University of Nebraska – Lincoln
AAF Omaha Member
2018 Nebraska ADDY Student Gold Winner (Print Ad)
A little over two years ago, I was sprinting toward the U.S. Embassy in Mumbai, India trying to make it to my visa interview on time. No bags or electronic devices are allowed inside the embassy, so I’d locked them inside my car. To add to my woes, I’d been forced to leave my car in a no-parking zone. I had a thin, plastic folder in my hand, overflowing with the documents I’d been advised to carry to the interview. I dodged both vehicular and pedestrian traffic and managed to reach the embassy just in time. Slightly out of breath, but unscathed. After a quick glance at my passport and the documents to verify my appointment, armed guards escorted me from one checkpoint to the other, until I came up to a counter, where a man sitting behind a protective glass panel would decide my fate.
When the aircraft left the runway, I watched the lights of my city fade into the distance, replaced by the dark void of the night sky. I had left behind more than just family and friends. I left behind a career in fashion photography, a skillset that, I’d soon discover, would serve me well in my adventures ahead. I landed at O’Hare International ready to laugh in the face of jet lag, only to discover it’s not something to be trifled with. A quick flight to Lincoln after a week exploring Chicago and I was ready to start my new life at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Fast forward to present day. It took me a while to hit my stride but I more than made up for lost time. College of Journalism and Mass Communications (CoJMC) professors and advisers constantly rave about the American Advertising Federation (AAF) and the benefits of joining local chapters. Meet the Pros, organized by AAF Omaha, introduced me to some of the finest creative talents who call Nebraska home. I’ve worked professionally as a photographer long enough to know that raw talent alone doesn’t cut it. People open doors for faces they recognize.
With my friend and fellow creative Katie, I created a spec ad campaign for Garmin GPS that won a Gold Student ADDY in the print ad category. I shot the images in the deserts of New Mexico; an experience in itself. Our strategy was centered around my insatiable wanderlust. In my two years here, I’ve been to 18 states but I couldn’t tell you how many cities. I stopped counting a long time ago. Our “Get Lost” campaign was a product of a desire to disconnect and discover something new, unaided by technology.
So where do I go from here? Down the next open road when I get the chance.