Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A video piece from last semester: "Best Shape of My Life"

In the initial stages of my blog updating, I'm going to post information about what I've done over the past several months. First is the documentary, "The Best Shape of My Life" I produced for Donna DeCesare's documentary video class in the spring semester.

It's my first documentary at just under 11 minutes long, and I'm proud of it even while I'm conscious of its flaws. This doc was 100% produced by yours truly: storyboarding, filming, interviewing, editing and (not-so-great) sound. For my first venture into the medium, it was a challenge to meet my deadline because of the contest timing. The doc was due on a Tuesday morning, and all of the contest events occurred the weekend prior.

I spent most of the day Friday filming JoAnn as she got painted (tanned) and went through her photo shoot, and Saturday--Texas Shredder contest day--began at 3:30am and ran through the evening. So, all of Sunday and Monday (until 4am) were spent editing like mad. Perhaps with more time (it's always "if I had one more day..."), I could clean up the sound, adjust a few transitions, and give it a tighter edit. I wish I had been able to film more of JoAnn's mom and interview her apart from the competition--it would certainly have enriched the film--but she didn't arrive until late Friday night.

In any case, hopefully the essence of what I was trying to do comes across here and it's a good stepping stone. JoAnn was awesome to work with, and I'm very grateful to Dave Goodin of the iconic Hyde Park Gym for introducing us and granting me complete access to the event. The experience was challenging but a lot of fun.

Best Shape of My Life from Tara Haelle on Vimeo.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Back on Track and Chicago Pride Photos

My attempt to begin a blog fell a bit flat when I didn't actually post anything, so I'm going to try this again. Think of it as a New Summer's resolution, started halfway through the summer.

An update: I'm working this summer in Chicago at an internship with News 21. I'm a part of the Medill news team, and we've just gotten started on what's sure to be an awesome website. As the reporter heading up the mental health beat, I'll be part of a team reporting on issues for first-generation Americans who are recent college grads living in big cities. I'll link to our site and some blog posts once it gets underway. We've only just finished the design and will have blog posts up this week.

Meanwhile, I've put up some photos from a recent trip to southeast Asia. My husband Darrell and I took a delayed honeymoon (we were married in March) to Thailand and Malaysia a few weeks ago. I've uploaded about half of the photos, which can be seen in one of my Picasa albums here. I'll put up some of my faves here in the next week or so. Also on that Picasa page are photos from the Chicago Pride Parade last weekend. I've posted a few of my favorites below. Over the next week or so, I'll update more about what I'm doing and post some more photos.

Friday, December 12, 2008

My blog hath commenced!

This is my first *real* attempt to maintain a blog, and I intend on using it to update people of my current projects in photography and journalism. I'll also comment on my favorite photographers and interesting trends in the media, etc. (Right now, of course, the most "interesting" trends in the media are depressing ones like these: Newsday has just officially fired every photographer on their staff and then told them to re-apply for new jobs as "visual journalists" since their old positions have been eliminated. Ouch.)

So, yea, it'll be difficult to avoid talking about bad news like that, but I'm going to try to stay upbeat about the industry as well. After all, I am going into ridiculous amounts of debt to enter it! Which brings me to... a brief intro: I'm a photographer and writer based in Austin, Texas, and I'm currently enrolled at the University of Texas for a Master's in photojournalism. Although that's the official name of the professional track program for photographers, I consider myself a journalist inclusive of photography, writing and, most recently, multimedia. More on all that later.

So, that's my brief intro. More, of course, to follow.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blogging current works in progress, news and updates.