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I come from a small town.

I mean really small. Not many people have heard of it, but once you’ve been there, it’s kind of hard to forget.

One of the reasons is the view. I mean, with a front yard like this, is it any wonder why I got into photography?

My front yard

And just down the road from my place, is this:

Really quite spooky on rainy days

That’s right. You drive around a corner in the middle of nowhere, and you see this giant, red brick church, with stained glass windows, and marble pillars.

Okay, so the marble pillars are fake.

But they were painted by Italians with ostrich feathers, so that’s still pretty cool. I know this, because I spent two summers explaining it to tourists who committed blasphemy every time they walked in by saying “Oh my God!”

But back to the point.

I’ve always been a writer, and imagination has never been in short supply. However, I only got into photography in my last year of high school. I played around with a point and shoot, and decided that I wanted to take it further. I basically went to my guidance councillor and said: “I like writing, and taking pictures, what’ve you got for me?”

Then I applied to Loyalist, got accepted, and spent entirely too much on camera gear. I’m still doing that last one, so some things never change.

To be honest, until I found out that being behind the camera meant I didn’t have to have my picture taken, I had been planning to become a marine biologist.

Forget a different branch of the career tree; I skipped over to the other side of the forest.

But I’m here now: 16 hours solid drive from home. I say 16 hours, but that was on a Sunday, in the middle of the night, when it was raining. Believe me, that’s nothing compared to the 23 hour train rides home at Christmas and the end of the year. Those rides seem to be a heck of a lot longer going toward Belleville though. I wonder why? Oh, right! Because I’m leaving some pretty wonderful people behind (including, but not limited to, these folks)!

Or Fam Jamily as I've heard them called before

That’s me on the bottom right, and my mom’s side of the family. We’re pretty cool. We get together on special occasions and have family dinners with 500 or so cows mooing in the background. One of the hazards of living on a beef farm I suppose, but the cows are fun, and my mother wouldn’t give up farming for the world.

(Yes, that’s right. My mother is the farmer. That would be the woman in the blue sweater, who’s been run over by 1600 pound steers and gotten up again. Thankfully, I take after her, and bounce back rather quickly.)

So some goals for this year:

-Pass (I think that’s a given, considering I don’t want to have to pay tuition for a third year)

-Make a portfolio I’m proud of

-Try to make money for doing work I love (but can’t stand some days)

-Stave off home-sickness as best I can

I figure if I write them down here, I’m more likely to achieve them. People keep pressing that point lately, with dream boards, and goal journals, but I think a blog will work best for me.

So here we go: Loyalist Photojournalism Class of 2012, here I come!