Instructor Feedback

I thought we had a really experienced, reasonable, and helpful instructor. I honestly really appreciated every assignment in the course and the fact that the assignments were projects based. I thought this was a high quality course.

One thing that would have helped me would be to have more instruction on the assignments in written form. Also, it would be good to get a small/brief lesson on giving critiques. For me, I really appreciated the critiques given by those who were more experienced in photography because I felt like those people meant to help me and actually gave effective feedback. I think there were people in the class who just really tore down other people at times and it was painful to watch. I do wish we had more in class lessons on editing!


Big Mac Photo

I thought this project was interesting because it allowed us to make our own equipment. I was feeling pretty excited as I was assembling the box because I really like working with my hands. Nevertheless, once I started taking the photos, I found it really challenging to place the light in the right place as well as holding the box while holding the phone. I don’t have a new phone. I have a three year old android so it can’t be good and I just had to work with what I have. I took these photos at my church because I knew a lot of girls would be there since they have dance practice on Wednesday evenings. I honestly don’t love the way the photos came out. I was expecting things to go smoother. It was difficult in my situation to find a spot where there wouldn’t be a shadow on the subject. I think one thing that imposed me was that the Big Mac box was not white but a tan color made up of recycled goods. It just seemed like the light was not defined enough, but maybe it was my handling of it.

Two Favorite and One Least Favorite Assignments

One of my favorite assignments was the Environmental Photo shoot. I liked this assignment because I got paired up with a really cool classmate, Rachel. Rachel is an exchange student from China. I honestly just really love getting to know people from other cultures and ask them random yet simple questions regarding their culture. I think one gets a really unique and authentic perspective on different cultures when you talk to people who were born and have lived and grown up in that country. My other partner was Ruben, and it was also really cool getting to know him too. It was nice getting to know people from the class. This semester I’ve really tried to go outside of my comfort zone and try to talk to more people in my classes. While it was great getting to know two people, it was difficult arranging to meet up with two different people and their schedules. For me that was really stressful because my work and school schedule is really full.

Strangely, the photobooth assignment is also considered one of my favorite assignments (once it was completed). I was seriously considering just not doing this assignment at all. Once it was completed, I saw examples of other people’s, and reflected on the experience, I felt accomplished. I felt brave for going through with the assignment because I was honestly just very afraid to do in the first place. If you haven’t seen the movie, Eighth Grade, I recommend it, but the main character in the movie says, “You can’t be brave if you’re not afraid,” (something like that).When I heard classmates present, a few mentioned that they got more rejections than acceptances and then I realized that I actually got more acceptances than rejections. I was also pretty happy with how the pictures came out. In the end I realized that I had an overall good experience. I’m not sure if I would do this again alone, but for me personally it helped me grow.

My least favorite assignment was the San Elijo Hills outdoor lighting shoot. I liked going to San Elijo hills with the class. I just felt like there wasn’t enough equipment and instruction. I think this would have been more helpful if the groups were smaller. I think lighting requires a lot of setting up and I just personally felt lost throughout the entire outing.

Alumni Job Panel Event

While is has been a while since attending the Alumni Job Panel event, I remember it being a beneficial experience. I even took notes at the event and the interview tips given by the panel included:  do research, come prepared with questions, have extra references, tailor your resume, and utilize the career center here at CSUSM. I thought it was interesting to not only see different careers but to see how one’s career can change over time, and how important it is to ‘put yourself out there.’ Upon leaving that event, I learned that a degree is not merely enough when trying to obtain a job position, but that you must be confident and know how to represent and push yourself. It was refreshing knowing that people’s careers and plans change over time because as a young person I feel like sometimes I think I need to have everything planned out. I appreciated this event because it exhibited the care that CSUSM has for its students and their futures.

Book Project

For my book project, I decided to make a book out of the multiple places I have visited in the past. Most of these photos were taken four years ago when I studied abroad in Spain. Once there, I made some really awesome friends who were also interested to travel during our time oversees. I included photos from Spain, France, Germany, Morocco, Greece, England, Ireland, and Portugal. These photos bring back some of the greatest memories of my life so far. We lived an ultimate adventure discovering new places none of us had ever thought we’d ever see in real life. We were all college students on a budget which made things more romantic in a strange way. I also included photos from Mexico, Guadalajara specifically because that is where my family is from and it is something that I am proud of. The last places include photos of Washington state during a time I went to visit Seattle. I ended the book with the most recent trip I took which was a road trip with some close friends to Utah and Arizona. This project was a challenge for me because I was not using light room correctly at first, and I had to relocate all of my photos. I then just decided to re-do my project. Now that I know how to make a book, I would love to do something like this again.


I’m honestly still a little confused as to what is considered Pictorialism. From my understanding, Pictorialism are photographs which separate from documentation of everyday life and bring a sense of fantasy, but still include details of everyday life. I tried to mimic the types of photos presented in the Pictorialism power-point presentation which included landscapes, roads and urban settings.


I visited the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park on Saturday April 6th,2019. I took a few teenage girls who I really care about because I wanted to expose them to a little bit of art, and Balboa Park is such a nice place to visit. I once visited this museum a few years ago with a friend as she also had a photography assignment to fulfill. The sleek layout of the museum is welcoming and allows for the attention to be be placed on the exhibitions.

Defining Place/Space: Contemporary Photography

When I first walked in, I saw the Defining Place/Space: Contemporary Photography exhibit as it sits right behind the front desk. Upon reading this assignment, I didn’t know what to expect from the photographs of this exhibition. I was surprised by the images portraying chaos and terror in European cities. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the meaning of these photographs, but from my understanding these photographs are intended to convey the fear that Europeans, or societies who deem themselves as superiorly developed feel towards people who are considered indigenous. These photographs exhibit the fear that people have towards the unknown because it may make them uncomfortable or it may disorganized their so called established society. In regards to the unknown, I think the UFO’s represent aliens, which is what immigrants are referred to and how many times people are instilled with fear towards these groups of people. I think the artist is also intending to be humorous through exaggeration. I think it represents the unnecessary fear people have towards immigrants and the entitlement that people feel towards specific places. For example, I was confused by the photograph with the swarm of birds. However,  I think it represents the entitlement people have towards the earth, while portraying the fact that it never belonged to us but to nature. When I first saw these photographs, I mostly admired them for the evident skill in digital media and all of the work it included to come into fruition, but as I began to contemplate on the meaning, I had a deeper appreciation.

Bern Schwartz

As I slowly become familiar with self portraits, it is evident to me that many photographers want to capture the personality of their subject, just as Ben Schwartz has. Something that sparked my interest was the idea of standing the test of time. My favorite self portrait was that of Twiggy Larson. I remember putting photos of Twiggy on my Myspace page and I remember seeing her as a judge on America’s Next Top Model. I just thought she had such a cool look to her with her big eyes, short hair, and whimsical yet British fashion. I had not paid any attention to her in years so it was surprising for me to see her. For me, it was captivating  to see a photo of her during the years between being a young model and an older woman because those are the only two time periods I ever saw her on a screen or in a photo. I think this photo in particular stands the test of time because regardless of the fact that I had never seen a photo of Twiggy during this stage in her life, I immediately knew it was her. Her hair was different from her iconic short bob, and her clothing was no longer a whimsical high fashion garment, but it is still Twiggy. I think this portrait portrayed her as a person instead of an icon, which to me stands the test of time. It allows the viewer to remember her as a person without embellishment, just a simple photo of her not trying to be anything.

When beginning this assignment, I thought we had to take five photos during our visit to the MOPA museum. Later, it was clear to me that they were supposed to be five photos inspired by the exhibits at the MOPA museum. I only took photos of the two exhibits listed on the assignment, the Defining Space and Ben Schwartz exhibits. I tried to take a few portraits based on the Ben Schwartz exhibit. The photo of the lemon is based on the exhibit in the background of the shot with the three girls sitting down. Also, I honestly really did like Polixeni Papapetrou photos. Those were my favorite by far. I tried to recreate something similar to these photos as I made my mom wear different items with flowers and plants on them.

I could have and should have spent more time on these. These are not my best, most thought out photos, I apologize in advance!