Digital Video Story

Jordyn Hill and I partnered up to report on the Do-nut Stress event in the Union Breezeway. This event is specifically designed to cater toward students during finals week in order to help reduce stress by offering free donuts, coffee, and provide test-taking materials.

I enjoyed conducting the interviews; I think its fun to hear people’s different perspectives on the same event. There really wasn’t anything that I didn’t enjoy about the event. Everyone was friendly, and Jessie, that we interviewed was very willing to share information about the event with us.

We reported on this event at about 8:30am, and it surprised me how many people were coming and going by the booth already. This was a good surprise though, because it allowed us to get great footage of people taking advantage of all the free giveaways.

I can defiantly see myself using this in a future career. Because I am passionate about the western industry and love interviewing people in order to bring their stories to life, I could conduct video interviews, so viewers connect with the interviewees more and make the story more impactful. This was a fun assignment that really connected the dots between all the skills we have been learning and practicing throughout the semester.

Self – Reflection

Looking back on Blog post #1, I was really looking forward to the photography assignments in class. This is an area that I didn’t know much about and wanted to improve on because photos are extremely impactful. I was also eager to advance my skill set for conducting interviews and reporting on events. When I was looking at previous student’s blogs to see examples, there were some layouts that really caught my eye. I liked the formatting, special fonts, and placement of photos through posts to make them more interesting and help break up the text. Judging by the syllabus, I knew I would be learning a wide variety of new skills and concepts throughout the semester.

I learned a lot about photography through the creative devices and the photojournalism assignment. I learned how to take better photos using the rule of thirds, texture, color, framing, and leading lines. Knowing the specifics of what makes a photo more appealing and what draws people in, helped me be successful with this assignment. It also made me notice characteristics like that as I went through the weeks, I notices scenes I probably wouldn’t have before.

The photojournalism assignment allowed me to think outside the box to try and capture the unique portraits that I could. This was a fun and challenging assignment. I’d never taken any portrait photos before but really enjoyed capturing peoples expressions in a variety of settings.

I developed many soft skills in this class. Due to the way the assignments were set up, I talked to a variety of different people throughout the semester. This helped me gain confidence as a reporter  and not be shy about asking people’s permission to photograph them or interview them. This is a really important part of being a journalist, you’ve got to constantly be on the lookout for the next best story and ready to adapt to any social situation. I was able to practice active listening, which I know has been a weakness of mine in the past, but it’s something I have consciously been working on, and this class provided tons of opportunities for me to do that. Another soft skill I developed was how to think critically in a social setting. I had never technically covered an event using a social media platform, let alone Twitter. The live tweeting assignment put me in a social setting on the fly that I had to think about what was important that was happening, approach people who were key in organizing the event, and find intriguing content to share on Twitter. I liked this assignment because it challenged me, and it was fast paced because I was always thinking ahead to what I should post next.

I know that all of the soft skills and new concepts I learned in this class will help me in my future career. As a communication major, I am expected to be well rounded in all areas of communication. I think the more skills that I have, the better and the more I can bring to a future team. I was able to expand my interviewing skills, practice critical thinking, active listening, challenge myself successfully, become a better photographer, and feel for confident across a wide variety of social platforms and software.

The assignment I found the most meaningful was the live tweeting. I have a twitter account but I hardly ever use it. I was able to become more familiar with the platform and expand my experience. I liked this assignment because its similar to what a reporter does. They cover certain events, have to interview key people, produce quotes, photos, videos, and make the content interesting and engaging. This taught me great insight and helped me understand more in-depth on how to cover an event.

I found the audio assignment the most challenging because I’d never used SoundCloud before or Audacity. I had a tough time trying to upload everything. I recorded my interview with an app on my phone called voice memos. It took me forever to get it uploaded on my computer; then I had a tough time getting it to Sound Cloud and saving it as the right type of file. I was grateful that you allowed me to do this assignment late because I learned a lot from it and feel comfortable if I ever had to upload an interview again.

Jordan Williams, Big Brothers Big Sisters Career Professional

If I could go back and give myself advice on the course, I would tell myself to be more conscious about deadlines, especially for the photography assignments. Some of the deadlines snuck up on me, and that made it challenging for me to do my best work because I was crunched for time. I would also tell myself that it’s okay to ask for help because I am not going to know everything, and some assignments are going to be challenging.

Instagram Story Promotion

My experience with Instagram is purely for personal use. I have been an insta user for several years now and post my own photos and content about what’s going on in my life or quotes that resinates with me. I’d never even heard of Canva until this class, but its an awesome program. I love that it has pre-designed ideas and everything is sized correctly depending on what social platform I’m posting on.

            The promotional strategy that I used during this assignment was similar color schemes across posts to make them look uniform and create eye appeal. Since my blog was originally created steming from the western lifestyle that is what I aimed for my posts to reflect, I used a western photo that I took, and another one from the American rodeo to help display this theme.

            The challenging thing about this assignment was choosing one photo or designing one image that would represent a whole blog post. It was hard to narrow down what to use and what not to. I did this in terms of thinking what people would see and assume about my insta account if they only saw the images and not read the posts.

            What surprised me about this assignment was the amount of thought that goes into the posts on a professional or promotional Instagram account. I think it’s smart to post with intentions and make sure posts follow the account’s theme and purpose.

            I think I could use Instagram in the future my making and maintaining an account for my future employer. It’s no secret that a lot of ag producers are technologically impaired and simply don’t have time to spend promoting their business on social media. I think I could run a couple of ranch accounts, so they still have a social media presence, capitalize on a marketing opportunity, and get their name out nationwide.

Digital Audio Story

I think using an audio recorder when interviewing someone makes them panic. Jordan was fine with me interviewing him, and then when I asked if I could record him there was a slight look of panic on his face. After I explained the assignment and why I wanted to record him, he was fine with it. I think giving people a clear explanation as to why you’re recording them helps make them feel more comfortable.

I’ve never used Audacity before, but it is pretty user-friendly. I think the most challenging part was knowing what I wanted the audio to sound like but trying to figure out how to use the software to get it to sound like I wanted.

I interviewed Jordan outside at Turtle Rock Café. It was challenging at first to find a place on the back patio to get a good photo of him. The tress and house next to the café cast some odd shadows that time of day, so I took several photos. None of them looked good, so I kept trying different angles. Finally, at the end of the building, there was some shade, so Jordan stood against the wall, and this provided for a good photo without any shadows.

Jordan Williams- Professional Youth Developer for Great Wyoming Big Brothers Big Sisters

When I was editing is surprised me how hard it was to cut the interview from five minutes to two minutes. I think part of the reason is Jordan is a good interviewee, and he gave me great information that made it hard to really pick and choose what was and wasn’t going to make the final cut.

I wish that I would have interviewed Jordan somewhere else. I didn’t realize how loud the birds chirping would sound, and the recorder picked up on other voices too. This was disappointing because I thought outside would be quieter than inside, which is still probably true but interviewing outside came with a whole new set of issues.

I have been applying to jobs that entail a great deal of journalism. I really want a career in journalism and broadcasting, so I know I will be doing a lot of audio recording. I think it’s an accurate smart way to get direct quotes, and go back and review important things that were said. Especially if I was covering an event where I might interview multiple people, it would take the pressure off of me to remember everything that was said and help provide more accuracy.

Live Tweeting

Pints for the Planet

            This assignment required me to cover an interesting, newsworthy event and tweet, take pictures, videos and interview key people in organizing the event. Social media is very impactful and has the ability to reach a large amount of people who didn’t attend the event. If coverage is done properly, then it should strike people attention and educate them about the event as if they were there.

            I chose to cover the Pints for the Planet event at Coal Creek Tap in downtown Laramie. This event is taken place on April 22 specifically because it is National Earth Day. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of the environment and raise money for the Sierra Club Wyoming Chapter. This chapter supports and promotes work to protect Wyoming public lands, wildlife, clean air, water, and wildlife. Coal Creek will donate $1 from every pint of beer and every pizza sold between the hours of 5pm – 7pm.

            I chose to use a journalistic approach at this event because I thought it would be the best way to convey information to my twitter followers. Since journalism approach sticks more with facts, I thought this would be appropriate when talking about the environment.

            I enjoyed the idea of traveling to an event to cover what was happening. I think it’s a fun way to bring an event to life for people who aren’t able to attend. I’d enjoy getting out of the office and having tasks like this to cover events. I did not enjoy how many times I was required to tweet at this specific event. Tweeting 10 times would have been easier and more interesting if I was at a basketball game for example, but at the Pints for the Planet there wasn’t much change or excitement once the facts were covered.

            I learned that live tweeting can be a lot of fun. I don’t normally use Twitter; in fact, I just downloaded Twitter in February for an internship. But, I really enjoyed this assignment. It surprised me that after I had been at the event for about thirty minutes and interviewed a person other people from the event came up to and started telling me other people I should interview or asking me what I was doing and where I was posting the videos and photos at. The only thing I would have done differently was take a note pad with me so I could write down what the people were saying that I was interviewing instead of trying to type it out on Twitter. Sometimes I take things to literal, like LIVE Tweeting.

            I see myself using social media in my future career a lot. Since I plan on working for an agriculture-based company, this is a type of marketing strategy and a set of skills that I can bring to my future employers. With the ag industry, there’s a lot of folks that don’t utilize social media because they don’t know how or think they don’t have time. I think from a business stand point and thinking about what platforms the ag target market would reach would be Facebook and Instagram. This could change depending on where I work. However, knowing how to engage followers and produce tangible content is huge. I have learned you have to give people a reason to follow your page, and once you get them following you need to be able to keep them. I think using programs like canva paired other journalism and marketing strategies will serve to be useful in my future career promoting the company’s brand that I work for.

Google my maps

Wyoming has Style

            If you are a Wyoming Native, then you know the struggle of how few places we have to shop for clothing and accessories.

Corporate retail stores are overrated, and you run the risk of matching your co-worker or showing up in the same outfit as your friend at that special occasion.

            If you can relate to the lack of variety, quality, and style that you’ve seen throughout the state of Wyoming, then you’re going to love what you read next…

            Many Wyoming based companies, YES I said Wyoming based – have answered your calls for more places to shop and opened up their own stores. These women are the most ambitious, fun, fashion diva’s you will meet.

            Here are the Top 5  Boutiques in Wyoming to shop from for the best clothing and accessories in Wyoming. LUK Ranch, Vagabond’s Vogue, The Desperado Depot, Heritage Style, and Forever West. This is where you need to shop to vamp up your style and support your local Wyoming gals.


“I started my boutique because it is something I always have dreamt of doing, and so I looked into the logistics of starting one and saved up
enough money to get a good amount of inventory and I just kinda took the leap
and did it,” said Ashley Hyche, owner of LUK Ranch Boutique.

“I saw a huge opportunity opening up a boutique in Wyoming,
especially in the Wheatland and Laramie area,” said Hyche.

This is the area where she is from, and so she knows first
hand how little of a selection there is out there and thought she could fulfill
that need. Western chic is the style the LUK Ranch Boutique offers. Ashley is
attracted to pieces  that you can wear
every day, something that is functional. 
She thinks that a piece you can wear during the day and then be able to
dress up at night is an ideal staple to a wardrobe.

Not only does Ashley want to promote her boutique but also
the lifestyle behind it. She is a rancher in Wheatland, and the boutique name
actually derives from her family brand LUK.

“We western women thrive in such a special environment, and we are such a special breed, unlike any other women. From getting dirty out on the ranch to dressing up for a function. We really know how to take on life and anything that it hands us.”

Sticking by the southern part of the state there is Vagabond’s Vogue. This boutique will make your mouth water with all its statement pieces it has to offer. Karlee Peterson, boutique owner, has an eye for unique fashion. She too has western roots where her background in the industry comes from rodeo. She spends her time traveling to rodeos for work, and if you know anything about rodeo fashion- it has exploded in the last five years. Now, Karlee is teaming up with designers from all across the state to bring  you the latest pieces in western fashion with a little edge. If you want to stand out in a crowd or re-vamp your wardrobe with some designer pieces, shop Vagabond’s Vogue.

Now, let’s make our way up north through the state. If you happen to live in Cheyenne or will be traveling through for Cheyenne Frontier Days this summer, the Desperado Depot needs to be a must stop destination for you. Devon Von Krosigk started this fabulous boutique to serve the people of Cheyenne. This past summer she teamed up with the CFD committee and put on a fashion show during the festivities of CFD. Devon brings in pieces that show off her flirty outgoing personality type. You can’t miss her pieces because they are bright, fringy, or flared.

            Heritage Style: Native Style brings even more charm to the already charming town of Lander. Kelli Chapman LeClair is the talented lady behind all the gorgeous native American jewelry you see women sporting around at rodeos, cattle shows, and stock shows. She has combined her passions together to create a jewelry company where native American heritage meets Texas style. If you’re looking for quality, uniqueness, and something show-stopping, don’t miss the opportunity to check out her website or Instagram.

            One day two moms were brainstorming how they could combine their love of fashion into a job so they could spend more time with their kiddos and have a job the two of them both enjoyed going to. This is how Forever West Boutique was born. Dana Nichols and Tori Nichols (sisters-in-laws) decided to become business partners and open their own boutique. With a fun, innocent western flare style, they too saw a need for a better shopping selection in the state. Being from Riverton, this is something I was so happy to see happen in our small town. The Forever West girls have had so much success with their boutique, and you can tell it’s something they love doing.

            These women
felt the same way you did about having no variety in Wyoming, and they decided to do something about it and
share it with everyone else too. They fearlessly invested their own money, time, dreams, and style into
providing quality and fashion for you by creating their own boutiques. I hope next time you are looking to
purchase clothing or jewelry that you consider these Top 5 Boutiques in Wyoming first.

Web Story

The Richest Weekend in Western Sports

Most TV watchers are familiar with the show “Who wants to be a Millionaire.” Well, The American provides the opportunity for one cowboy or cowgirl to become a millionaire in a single day.

RFD TV’s The American 2019 came to an end Sunday, March 3rd. Over the span of five days, cowboys and cowgirls were competing for the biggest payout out in rodeo, $2.35 million total dollars in prize money.

“The calm before the storm…”
Rodeo fans fill the Cowboy’s AT&T Stadium awaiting the final found of RFD TV’s The American.

There are two types of competitors at The American. The top ten in Pro Rodeo Cowboy Association world standings are invited, so they get to compete automatically because they have already earned their place in the world standing.

The second half of the competitors are qualifying. In order to qualify, they have to make qualify at one of the qualifiers hosted around the US. Then, they advance on to the Semi-Finals in Fort Worth, Texas. There are three performances in the Semi-Finals. Each performance serves as an elimination round.

Tilden Hooper was one of the bareback invitees. He is a 5-time Wrangler National Finals Rodeo qualifiers.

“Being a Texas guy and getting to ride at Cowboy stadium and get to do it for a million dollars that’s a dream come true, it’s exciting, I can’t wait,” said Hooper. The American did not go as Hooper had envisioned, but that is part of rodeo. There is always another one to compete at.

The qualifiers are the only ones that are eligible to win the $1 million dollars. The invites can win between $100,000 and $110,000 dollars. The finals were held at the Cowboy’s AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.  Aside from the monstrous payout, this rodeo is unique because qualifiers are pitted against the best athletes in the world.

The experience of competing in The American is a dream for many. It’s where passion meets perseverance with a chance to make a name for themselves and win a life-changing check.

In an interview with Ryder Wright, the youngest cowboy in PRCA history to win the World Champion Saddle Bronc Championship he expressed what it meant to him to be competing in this specific rodeo.

“Competing at The American is awesome, it’s the biggest stage of Professional Rodeo and to be here as an invitee is awesome,” said Wright.

He competed in the shootout round against his dad, World Champion Saddle Bronc rider Cody Wright, to win the $100,000 dollars.

“Give ‘er hell”
Ryder Wright spurring his way to victory on championship Sunday. Picture by Rodeo News.

On Saturday night, in the long go, Wyatt Denny split the performance win with Try Bruer with an 86.50.

 “The life of rodeo has really changed with more money being added and this counting toward the world finals. To make a living at it is awesome and to win a million dollars at it, you’re set,” said Denny.

This performance win moved Denny into the top 8 round, earning himself another chance to ride. Denny was in contention for the $1 million dollars.

“If I won it I’d probably put it into going to more rodeos and go to less rodeos and hopefully go to the ones I wanted to and put some of it down on a ranch, land or cows,” said Denny.

 Winning that much money is almost unfathomable. Coleman Proctor and Ryan Motes, a team roping duo that qualified, were in the drivers seat of the million dollars until bull rider Joao Ricardo Vieira came out on top during the final four. The three of them split the million dollars.

This was the first time in rodeo history that women could compete in breakaway during a professional rodeo. Anyone who watched The American this year watched history in the making. This was huge for the breakaway event. They had over 400 competitors.

Madison Outhier, a sophomore in high school, took home the $110,000 dollar check. Her family has a breeding program back home called LA Water Quarter Horses , and the horse she competed on was one that her family bred and raised.

 Her winning the breakaway was just as exciting for her dad Mike Outhier, who is the two time Linderman Award winner. This is a prestigious award. Madison comes from a long line of rodeo cowboys, and the sport is in her blood.

RFD TV’s The American has had so many positive effects on the sport, and it’s competitors since it was created 6 years ago.

“The legend”
One of the greatest cowboy’s of all times, Larry Mahan speaking with PRCA announcer Kory Keeth.

This rodeo serves as a huge advantage to not only the qualifiers because they are vying for the million dollars but also the invitees because $50,000 dollars of their winnings counts towards PRCA World Standings.

The American was designed to give everyone who is competing a life-changing opportunity. After all, it is the richest weekend in western sports.


“Where the wind blows”
This was a beautiful Friday afternoon West of Laramie gathering cattle before winter took its toll again,                               Abbea Faris, rides her horse Chrome into the wind to look for cattle.

This portrait is probably my favorite, partly because ranching is something that I love but also because Abbea and her horse look like one moving across the prairie. I especially like how they both have their heads tipped down as they ride into the wind together trying to deflect some of the strong cold gusts hitting their faces.  

“Bring it on”
Dan Upton fires a puck at the goalie while warming up before his game at the Laramie ice events center

The Laramie Outlaws were gearing up to play their last game of the year against the Sheridan Ice Hocks. This was a tricky sports feature shot because I had to shoot through the glass which prevented me from getting any closer and made it difficult to get a clear quality shot. I’m defiantly glad that I took a large amount of photos.

“It’s in the details”
Levi Davis cuts a clients hair at Martin Barber shop off Grand Street, on Thursday afternoon.

While I was wondering downtown looking for a unique photo opportunity, I walked by Martin Barber. This is a charming old-fashioned barbershop. Once I was inside, I felt like I had been transported back in time to the 60’s. Levi and his client were generous and let me take photos during the haircut. I like this portrait because you can see how focused Levi is but he has a slight smile across his face because he was just laughing with his client. I could tell, he enjoys what he does.   

“Fun day ahead”
A couple were headed to Grand Targhee ski lodge to enjoy a day on the mountain in the fresh snow.

I took this photo of this couple walking by in the parking lot as they were making their way up the hill to the Grand Targhee resort in Alva, Wyoming. It was a perfect Saturday morning; the snow was coming down on top of the fresh twelve inches that fell the previous night. I like this feature because of the contrast of colors. I just liked the color of the lady’s coat and the man’s black coat, and both their pants really stand out against the blanket of snow covering the road and towering pine trees.

“Get it done”
Travis is working on a jack in the Advanced Automotive shop, Thursday afternoon in Laramie.

I was getting my oil changed in my car on Thursday afternoon when I thought it would be cool to take a photo of what the mechanics were working on inside the shop. They just kept working and acted like I wasn’t there. I took a lot of different shots of multiple mechanics, but this one was my favorite. You can tell he is really focused on trying to fix the jack and that he’s been working all day because of the grease all over his arms. I think this is a great natural feature photo.

Cʀᴇᴀᴛɪᴠᴇ Dᴇᴠɪᴄᴇꜱ Pʜᴏᴛᴏɢʀᴀᴘʜʏ

This is a painting that I have had since I was in junior college. I named her after a real red cow that I named Netty. One day I noticed the stray in one of the pastures laying next to a giant round bale of hay, loving life. When I saw this painting I immediately thought of Netty.

The main creative device in this photo is color. This is part of the reason I like this photo so much is the mixing of so many fun bright colors and the fact that it is a cow. The cool background colors make the cow pop with the warm colors. I also think there is texture because you can see the brush strokes and non of them are the same. It can also be seen that the harsh angels of the photo and the wall creates depth. It is a different, unique way of looking at the painting.

When I have free time I enjoy baking.

This photo shows texture. Having this one chocolate chip cookie in focus, you can see crumbs and how it was baked to perfection. It is also easy to see the smooth flat surface of the spatula. This picture also has focus. You can see there are many cookies in the background but having this one in the front and elevated, it spotlights it. I really like photos that have focus. They draw me in and allow me to focus on one specific part.

“In the Practice Arena”

This is a quick photo I snapped after warming up in the Hanson arena, waiting to roping the heel- o- matic.

The creative device for this photo is rule of thirds. On the left side of the photo the rope is really close up and the horses neck leads you to the top of the picture. In the middle, There is a little bit of everything, the horse, rope, saddle, and dirt. Nothing is really being focused on here. Then, on the right side, there’s a lot of dirt and the horse is no longer in focus. There is also a little bit of my pant leg and toe of my boot showing if you look closely. I think this is a pleasing picture to look at because it has many different elements and it is’t honed in on one set thing. I also think this photo has a lot of texture. I think this is a secondary observation for most because the texture isn’t super evident at first. The dirt looks soft but you can tell the lighter spots are small rocks. The rope looks broke-in but still has those grooves spiraling around it. The horse’s main is combed nicely and looks smooth until you get closer to where the rope and reigns are laying and it is out of place and wild.

“Winter’s Cold Looks”
I was taking in the view after a long day of skiing in Jackson.

The dominate creative device here is framing. This was taken at a funky angle, through the picturesque full length window through my condo in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The bottom of the “frame” is actually the deck as you can kind of see the logs sticking out. The dark wood in contrast to the bright snow does make it look like the view is almost framed. I think the light and dark colors offer a nice contrast. I think the close and far away hills and mountains give this picture depth as well. Which makes it more pleasing to look at because it isn’t flat or all one level.

“Twists and Turns, the Sun Will Always Rise”
This was on a peaceful weekend morning with few cars around so I stopped to get this photo when I was home.

The dominate creative device in this photo is leading lines. I think the dark highway with the yellow stripe leads you right into the middle of the bright colors of the sunrise. The highway looks smooth and just slowly gets smaller until it vanishes out of view and then your eye takes in the big picture of the sunrise bursting through the delicate clouds. This is a view I use to see often as it is the highway from my house into town.

This was a fun project. It really challenged me in terms of choosing what photo matched with what creative devices. Knowing these devices and their purposes and effects makes a big difference when taking photos. For me, at first I felt like I would just take the same kind of photos all the time so this helped me to be more creative and think outside the box. I only wish that I would remember to take pictures more often and of more things.

Pᴏꜱᴛ #1

After reviewing some of your past student’s blogs, I realized how important and impactful photos are. The photography segment of this class is something that I am really looking forward to. It is an area where I do not have a lot of experience and really think this class will offer not only an opportunity to gain experience but also some direction, so I am able to improve my photography skills.

KESA newly born quarter horse colt

I’m eager to learn about interviewing and reporting because I love speaking with others and finding out more about their experiences and stories. Audio editing in the syllabus also caught my eye. Audio storytelling can be extremely powerful, and it is very trendy right now with podcasts becoming more and more popular. Audio editing is something that I don’t have any experience with other than using voice recorder on my phone for interviews. I am looking forward to learning a new skill set in that fun area.

Another thing I really enjoyed as I looked at other’s blogs were the page designs, fonts, etc. because I think it is a cool way to bring each person’s personality to life. I am excited to do this for myself throughout the semester and learn more about multimedia.

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