A Woman of Many Hats

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I've always been a dabbler.

Always trying to get my feet wet and try new things. Try a little of this and do a little of that (except foods, I'm a wuss when it comes to trying new foods, but I've got better over the years.)

And dabbling is exactly what I've been doing here in the work force at The Reporter. I can write. I can make videos. I can post to the web. I can interact via social media. I like to get involved in everything I can possibly do here in the newsroom. (More skills = more opportunities in my eyes)

So when the opportunity came up for me to take pictures this week because we are down a man with a photographer on vacation, I of course jumped all over it ... well actually Geoff volunteered me, but I didn't back away. I enjoy a challenge

Now, one may think 'how hard can it be to take a picture?' And I thought the same thing. I can be artsy and creative when it comes to photos. Here are a few:

However, yesterday was one of the most challenging things I've had to do in my career -- I had to go take photos of a high school field hockey game. I have NEVER shot pictures at a sporting event in my life, unless with my iPhone or on Instagram. Despite being a rookie and getting the opportunity to use the "big girl camera," the thought of failing never passed through my mind. My mind set was 'take lots of photos, something is bound to be usable.' I knew I've had decent photos in the past - I GOT THIS!!!

But I must admit, the 'doubt' and 'un-sureness' I know that a few of my co-workers had (I won't name names, but I know there were a few) really gave me some drive. I understand when there is a newbie you might question or be a little nervous, but negative energy is easily felt. Be positive because you may never know what will happen.

I can now check off 'be a photographer' off my bucket list after a very successful day of shooting at the Christopher Dock field hockey game on Tuesday afternoon. My arms are COMPLETELY sore from holding that camera. Woke up this morning feeling like I was in a boxing match and put two-and-two together realizing it was from the camera. (I'm weak, I know.)

So here you are, a taste of my photos from Dock field hockey yesterday. Excuse my sass, but I think I did a damn good job! Watch out Mark Psoras, I'm coming to get ya :) (Just kidding, Geoff hurry back!)

Everyone, meet Ashley!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Journal Register Company and Digital First Media own HUNDREDS of newspaper across the country. The Reporter, here in little old Lansdale, is one of few that we consider in the "Philly Cluster." Other papers include The Times Herald, The Mercury, Souderton Interdependent, Montgomery News and many, many more.

While interaction with the #JRC and #DFM world happens over Twitter, Facebook and email, I thought it's important to meet face-to-face with some of the other people in the industry, especially our sister papers that we interact with so frequently.

Everyone, meet Ashley Campbell. Ashley is the online editor and community engagement editor at The Times Herald in Norristown.

Ashley and I have been chatting back and forth for well over a month now and we thought we would finally sit down and chat about ideas in person.

With both of us being from Lansdale, we met up at a little bistro in town where we were able to chat about work, our roles, our success and what we both need to work on.

For both of us, we totally agree on the fact that photo submissions are a difficult at both our papers, much of which we believe has to do with the readership age range. But we will both continue to press on with using hashtags and email submissions.

The topic of Instagram came up and both Ashley and myself have created Instagram accounts for our newsrooms. Ashley said she sometimes uses her Instagram to show "behind the scene" glimpses at The Times Herald and she has been getting lots of feedback from that. I did the same thing a few weeks ago, posting a photo of our two photographers who were wearing the same outfit. We received SO much interaction on that photo. (I know what you think, 21 likes is nothing, but that is LOTS for a post on The Reporter's FB page.)

I told Ashley how we provided the user name and password to all of our writers/photographers so they can Instagram while they are out at a scene and she told me how a new photographer has been doing a great job of using Instagram. Slowly but surely, the Instagram world is stepping up!

However, when it comes to Instagram, we know the best interaction with the application is going to come from the people who use it the most -- the kiddies.

Ashley is in the works of creating a Instagram themed scavenger hunt for high school kids, with hopes to launch it next spring. She told me about the kids having to take 15-20 pictures of certain objects, use a specific hashtag and the team with the most points wins a prize - first, second and third place winners. Local businesses could become involved allowing their store as a location. I think this idea is absolutely genius!!! After she told me the ideas, I thought we could do the same thing here at The Reporter (with our four main districts) and then after all of the scavenger hunts are done, The Times Herald and The Reporter could have a finals where the first place winners from each school have a championship round. This will be a lot of work, but I think if both papers can pull this out, it would be a awesome tradition for the years to come.

The topic of Pinterest came up, and like The Times Herald and The Mercury, I have created a "Police: Most Wanted" board where we will post the pictures of local fugitives. The Mercury has great success, getting recognized in the national media for increasing arrests in their area because of their board. Way to go team!!!  Our executive editor, Ann Cornell, has reached out to the local police and hopefully this board will kick off soon!

With a few other ideas to bounce off each other, I would say Ashley and I had a nice visit and it was great to finally meet face-to-face. I hope we can get together soon, maybe next time with another community engagement editor in the area. 

Your pet photos > any other photo

Friday, October 12, 2012

I may be on the newer side of the journalism game and my feet haven’t been in the business long, but there is one thing I can confidently say since working in a newsroom -- PETS ARE THE ULTIMATE SUCCESS OF A PHOTO CONTEST! 

And to be honest, I’m not surprised about this at all.

I love my dog. My co-workers know my obsession with my dog. My friends make fun of me all the time. He’s my baby!  And truthfully, I don’t care if people poke fun at me for my love for Gatsby because he is the most loyal person (yes, he’s a person) in my life and I treasure everyday with him.

According to a 2011 study by the American Pet Products Association, there are approximately 78.2 million owned dogs and approximately 86.4 million owned cats in the U.S. If you ask me, THAT IS A WHOLE LOTTA’ LOVIN’!!!

Photos contests are starting to become an issue for me here at The Reporter with lack of interest and submissions. If there isn't an incentive, there is no interest. People want money, gift cards, books, etc.

However, I've found that every photo entry/contest I have held involving pets has been an overwhelming success. 

No price can be enough for man's best friend.

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi playground