Author Archives: Charlene Morales

Best Jobs for Liberal Arts Majors

If liberal arts majors expect to be welcomed by potential employers at graduation time, they are clueless idiots. There's nothing wrong with spending four years studying the minor works of Yeats, but unless you expect to get a job with good old dad, you've wasted your time. I managed a large company's public relations division for 25 years, and had the responsibility of hiring some 20 new employees a year. They were all creative artists, but in much more practical ways.

I didn't consider myself prejudiced against liberal arts majors. After all, I was the proud owner of a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, but it did me absolutely no good when I first went looking for a job. I starved until I got an assistantship in a grad school business communications program. I had nothing but understanding and sympathy for liberal arts grads who applied for work with my division. But I also had my own hard-nosed reasons for not choosing them as new employees.My requirements were simple. For my art section, I preferred applicants to have degrees in the practical arts, such as ad design, illustration and print graphics. This was before the computer graphics revolution, so the rules may be changed somewhat, but I don't think the situation is that different. I also demanded applicants bring along a portfolio of commercial art pieces to the interview, not traditional water colors, pastels and oils. They were my requirements because I needed people who could sit down the first day and design a sales promotion piece, a conference program or an ad.

For my editorial section, I demanded degrees in PR, advertising or business writing. Too many of the applicants for these jobs, especially those liberal arts majors, showed up with inspiring poems, autobiographic treatises and essays on … yes, Yeats, among others. I didn't need dreamers, and just as with the artists, I hired writers who could from day one on the job put together competent ads, sales promotion campaigns, write executive speeches and business conference continuities.

I considered these qualification simple enough for anyone to understand, and checked often with university ad and commercial art staffers to let them know that my demands were the industry norms. Unfortunately, when I spoke to liberal arts professors, most either scoffed at my crass attitude or didn't have a clue about what I was explaining.

The best paths for liberal arts majors, in my experienced and prejudiced opinion, is to change their majors as quickly as possible and go for a business degree. Of course, if they are independently wealthy and will never have to compete in the business world. I apologize for calling them idiots. They're really only misguided and foolish dreamers.

How to Make a Baby Book from a Photo Album

There are many reasons for making your own baby book. Maybe you want to write your own stories. Maybe you would like to read stories in another language, but such books are out of reach. Regardless of your particular reasons, you can easily make a baby book without spending a whole day or a bunch of money on a complicated project. Just use a photo album as a blank canvas for your book.

I have recently heard that a friend of mine had been looking – with little success – for books in her native language for her new baby. She wanted to familiarize him with the sounds of this language, but was at loss as of where to find such books without having to break a bank and order them from abroad.

Enter the photo album. With a few hours of internet research, printing, measuring and cutting, I easily created the first books in the baby's future foreign language library. While the options in making a book are limitless, I found that using a photo album had some very attractive advantages.

Advantages of Using a Photo Album to Make a Baby Book

  1.  Easy to make. No gluing or tying pages together. No do-it-yourself padding for the covers. You can concentrate on the content.
  2.  Easy to clean and keep in good shape. If your baby touches the pages with dirty fingers, you can simply wipe the book clean. Photo albums with plastic pages are usually sturdy enough to withstand a good deal of abuse, as they are meant to last.
  3.  Beautiful books. Albums are designed to be presentable, so your book would end up looking nice. If you buy more albums of the same design, whether of different colors or not, they will look pretty aligned side by side on the shelf.

What You Need

Story and images from the internet (or your own)
Small photo album with plastic inserts, from a craft store (often on sale)
Printing paper
Printer
Scissors

How to Make the Baby Book

1 – Copy your story into a Word document. Adjust the width to what you think is a good one for your photo album, and use the Page Break feature to create your test page. Print it out, and cut it to fit the album page inserts. Through trial and error, decide on the right formula of width and length for the test page. Do not forget to count the number of inserts in your album, and to increase or decrease the font size to fit this number best.

2 – When you obtained the right formula of width and number of lines for each page, use the Page Break feature from Word to create every page. Print them out.

3 – Use your test paper as a pattern for cutting the pages, or create an easier to use pattern using thicker craft paper. Cut each page around its contour. You can cut out more pages at a time to finish faster.

4 – Create a title and an end page using a larger and fancier font. Look online for a nice border image and copy it into your Word document to enhance the look of these two pages.

5 – If you can find images related to your story on the internet, copy them into your Word document, adjust their size and print them out on separate pages.

6 – Create a dedication page if you have enough room in your album. After all, this note of personal touch is why you are making the book in the first place.

7 – Arrange your pages in order, and mix them with your images. Insert them into the album pages.

8 – Create a title page for the book cover, and place it into the little insert of the album cover.

With little effort, you can create a whole library of books that your child will cherish forever. Use the same method to create personalized gifts for baby showers, birthdays or any other event fit for such a present – and bring joy into a little reader's world.

Walnut Hill Summer Arts Program

When one thinks of premier art schools, the ultimate not only in the arts but academically as well, Walnut Hill is certainly at the top of the list. This is not just a school but more so a community where the common interest is arts, excellence, and the well being of the students of this prestigious institution. During the summer the school provides the opportunity for other students from around the world to experience the Walnut Hill Summer Arts Program.

The Walnut Hill Summer Arts Program is located at 12 Highland Street in Naticky Massachusetts, at the Walnut Hill School designed for students between the ages of 13-18, inclusive of grades 9th through 12th. This is a coeducation boarding and day secondary school for the arts. Where the focus of the school is on the arts the academic program consists of college-preparatory classes. The arts area covers intensive training in writing, the visual arts, music, ballet, and theatre.

Where not everyone has the opportunity to attend such a school due to location or other limitations, the perfect solution is the Walnut Hill Summer Arts Program. Children come from around the world to attend this premier arts program. The residential program involved students staying at one of the eight halls on campus, which are close to the classrooms and performance arts area. Housing accommodations will vary from doubles to quads based on availability. Though the program is coed, the residential halls are not.

The student to Residential Advisor is approximately 12 to 1. Student campers will have access to all facilities including the fitness center, the computer center, the campus center, and the campus swimming pool. Three meals a day will be provided in the dining hall Monday through Saturday, with meals served twice on Sundays. For the safety and well being of all students that is a Health Center on campus with a doctor on call 24-hours per day.

The Walnut Hill Summer Arts Program offers a very versatile curriculum for visiting students. Most students participate in programs based on their personal focus however, the programs offered include the following: Dance Programs, Creative Writing Programs, Chamber Music Programs, Opera Programs, Theater Programs, and a Visual Art Programs. For more detailed information regarding application, admission, dates and sessions, tuition, and registration deadline, the Walnut Hill School must be contacted directly. For more information on the Walnut Hill Summer Arts Program call 508-653-4312, or visit the Web site for complete details.

Why Photo Cards Are so Great

People buy cards for many different things. Holidays, birthdays, sympathy, and just about anything that you could possible imagine. There are even cards out there for pets! If you ever go to the store and pick out a card for someone, you may notice the high price of the card, not to mention that someone else may get the very same card. There is a really unique way to send out cards to people for any occasion, and they can be created by you with whatever you want on them. I am not talking about designing a traditional card online, I’m talking about creating your own photo cards.

Photo cards are special way that you can send someone a personal greeting that is unique and that no one else can send them. You can create a card for any occasion too! If your child has a birthday party, you can take a picture of them blowing out the candles on the cake. Then take this picture and use it as the picture on your card. For wedding thank you’s, try using a picture that was taken by someone of the two of you at your wedding. Christmas photo cards are very popular right now. Taking a picture of your family, home, or a vacation you went on is a good idea for this holiday. Some people even like to send Halloween photo cards with their children or pets in their costumes. If you have a pet, or maybe a garden, then use pictures of these things for sympathy cards or for blank cards. Cards with no message imprinted can be very useful.

You can design photo cards however you want. You can have different borders or background, and get do them in any color. You will choose your font sizes, types, and all of your different patterns. It can also be any type of card you want. It can be side opening, a one sided card, or a two sided single card. It is going to be as detailed or as simple as you want it to be. You can even put multiple photographs on it.

So how do you create these photo cards? There are many different ways. Your home computer program being Windows or whatever you use will normally have a program to design photo cards, and you can print them out at your home printer. You will have to get the right card paper and make sure you have enough ink. It has often been found cheaper to go through an online photo system like Shutterfly or Snapfish. These are just 2 of many. With these online vendors all you have to do is load up your photos, type in your greetings, and they will mail the cards to you. These cards cost less than a quarter to create, and you don’t have to deal with the printing mechanics or the high price of ink. Another way is to create them at stores or pharmacies that have photography departments, and this is also very cost effective.

In many cases photo cards can serve as duel purposes. If you want to send out graduation invitations or thank you’s, you can use the card to have all of the information and a picture on it. This way you don’t have to pay for additional photos to insert with each card. Photographs aren’t cheap and photo cards will save you money. They are also a great way to keep memories, and to display pictures. Some people keep cards around forever, so they will have your special picture and unique card forever.

Try making a photo card for your next occasion or event. If you are an advanced photographer, you will be able to create many different unique and neat cards, and get to display your talent. Search for different places on line that you can get them done if you don’t want to worry about doing it yourself, and get creative!

Personal Journal Assignment: Use Photo Image as Journal Prompt

When I worked the 12-steps in Adult Children of Alcoholics, we were directed to locate a childhood photo of ourselves, where we were smiling. Today's Personal Journal Assignment is to use a photo image as a prompt that will help us get out of the victim mentality.

If the smile in your childhood photo image was genuine and you were raised in a safe, happy environment, slant the following exercise toward gratitude. Let your photo tell its smiling story.

Some of us weren't as fortunate. We are abused and afraid, always afraid. It is my greatest hope that this Personal Journal Assignment will work its magic for you, as it did for me.

Photos Tell a Story

Every photo has its own story. When you feel confused or fragmented, a photo image will point toward repetitive painful patterns, which happened before and keep happening again.

Find a picture of from your childhood where you were smiling, gaze at your image and listen for "aha" moments.

One Word at a Time

In your Personal Journal, write a one word description of the photo image you selected. If the appropriate word doesn't pop into your consciousness choose one of these: anticipation, confidant, inspired, flinching, cozy, worried, angry, safe, depressed or happy.

Embracing your Personal Power

Our aim is to get out of our victim mentality, one word at a time. Written words light our journey to wholeness.

Look at the one word description of your photo image and write a list of feeling words to describe where you were in your life. Go with the feelings. If you are moved to tears, take time to cry. If you feel angry, write out the anger. Did you hate the situation at the time this picture was snapped? If you are angry and feel hatred toward a parent or caregiver, explain why these feelings surfaced to your Personal Journal.

Following each session of photo journaling, you will take back one or more aspects of your personal power that you had stuffed away in order to survive.

Growth Opportunities

The child of an abusive alcoholic lives in chaos. As a result, survival becomes imperative. In order to survive, we bury aspects of ourselves, such as anger, laughter, initiative, self-love, confidence or freedom of expression.

Therapeutic journaling offers boundless growth opportunities. By integrating one missing piece of our psyche at a time, we gain the wisdom to let what is past be in the past and the confidence to change our present lives.

My Photo Journal Experience

I had difficulty finding a childhood picture where I was smiling. Finally, I settled of one taken before the Junior Prom. In it, I wore a gorgeous yellow dress and my straight hair was in curls.

The word I chose was "flinching". (This is why I incorporated "flinching" in the list of words.) The fake smile in the picture was on the outside, on the inside I was crying. Before getting dressed, my mother had beaten me with a belt. My legs were covered in whelps and stiffness of the dress material hurt me each time I moved. What should have been a night of laughter was filled with pain and sorrow.

As I looked at my smiling picture, I took the opportunity to cry those tears I'd stuffed a long time ago. And then I wrote out page-after-page of angry, hurt feelings. Afterwards, I felt drained, but excited because knowledge is power. Due to the "aha" moment of clarity, I could emphasize with the smiling girl in the photo, who was crying on the inside, Simultaneously with my positive action in permitting both of us to weep, another piece of personal power was integrated into my present self.

Use Photo Image as a Prompt

I'm in total agreement if you'd prefer to suffer a broken bone than to work the photo image exercise. Our victim mentality can become so comfortable that we have no desire to scratch, claw and dig ourselves out of past pain.

But, I shared part of my story the smiling picture told, with the sincere belief that you will benefit from it. Because I've been a victim and now I'm physically, mentally and spiritually free. When you live in freedom you will smile on the inside.

Social Networking and Photo Safety

One of the many features of social networking sites is that now you can quickly and easily share new information and photos with a huge number of your friends and family, all at the same time – and without spending anything more than time to do it. Some sites even allow users to create links that are sendable to friends and family who haven’t made the social networking leap. This is a great tool, but some users are experiencing issues when their photos fall into the wrong hands.

Sometimes things end up photoshopped to embarrassing proportions, and sometimes pictures simply become the assumed property of whomever decides to take them. Unless you’re a professional photographer (in which case you should be heavily using some form of watermarking your photos), any photo placed in a public forum becomes public property, and there’s nothing you can legally do about it being ‘stolen,’ UNLESS the person used your image to make money. In that case you would either need to be IN the photo or able to prove you took it.

The only surefire guarantee that your photos can’t be stolen online and reused is to not put them online at all in the first place. Of course, that defeats the idea of easily sharing them with people, so there are a few things you can do to help safeguard your pictures. First, if there’s someone on your friends list that you don’t want to access your pictures – you can either put privacy on the photo albums preventing the people from seeing them, or delete them from your friends list. After all, why are they your friend if you don’t trust them with your pictures?

If the pictures are going in a more public forum or you want people to see them but not take them, you can size them down to the point where the photo is viewable, but its’ integrity would be completely lost if someone took it and tried to resize it to being printable. (Definitely keep the originals someplace safe if you do this!)

Finally, if it’s your website or you have the ability to do a little HTML on the page, you can block users from right clicking and copying the picture using this technology. There’s nothing you can do however about someone pushing ‘print screen,’ no matter how much HTML you know, and many of the larger social networking sites don’t allow HTML content to be added.

Once someone takes your picture, if they deface it, the damage may be done. You could ask them to return it or take it down, but you can’t force them to. If they only took the picture because it was good and they wanted a copy, be flattered – someone liked your work enough to want a copy! But, it might be worth mentioning that you’d appreciate if they could ask ahead of time in the future.

Summer in Salt Lake City: Utah Arts Festival

This year marks the 35th annual Utah Arts Festival. Started in 1977, the festival is a celebration of all things artistic, and a great place to enjoy Utah's true diversity. In 2010, Utah Arts Festival ranked 14th out of the nation's top 100 festivals, going up against heavy-hitters such as the Tournament of Roses parade. This is one of my personal summer highlights in Salt Lake City, and I've made a point to attend every year since I've moved here.

The festival celebrates all types of art, from paintings and sculptures to music, dance, and even fashion. There is always something happening on one of the five stages, from ethnic dance to poetry slams. There are screen-writing sessions and a workshop about making your own comic book. Fear No Film screens movies in the library's main auditorium. Along with performances, there are over 100 booths where artists display and sell their work. Jewelry, metal work, glass-blowing, it's all here. The festival aims to showcase all forms of artistic expression, and make us all ask the question, what exactly is art?

Although I love to see the performances and peruse the booths, my absolute favorite part of the festival is the food! Local favorites and high-end culinary artists set up booths to feed the ten of thousands of people that flock downtown for the Utah Arts Festival. Be aware that alcohol is served through the entire grounds. The Uinta Brewing Company has even crafted a special beer just for the event to celebrate the 35th anniversary!

The atmosphere is family friendly, with children's craft and music exploration areas. Even though children are welcome, there is high-quality (and expensive) art everywhere you turn, and evenings are quite literally packed. If you would like to take your kids to the festival, go during the day and leave by supper time to avoid navigating a stroller through shoulder-to-shoulder people.

The Utah Arts Festival website has tons of information on artists, performers, workshops, and more. Before you buy your tickets, make sure to peruse the event schedule to make sure you catch your favorites. Bring plenty of cash, as most food vendors don't take cards, and you'll need your I.D. If you plan on drinking alcohol.

Dates: Thursday, June 23 thru Sunday, June 26

Location: Library and Washington Square, approximately 200E 400S.

Transportation: UTA Trax stops right at the library. Parking is also available in the library's underground lot.
Blue Sky bike lot and free bike valet encourages participants to use emission-free transportation.

Admission: $10 for adults, children 12 and under free, seniors $5. 4-day passes are only $30
Ride your bike to the event and use the bike valet, and get $2 off admission!

Where to buy tickets: You can by tickets online or at the event at five box office locations. Smith's grocery stores usually offer discount tickets through SmithTix, which is where my friends and I usually buy our tickets.

How to Photograph Snakes Safely in the Wild

Photographing snakes, or any wildlife for that matter is a tricky business. If you are not careful about what you are doing, then you will quickly find yourself with a very nasty little snake bite. The beauty of photographing snakes in the wild, however, is well worth the risk if you take the time to mitigate those risks. The beauty of a snake picture shot in the wild is well worth the time and effort. Here is how to photograph a snake safely in the wild step by step.

The first thing that you will want to do is to learn about the snakes that can be found in the area you will be shooting. While you may only be wanting some pictures of harmless garter snakes, you still will want to know what a copperhead, and other dangerous snakes looks like. One important thing to remember here is that venomous snakes often look very different as babies. When a venomous snake is young, it is still very dangerous. As such, make sure you study the appearance of snakes at all ages of their growth.

Another important factor is to learn about where you are likely to encounter snakes. It is tough to get a picture if you can not locate one, right? Take some time to learn about snake habits and locations. Common places to find snakes are around bodies of water, under logs and fallen trees, around rock piles, and anywhere that the rodent population is high. If you see mice, then it is likely that snakes are nearby as well.

When looking for a snake to photograph in the wild, you should make sure that you have the equipment to do so safely. You should carry along a long (at least five feet) stick or bar in order to move logs and rocks around. You do not want to reach under there with your hands, as this is a common way to get that snake bite we talked about earlier.

Once you have located the snake, you will want to try to disturb them as little as possible. The snake will attempt to flee, and if you follow be sure that you are careful about distance. The snake is generally able to strike from about half the length of its body. If a six foot snake strikes at you, then you need over three feet of clearance. This is a general rule, and should not be taken as exacting in the least. Give yourself way more room then you think you need.

Sometimes the excitement of finally finding that snake can cause your judgement to fail. If a snake refuses to sit still for a picture, then leave them be. Even a nonvenomous snake can deliver a nasty bite when provoked. Still, you must remember that a camera has a zoom lens feature for a reason. While it may not have been created to keep you from being snake bitten, it certainly can have that effect. Use your zoom feature. It will get stunning pictures of snakes in the wild.

Shooting pictures of snakes in the wild is a rather easy and rewarding thing for an amateur photographer to do, but it must be done with respect for the snake. Snakes are not the easiest subject to shoot, but they make for outstanding pictures when you finally succeed.

Want to Be a Photojournalist?

They say the odds of becoming a front page photojournalist are extremely thin. I really believe that but I also really believe that you can accomplish what ever it is you set out to do. I have never been good at sitting around and to make matters worse I was blessed or cursed (depends on how one perceives it) with very active mind. I don't know maybe I was dropped on my head when I was a baby. My only weapon against my very active psyche has been activity itself. In short I stay busy. Not reading, I love to write but my mind goes into some kind of rebellion mode when I command it to sit and read.

When I signed up for a writing course the very first thing my instructor emphasized was, read a lot of material. I should have thrown in the towel then but that's not me. To make matters worse the course I had chosen was writing for children I thought it would be fun. I mean how much brain power would it take to create children's books with very limited wording per page. You know, Rusty The Zebra Has A Bad Day At The City Zoo, kind of thing. But turns out its way more complicated than that. I had forgotten that I hated English 1 in school or it hated me. Either way it was my adversary. My writing instructor drove home the point that I should just be myself when writing but then she went on to re-write all the assignments that I turned in. I suppose when the course was completed I had learned something but I never did publish a children's book. So I chalk that one up to experience for later application.

The next wild idea I came up with was to become some sort of a photographer, perhaps wildlife. After all I love the out of doors and spend a lot of time in Idaho's back country. The opportunities would be limitless, I thought. After all Ansel Adams did it with black and white photos. Photo technology had made leaps and bounds since the days of black and white film. It should be fairly easy to break into some level of photography and make it pay.

Oh Yeah, I would Need Equipment!

I was really enjoying the photography course but it was putting financial demands on my wallet. Probably the first thing one realizes when getting involved with photography is that skies the limit when it comes to buying equipment. Man that stuff can get pricey! I still had kids at home extra money for camera equipment was way down on the list of priorities. But as I said earlier, I'm no quitter. I scratched out the addresses of all the pawn shops in the surrounding area and headed out to find equipment. After studying at least fifty older 35 millimeter cameras and a half million or so assorted lenses ( of which I knew nothing) I settled on an Olympus with a wide angel lens. The shop owner assured me that it was in good condition. Turns out he was mostly right accept for the slight light leak somewhere in the frame that demonstrated itself by a slight red streak on the upper left corner of intermittent photos. But the price fit so I put up with it. As I moved through the course I became aware of what lenses could do for the photographer. I had also set my mind on the holy grail of cameras a Nikon 800S. The camera alone was something like $500.00 but it offered all the bells and whistles. I suppose now when I think back on it that camera is what really opened the door of opportunity for me.

I also think back to how much firewood I cut, split and sold to pay for it. In those days one just didn't dip into the financial cookie jar. I poured through the photography equipment magazines in search of cheaper lenses that would fit my new camera. I finally found lenses by Tamron that fit the wallet but would involve more wood cutting. I really didn't mind it offered more time in the beautiful Idaho forests.

With camera in hand

I was learning a lot from my photography course and the new camera and lenses were producing great photographs. But I still had no idea how I would make any money at it. A friend of mine had recently started a business photographing weddings and other social events. I watched him go through the gyrations of trying to please both sides of the family, I deduced that it wasn't going to be for me. I continued honing my skills taking pictures of flowers, babbling brooks, scenery and wildlife. All very enjoyable but it wasn't putting anything back into the old cookie jar.

I guess it was providence.

I would like to take all the credit for what was about to happen but I have to give some of it to the poor truck driver. I was on my way to get a loaf of bread I eased my jeep up to the intersection stop sign. I watched it happen the poor truck driver never had a chance. The old dog in the highway scenario, truck swerved, jackknifed and tipped over. That alone was somewhat newsworthy but what came gushing out of the tank he was pulling made it a whole different story. I just happened to have my camera bag with me. I drove to the crash site getting there way before the cops. I jumped out and started taking pictures I burned up two rolls of film. I jotted down the name of the trucking company and headed for our local newspaper office. I walked through the front door with what I thought was the scoop of the year, a chemical spill on a state highway! The girl at the front desk asked if she could help me, suddenly I was dumbfounded, I held the film up and said, " I might have some pictures of interest." She simply pointed at a lady at a distant desk and said I would have to talk to her. I pushed through the swinging half doors and approached the obviously busy woman who was presently talking rather boisterously on the phone. I stood in front of her desk like a school child at the principals office. She hung the phone up looked over the top of her glasses and inquired as to how she could help me. I held out the film and told her what it was.

There is nothing quite like it!

She took the film from me and the name of the trucking company. She informed me that they don't pay for walk in pictures but that they would replace the film, which they did. She also took my name and phone number. Ok I confess, I was standing at the grocery store the next morning waiting for the newspaper to be delivered. There it was my photo of the wreck right on the front page, and my name was even written under it as the photographer-holy cow!

How lucky is that to have your first newspaper photo on the front page? Yup your right, I purchase all of the newspaper from the rack. I surmised in my mind that if I got myself a police scanner I might be able to get a lot more accident photos and get more pictures in the newspaper. This venture will require more firewood sales. I purchased the scanner and tuned in the local police and fire department action. I stayed busy zooming around in my jeep pickup to all the traffic accidents and then delivering the pictures and information to the lady editor of the newspaper. Each time I did the pictures would show up somewhere in the newspaper. Great fun but still operating in the red. I guess I could say that I broke in to the newspaper business on the misfortune of others. I justified that with the old saying, somebody has to do it. Finally I had delivered so many accident photos that editor requested that I cut back informing me that they really didn't care to run too much of that kind of thing. I thought for sure that I was finished but she went on to inquire if I might be interested in covering a 4th of July parade in a small town in Idaho. I accepted the assignment without having the slightest idea of how to do it.

This is when you find out if you have it

I must have ran two miles covering the parade not knowing what to shoot I decided to shoot it all. I delivered the half dozen rolls of film to the editor of the small town newspaper and went home. The editor was pleased enough with the pictures that he called the editor that tipped me about the job and bragged about me. This probably inspired them to ask if I would be interested in writing a short hunting and fishing colum for a new section they were adding to the newspaper, of course I accepted the offer. Over the months this small colum eventually worked into several pages of an insert magazine that featured events throughout central and southern Idaho. While the original intent was to have me cover hunting and fishing (what they called the blood sports) I eventually went out on all kinds of assignments. I kind of helped this along by self assigning myself (sometimes at my own expense) in hopes of persuading the editor to buy the story. I also got creative like telling the editor that I was taking a drive up to check on a huge forest fire that had been closed to the press because of dangerous conditions. I knew that any newspaper would be glad to get their hands on photos/material from the fire. She said they would pay mileage, etc. Now I'm not telling you to do what I did but some of the stuff you see on television has some truth to it. I will also say that these tricks to the trade are your secrets the Editor can't know about them. Before going up to the fire I stopped by Walmart and purchased a couple of bright yellow t-shirts kind of the same color as Forest Service uses. Now this is down right sneaky but if your going to excel, well. Anyway I pulled my jeep into the long line of vehicles loaded with firefighters. I slipped a yellow t-shirt on, and put a piece of cardboard with a series of numbers I grabbed out of the sky on the dash so they could see it through the windshield and they waved me through the gate.

Play it to the end? Of course!

It was nearly dark when I parked my vehicle along side one of the fire buses. I slipped out opened the door to my camper shell and climbed in. It wasn't long until I realized that I was engulfed in thick grey choking smoke produced by the forest fire .

It was going to be a long night. The next morning brought no relief from the smoke but there was a hidden bonus. I found out later that the diffused crimson colored sky had added a special effect to certain photographs I took. I got kudos for something Mother Nature had actually created. This is when you recognize the fact that your camera will always see things that you don't. I definitely felt like a fish out of water as I roamed through the fire camp shooting pictures. I captured all aspects of fire camp life, mess hall, showers, rows of small two man tents, and mystical lines of firefighters walking across smoke laden meadows. I was though surprised how cooperative everyone was, however I never let on that I was Press. I can tell you though that a huge dose of good manners will go far in such a situation. Eventually they caught on and I was busted. This next part still tickles me to this today. The fire boss that thumbed me threw me a hard hat loaded me in his green pickup and drove me to the fire line. He said, " Hell long as you're here we might as well get some good pictures."

I got full front page coverage and inserts on A and B sections for my troubles and made good money also. I also moved up a peg at the newspaper and was allowed to pick and choose my own stories. I covered everything, skydiving, drag races, river rafting, contact sports, even line dancing, you name it. I can still remember when they issued me my Press Card (which I still carry to this day) it was the icing on the cake for me. Anyway, this is one way that you can become a photojournalist. It was by no means a short cut but it was pure adventure all the way.

Performing Arts Summer Camps for Kids

Performance Arts Summer Camps for kids can be a splendid and enthusiastically fun trip for kids! At camp your child will learn important social and physical skills, and a summer camp specializing in performance arts might also get them interested early on in a future career that they will absolutely love. Regardless, they are certain to have a lot of fun away from the parents with such a wide array of truly kid friendly and fun activities. Below are five of the best summer camps which specialize in performance arts for kids.

Long Lake Camp for the Arts – Located in Long Lake, New York is this broad spectrum type of performance arts camp which embodies a non-competitive nature. Operating for over 39 years under the same family ownership, Long Lake Camp features summer camp curriculums involving fine arts, dance, music, theater, and even film production. Located on a gorgeous waterfront, campers can also enjoy a wide array of water sports recreation including but not limited to, canoeing, windsurfing, jet-skiing, tubing, and even private swim lessons led by Red-Cross certified trainers. Check their website to review their dates and rates!

Texas Arts Project – Is a well regarded summer camp program for children ages 5-18 which specializes in performance arts! Located in the Lake Austin in the central area of Texas, kids from all over the country gather at the Texas Arts Project performance arts summer camp to learn valuable skills as future artists and technicians! Preview their official website to learn more about the various programs, tuition, and dates offered!

French Woods Festival of Performing Arts – Is an extravagant performance arts summer camp for kids located on a private lake within the Catskill Mountains of New York. Activities are intensive with six performance arts courses per day ranging from programs such as theater, magic, horseback riding, circus visual arts, music, and dance! Sports, adventure, and computer recreational activities are also available for campers! The official website features much more information including toll-free phone numbers so that you can speak directly with summer camp staff!

Independent Lake Camp – Located waterfront on the Pennsylvania lake of the same name is this great performance arts summer camp! Their mission statement is to build the self esteem of each and every camper! Their programs feature a splendid diversity of performance arts activities including theater, dance, and even BMX and Skateboarding!

Summer in the Arts At Northern – Has been offering a performance arts based summer camp to Junior and Senior level High School students for over 25 years! Camp goers will enjoy six days of focused activities in the arts including jazz, theater, and visual arts in a college campus setting directly at the University of Northern Illinois!