September 27, 2015
I was a freshman trying to make a name for myself.
There was a blood moon in the skies that night and I set out to capture it. After spending some time biking around looking for a scene, I ended up on the edge of the lagoon looking back toward the Lory Student Center.
I had just recently made a small Instagram feed to share some of my high school photography with new friends at CSU. I had a feeling that my post might get a little traction if I could somehow show the school. But what did that even mean? Who was “the school?”
My friends started reposting it on their own Instagram feeds. I tossed it up on to YikYak and it quickly became the top post (back when YikYak was a thing). From there it was a combination of me messaging the CSU Instagram page as well as being contacted by them on YikYak. They asked for my permission to post it on their Instagram and Facebook for the next day. That was when I met Team Social. I just didn’t know what it meant yet.
That was two years ago now and it’s safe to say that this single post set my future at CSU on a new course. With a reach of almost half-a-million people, it is currently the most viewed photo on the Colorado State University Facebook page. I strive to break that record again.
CSU Street Team
Shortly after that, Team Social contacted me and a few other students about the opportunity to help them expand the #CSUStreetTeam hashtag on Instagram. They believed there was great potential in sharing student and community member content on their social media outlets.
I got that Go State T-shirt, some email contacts, and a smile on my face.
Knowing that I would have an audience larger than a few friends and family, I set out more often to get photos on campus as well as in the mountains. My first experience with the fall colors on the Oval was a good one. I was excited to share my work with the team, and began emailing high-res versions of my photos to them before posting on my own Instagram or website.
One With The Team
At the end of my freshman year, the team informed me that they would be able to bring on an intern in the future. I continued to feed all of my photos directly to them and by the end of my second year at CSU, they asked if I would like to join the team as a social media and photography intern. I couldn’t pass up the offer to continue to do what I loved. I have officially worked with Team Social for just over a month now and I could not ask for a better experience.
The freedom to create has allowed me to grow so much already. Every time I meet with the team I am constantly inspired to make something new for a future post.
I take photos to share what I see; having the opportunity to share those shots with hundreds of thousands of people at the push of a button is not something you can just take for granted. I took these pictures of the sunset and moonrise earlier this week. I was so excited to bike home and exclaim to my friends and family, “look at this!!!” Now I have a way to say that to people all over the world.