about. If you don’t, then you won’t enjoy your work.

These are some of the pieces of advice I could give to future students. If I could do the whole process definitely, I would absolutely not procrastinate on my project. There were many days where i just put off working on my project because I knew I had time. However, little did I know that time would slip by quicker than I thought. I also would definitely have more people look at it through the developing process. Although I had some bumps in the road to showcase, I hope people see this advice and it helps them in the future. Happy designing!

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