Tag Archives: growth

The end of a chapter but the beginning of a book

The end of a chapter but the beginning of a book

For as long as I can remember, my camera has always been my side-kick.  Something about being able to capture a moment, an emotion, or a light in turn captured me.  From the beginning of the semester I knew I wanted to create an online space for my photography. In reality, it was the reason I enrolled in PUB 101; while I didn’t lack initiative, I lacked the knowledge and tools to create and curate a platform for my photography.  Finding a domain name and aesthetic was the first challenge.  It was important to have a very visual, professional, and clean blog – a space where images could stand out. Eventually, after much thought, I settled on One More Klick.

One More Klick features a blend of photography, travel, and the outdoors. “Klick” is another word for kilometre, which was very fitting with both the outdoor and travel aspects of tis blog, marking the distance traveled, in addition to klick also being the phonetic sounds of a camera’s shutter.  Since traveling, photography, and the outdoors are a passion of mine, I aspire to always challenge myself by going further, reaching higher, and persevering through the fear of the unknown.  For these reasons, there will always be one more klick – whether it be one more photograph, or one more kilometre.

With the help of photographs taken during various travels and adventures, my blog aims to share the stories behind photos, and provide context.  While some posts feature more personal stories, they still hold some informative content – whether it be in the form of tips and tricks, political context, or specific photography settings to achieve a photograph.

Currently, the majority of the audience reading One More Klick consists of direct family and friends, with some page views coming from countries outside of North America. Some of the perks of traveling abroad include creating friendships and connections across the globe.  Maintaining these friendships are even easier in light of the digital age.  According to the 2018 Digital Media Report, there are over 4 billion active internet users across the globe, and there has been a 13% increase in active social media users since January 2017.  The internet allows for greater connectivity, breaking the barriers of time and space.  In just the touch of a finger, users can connect with anyone, anywhere.  This immediacy has allowed me to connect with people from around the globe in little to no time.  For example, I reached out to Hasham to ask for his permission to post his photograph for the Friends in Foreign Places blog post.  Despite residing in Qatar at the time, within a few hours I received a response and we were connected once again.

This is especially useful for this blog, as I hope to expand the audience internationally.  Already, this blog has most of its’ international traffic coming from the United States, with other countries including France, the United Kingdom, Australia, Croatia, Ireland, and Luxembourg to name a few.  

It’s possible that some of the page views from the countries above are just bots, which are basically software that run automated tasks over the internet.  This would become more apparent when cross referencing with the amount of time spent on the page and the bounce rate.  Because I don’t know of anyone personally in Kenya, Sri Lanka, or Russia, I would assume that they aren’t actually real people reading my blog.  If you’re reading this and you are currently in Kenya, Sri Lanka, or Russia, let me know!

With the goal of eventually creating a stronger following and international audience, having a strong social media presence would be a huge asset.  Currently, Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram hold the podium for most popular social networking sites:

2018 Digital Media Report, page 68

“Let’s face it: we have entered an era of media convergence that makes the flow of content across multiple media channels almost inevitable.”

Henry Jenkins, 2003

In his article Transmedia Storytelling, Jenkins (2003) highlights the importance of using a multitude of different social media platforms as opposed to restricting your content to just one.  The advantage here is not only more exposure, but also meeting your audience where they are.  With this is mind, I have created a Facebook page to share my blog posts.  Having a separate page for One More Klick that is independent from my personal page means traffic won’t be restricted by my own personal privacy settings.  Eventually, I will create an Instagram page which will feature different photographs linking them to their blog posts.  If it weren’t for social media, very few people would know about my blog and even fewer would be reading it. 

With blog posts being shared on social media, it was increasingly important for my blog to be responsive and mobile friendly. In Design Machines: How to survive in the digital Apocalypse, Travis Gertz (2015) criticizes the homogeneity of basic website designs. While I was trying to create a unique and customized aesthetic for my website, I ran into some serious challenged. While the desktop version worked perfectly, the layout didn’t translate well for mobile devices. As the majority of internet users access websites on their mobile devices, it was extremely important for my website to be responsive and mobile-friendly.

Social media allowed for networking and collaborations with other artists.  My first essay 21st Century Nudes covered the topic of censorship of artistic nudity on social media platforms. This essay was inspired by Vince Hemingson, a photographer, filmmaker, and bestselling author based out of Vancouver, who’s beautiful photographs routinely encounter censorship.  In wanting to share my essay on social media, I reached out to Vince for permission to tag him.  Not only did he agree and share my article with his network, he commended my work and asked for my feedback and comments on his Artist’s Statement for his Nude in the Landscape series.

Already, creating this blog has allowed me to build concrete skills by learning how to use WordPress and Google Analytics, along with broadening my artistic and professional network. This blog acts as a live document, changing and improving as I continue to learn and create. I plan on continuing this blog alongside my adventures, and hope that one day it might flourish into something larger.



References

Gertz, T. (2015). Design Machines. How to survive in the digital Apocalypse. July 2015. Retrieved from https://louderthanten.com/articles/story/design-machines

Hemingson, V. n.d. Artist’s Statement: The Nude in the Landscape. n.d. Retrieved from http://hemingsonphotography.com/fine-art/nude-in-the-landscape/

Jenkins, H. (2003). Transmedia Storytelling. January 15 2003. Retrieved from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/401760/transmedia-storytelling/

Kemp, S. (2018). We are social – Digital report 2018. Retrieved from https://digitalreport.wearesocial.com/

What I Learned As A Teenager

On September 2nd of 2018, I had to say goodbye to my teenage years and hello to my twenties. I personally feel like my teenage years ended when my mom cancelled my Seventeen Magazine subscription. It was a weird feeling to not have my age end with “teen” anymore. It feels bittersweet. I also find it weird that this is the decade I will have to truly become an adult. I have no idea what these years will hold but that makes me excited. I may move across the country, land my dream career, could potentially get married, see my friends have kids, and all things in between. Yikes.

I would say I have had the “typical” teenage experience. I experienced a lot of “firsts” from first “date” to first “heartbreak” (lol), skipped school to go to McDonalds, went on midnight drives and adventures with friends, sent those risky texts, had a room full of J-14 posters, went through a black eyeliner phase, spent summers at the lake and in my backyard with my best friends, turned the legal drinking age, had a Twitter fan account for various celebrities (which I have been forced to use because Twitter locked me out of my original account), and just truly lived my best life.

It has definitely been years of exploring, loving, and learning. One thing I am proud of is through all of this transition is that I have not lost myself. Being a teenager can be a really hard and a confusing experience. You don’t really know yourself and are trying to find out while juggling life.

I can proudly say I am still the Taylor Swift Loving, Concert Obsessed, Lost and Insecure, Sushi and Starbucks Loving, basic white girl you all know! I have dreams of living in a big city with my dream job and having a lowkey Hannah Montana life raising a family in the countryside. I want to open my own agency and potentially start my own magazine. I never would have thought my love for all things pop culture could lead me to this whole field. I hope to travel the world doing what I love and continue to live my best life. I hope one day I make an impact on someone’s life for the better.

Now, on a serious note, I decided to make this post to reflect on what I have learned and experienced through the years of being a teenager. Whenever I post something, I hope it helps someone in someway.

I hope you take something away from this post that could benefit you, help you from not making the same mistakes I have, blackmail me, realize you are not alone, anything.

Now, I present you the journey I have experienced as a quirky and relatable teen!

Take A Chance On Life

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Something I have learned is to give everything a try, even if it may turn out really bad.

I regret skipping out on a job interview when I was 15 because I was too nervous to go. I could have started gaining experience and breaking out of my shell earlier on, but my mental health is alwaysgoing to be more important. Thankfully I have come around and am not afraid of taking chances.

I wish I didn’t care SO much about what people thought about me growing up. I would not want to wear certain things, dye my hair, and many other things because I thought people would secretly think it was weird.

Here is my first story: I decided to be a wild pre-teen and add blonde streaks to my hair in the 6th grade. People definitely thought it was weird, even telling me it looked like “Halloween.” I kept that hair till grade 9. I think people were just so used to seeing me as the same person all their life that me doing something drastic threw them all off. I also used to have a unibrow, that someone “kindly” pointed out to me in elementary. I tried to fix it myself in my mom’s bathroom and ended up shaving off half my eyebrow before my softball windup party. Honestly, I am blessed with the thick Italian gene brows that people strive for these days, so I should have embraced it. It wasn’t until last summer that I truly realized I need to put MYSELF first. Wear the clothes you want, cut your hair, love who you love, and all the things.

I am so thankful that I got over my freshman year of university shy self and joined a sorority sophomore year. It has brought me a community of support and I do not think I would be enjoying the whole university and life as an adult experience without them. I am currently very content in where my life is at right now. I am happy I can say that.

I am so for the whole “shooting your shot” mentality when it comes to dating and anything. I mean… it has failed for me every time I have tried but it is still worth a try! Slide in their DMs, ask for their number, apply to that job, just do it! I see all of this as, what is the worst that can happen? Rejection sucks but the sooner you try the quicker you can get over it and move onto the next. You will learn if you are wasting time that you could be putting into something better.

Balancing The Obstacles

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I have dealt with a lot growing up. Some things I am not comfortable sharing. One thing I have learned is to take a step back and pinpointing what is important.

One ongoing obstacle that I am slowly feeling ready to open up about is my problem with my body and eating. Ever since I can remember, I have always had a hard time loving the way I looked and allowing myself to eat certain things. It is still something I deal with today, but I have learned it is okay and will take time to find a balance. It was hard discovering social media at such an early age and seeing all of these perceptions of what the expected body is and the look you need to have. Social media has changed the perception of my body. It is really hard to look past all of it and love who I am, but I make sure to remember I am doing the best I can and not feeling too guilty about how I may not be “living up to the idea image.”

Balancing my studies and social life has been awkward. I definitely found myself living a more social life this past fall semester and having my grades slip. I have such FOMO and do not want to remember my university years missing out on things I won’t be able to do in a few years because I have to do a reading. This upcoming year, I am going to make sure I find a balance and use my planner efficiently. I will find ways to allow myself to have a social life but making sure I maybe do a page or so of an essay before then. I blame my high school for making me a major procrastinator.

I think it is hard to help people find a balance, because we all have our own priorities. Knowing what is important in your life and letting yourself be wild can take time to balance. Education and mental health is important.

Take Risks, live in the moment (“My parents live in Ohio.” I had to), set goals, and take control of your life.

The One Where I Cried In A Club

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Now, probably the most *tea* filled part of this post and adventure during my teenage years that I just needed to add because it was just… so dramatic.

A little disclaimer- You know I love you, but I kindly ask you to not message me questioning who these stories are about. (If you know, please do not leak it HAHA). Although part of what I do is producing content on the internet, I do have a private life and a lot that I do not share. You know I am always down for a conspiracy, but I share what I feel comfortable with and have (hopefully) moved on from the situations and would not like to relive them. But, as always, I have a lot of saved tea to spill for some future endeavours… so I will share all eventually (in detail), but for now, this is the only cup filled.

Inspired by one of my favourite content creators, Katy Bellotte, she wrote a post on her blog thekatyproject.com titled Almost-Lovers, and it basically talked about all of the boys she has had “things” with that could have potentially been lovers, but of course, has ended the same as they all do. Ghosting, second choices, ignoring you at parties, and all things inbetween. Every person has left us with a moment they cannot take away. After recently listening to her podcast (Thick & Thin), I have decided to share the first time I truly felt a “heartbreak.” A.k.a I discovered I do have a heart and can feel things. Crazy!

Well, this is not the story I am telling (mainly because I forgot why) but in the first grade something happened with my “crush” and all I remember is laying on my parents bed, faced up at the ceiling, and aching inside. I really wish I knew why but that was the first time I FELT heartbreak. How random. ANYWAYS, this is my more grown up story of the time I cried in the club over someone who I thought felt the same way I did. (Narrator- we still do not know if they did, but that is besides the point. At the time, I assume THEY DID NOT).

A month or so before I was literally the “I don’t know why I’m crying in the club right now” meme, I met someone who I instantly felt a connection to. I ignored the feeling at first because I haven’t experienced that feeling in years. Since then, I still haven’t. It wasn’t until a few people came up to me a week later telling me they noticed it too and asked me about it.

I do not trust anyone these days. Even the thought of them being interested was not enough to make me BRAVE and talk to them more. Little did I know what was going to happen in the months to follow.

I pushed the feeling aside and ignored it. I was not going to go through another ninth grade dance watching my crush sway with my friend to “She Will Be Loved” by Maroon 5 and having a single tear roll down my cheek. CLASSIC. My best friend still makes fun of me for it TO THIS DAY and we decided to make a playlist of all the songs I have cried to. (You’re Welcome.).

ANYWAYS.

My friends event was coming up and I was really excited to see everyone again and go out. The day before, this person messaged me asking if I was busy that day. I will never forget seeing “ This person is typing…” for the first time since we met and feeling like I was in some Taylor Swift song.

Of course I was busy that day, so I told them but we had a plan to meet up later on and just say hello. 

I was not comfortable going out alone, so my friend was going to come with me but got sick and did not stay long at the club and at this point I was already drinking and there was no way I could have gone.

I was messaging them throughout the night and it was going really well. But, here is the downfall: When I was in the club, I told them I couldn’t leave because I was, well, not functioning, and did not want to leave my friends. They were trying to find ways to see me but ultimately it was just not going to happen. I could feel something coming.

All I remember reading was “Okay. Whatever.” and I was SHOOK. It felt like everything that could have potentially happened was destroyed and they had given up on me. I thought I ruined something that could have grown.

My friend that was with me messaging them was like, “are you okay?”. I say “yes”, as tears are streaming down my face. If I have learned anything these years it is that I have MASTERED hiding my crying. There have been so many times I have been in the car or in public bawling and no one notices. Maybe no one cares about me but I like to think I mastered the art of hiding my emotions.

Through the loud music, people dancing, friends giving me the classic “You are so much better! He’s not worth it” pep talks, I felt an overwhelming about of emotions I have never experienced.

It was later when I got home (after finally finding a taxi. @Vancouver, why is it so hard?) I realized it was the beginning of what was going to be a new found feeling I have never experienced before.

I sat on my bathroom floor like the dramatic teenager I was and cried to “Getaway Car” and “New Year’s Day” by Taylor Swift. Random song selections, I know. I laugh at it now but at the time I was so sad! Tragic.

I ultimately got up and continued to live my best life because I had to go to work in a few hours. But since that moment, I have seen this person here and there. The feelings are not as strong, but something has stayed consistent and has worn off. I have seen people in between these times, but I have not found anything close to the feeling I found. And that is okay. I looked at this as being thankful I even found a feeling worth holding onto and know it is out there somewhere.

So moral of the story is: Feelings are weird and I am not a fan. I have definitely grown a lot since that moment and thank this summer for giving me the time to realize my worth and learn. The Emily at that moment thought this was the end of something special, but today I know there is so much more to experience and it is not worth the tears. I can now say I will not settle or fight for anything I feel is not reciprocated. I know love is out there and time has been my bff.

Even though this was a dramatic experience with an awkward ending (a story for another day), I thank this person for helping me realize my worth and discover this feeling. As Katy said:

“He or she was not just a failed attempt at what you will eventually have with someone else. Every potential relationship is either love, or a lesson. Don’t look at it any other way.”

Like, Realizing Things

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I guess ultimately I can say that it is WILD how nothing truly matters.

Everything I cried about, was worried for, and thought I would never get over, eventually wore off. I think I have just become numb to everything that used to bother me and I am kind of glad.

Of course, there are some things I do need to worry about. I will worry about them when the time comes and continue to just live in the now.

Life is hard. Being a teenager was hard. Trying to find your place in this world and living instead of just existing has taken some time but I am happy with where I am at.

A Special Note

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I just wanted to say thank you to my family, friends, sisters, mentors, teachers, and everyone who has played a part in getting me to where I am today. I am so lucky!

I Am Left With This

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  • I am a firm believer of dress like you are okay with that outfit being your ghost outfit for the rest of your life
  • Elle Woods is my queen
  • Appreciate your family
  • Laughter is the best medicine
  • School work is not worth the cost of your family
  • It is okay not to know what you want to do in life
  • Order your favorite dessert
  • Send that text
  • Be unapologetically yourself
  • Quality over quantity
  • Surround yourself with the best people you can grow with and conquer life with
  • Give everyone a chance
  • I will be on a reality show one day
  • Be confident
  • LIVE
  • Spend all your money on concert tickets
  • Remind people how much you care for them

In my 20’s, I am not letting anything hold me back. I am taking this time to be unapologetically myself and live the best life I can for me.

*All photos are my own*

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