It’s The Climb – Final Reflection Leahy


Here’s me! With some gum (ew).

3 months, 6 assignments, 1 group project, and 1 semester later, and I’m finished with Jour215. What a journey it’s been! Starting out as a little sophomore, I had never done anything multimedia. I remember receiving my camera bag and being terrified – what do I even do with this thing? But I knew I wanted to work hard and learn a lot.

After only one year of journalism, I was (and still am) not sure exactly what I want to do with my career. So I knew the more I knew (broadcast, video, writing, etc.) the better off I would be. So I set out with my camera bag into the sunset.


Isn’t this the cutest?

For Assignment 1, I just took as many photos as I could. It was fun to get to know my camera and figure out what makes a good photo. You can watch it here. I really love some of the photos I ended up taking, especially this one of a couple in a hammock. I found them on the quad and they looked like they were out of a catalog! It was also good practice for talking to strangers (so I could ask them to take a picture). My videos definitely weren’t as good, it took me a while to get the hang of getting a good video or B-roll.


A butterfly I captured.

Assignment 2, the photo essay, was really nice just to focus on photos. I went to the Champaign County Idea Garden. It was really peaceful and filled with beautiful flowers and insects. This was one of my favorite assignments to do and made me like photography even more.



My two friends on Bid Day.

My two friends on Bid Day

Assignment 3 was the video essay, which you can watch here. This was super fun to film since it involved all of my friends on Bid Day, a big event for my sorority. My shots aren’t the best because I didn’t use my tripod. I didn’t realize the video would turn out so shaky. But it was still a fun, colorful video and I learned a lot about what I could do better next time.


Assignment 4 was our audio package. I struggled with an idea topic for this one – it took me a while to get started and I definitely procrastinated. It turned out good, but it could’ve been better if I had put a little more time and thought into it the week before. My audio piece covered the Rally on Rape Culture that took place on the quad. It was a very lively, but serious and important event and listening to each speaker was very powerful.  I also interviewed a UIPD officer about rape prevention and how to file a report. You can listen to my package here. I’m proud of what I put together but definitely could have put a little more time into it.



Who doesn’t love coffee?

Assignment 5 was our biggest project before the final project. This video package put together all of my skills about audio, video, and storytelling. I was really proud of my final product – a look at coffee consumption here on campus. I had some really fun interviews, especially with a student who brews his own coffee from coffee beans at home. There are some shaky shots which I should’ve used a tripod for, something I honestly never notice until I’m editing and it’s obvious. But overall I tried working on bringing the audio in and out, using good b-roll, and picking good sound bites. This was a really great package and learning experience for me as I neared the end of the semester.



Laundry is fun – said no one ever.

Assignment 6 was a really enjoyable how-to piece. I decided to do mine on how to do laundry. This wasn’t a super serious news piece but I worked on editing and continuity. I used my tripod and edited the shots so that it would be a really well done video, which you can watch here. While it is not as much a story like the others, this was probably my best job editing and I’m proud of that.


img_7219AND finally, our final project! While this project was very long and we worked very hard, I’m so happy with what our group did. Sera, Heather, Elyssa and I really worked together well and helped each other along the entire way. We did almost every piece together which may have slowed us down, but we all appreciated each of our ideas and skills. I mostly worked on the website and overall cohesiveness of our topic, besides each component, to make sure it flowed and really gave a voice to student and professional athletes. Our website, Voices From the Field, accomplished this. Athletes have such an interesting platform and people’s opinions about the recent athletic protests is very interesting. I’m really happy with this group project and how we ended the semester.

Overall, this was such an amazing experience. I wouldn’t have been able to guess I would become an expert in shooting, editing, and storytelling from just one class (or at least more of an expert than I was before). I’m going to miss Dr. Collins and coming to class each week. Her emphasis on professionalism and learning what’s truly important in life is something I really appreciate. Goodbye, J215!

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