the finale

I can't believe that this chapter has come to an end. It feels like yesterday that I was freaking out about the single flash assignment. Hopefully, I have grown as a photographer since then. Here is my final portrait series: 


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Originally from London, John Stevens moved to the U.S. six years ago and stayed in Los Angeles for his career. He was first interested in medical marijuana when he first started smoking hash for his anxiety.  "I found out that it was helping me more than pharmaceutical medication was helping me," he said. Stevens works for a Green Doctor on the Boardwalk in Venice Beach, Calif. His job is to advise patients on their medical issues and decides whether their condition is legitimate enough to recieve a medical card from the doctor. A majority of the patients come in with problems such as insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, or epilepsy. In California, it is fairly simple to obtain a medical recommendation, Stevens said. All one needs is a valid California ID or driver's license to show proof of residence.

Originally from London, John Stevens moved to the U.S. six years ago and stayed in Los Angeles for his career. He was first interested in medical marijuana when he first started smoking hash for his anxiety.  "I found out that it was helping me more than pharmaceutical medication was helping me," he said. Stevens works for a Green Doctor on the Boardwalk in Venice Beach, Calif. His job is to advise patients on their medical issues and decides whether their condition is legitimate enough to recieve a medical card from the doctor. A majority of the patients come in with problems such as insomnia, anxiety, chronic pain, or epilepsy. In California, it is fairly simple to obtain a medical recommendation, Stevens said. All one needs is a valid California ID or driver's license to show proof of residence.

David Criger, who was born and raised in northwest Springfield, MO, currently teaches Introduction to Peace Studies as a PhD candidate in Sociology at MU. Criger initially began his research for his dissertation on criminology, but then focused on the origins of drug policies, specifically concerning marijuana. "I find it morally reprehensible that we created a criminal justice system that isn't based on harm or what is right," Criger said while explaining why he altered his research path. It became important to him to understand why there is an inabiltiy to see that this drug can actually help people.  With his dissertation, he hopes to give voices to those who can't speak for themselves in this matter, but allows others to recognize that this stigma associated with drugs has been against mostly with minority groups in our country.

David Criger, who was born and raised in northwest Springfield, MO, currently teaches Introduction to Peace Studies as a PhD candidate in Sociology at MU. Criger initially began his research for his dissertation on criminology, but then focused on the origins of drug policies, specifically concerning marijuana. "I find it morally reprehensible that we created a criminal justice system that isn't based on harm or what is right," Criger said while explaining why he altered his research path. It became important to him to understand why there is an inabiltiy to see that this drug can actually help people.  With his dissertation, he hopes to give voices to those who can't speak for themselves in this matter, but allows others to recognize that this stigma associated with drugs has been against mostly with minority groups in our country.

Flewnt holds a blunt while displaying his assemblage-style artwork on the Boardwalk in Venice Beach, Calif. Although he may not always use it for its medicinal benefits, Flewnt smokes marijuana to help ease his chronic back pain and anxiety. Laws in California state that you can't smoke marijuana in public, but police officers don't necessarily enforce the rules of it in this area of the city. "I put it out out of respect," Flewnt said while explaining what he does when law enforcement walks by.

Flewnt holds a blunt while displaying his assemblage-style artwork on the Boardwalk in Venice Beach, Calif. Although he may not always use it for its medicinal benefits, Flewnt smokes marijuana to help ease his chronic back pain and anxiety. Laws in California state that you can't smoke marijuana in public, but police officers don't necessarily enforce the rules of it in this area of the city. "I put it out out of respect," Flewnt said while explaining what he does when law enforcement walks by.

Ashley Markum holds her youngest son Ayden Markum, 3, in their home in Rogersville, MO. At 18 months old, Ayden was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and infantile spasms. After multiple medications failed to treat his seizures, Ayden's parents began to look into alternatives , which led them to CDB oil. "It has been the single most medicine that has helped," Ashley said, "After trying CBD for the first time...he laughed for the first time, and started to make eye contact; different developmental things along with seizure reduction." CBD oil is only available for patients who have specific siezure disorders and have a neurologist's recommendation. Although CDB oil does help Ayden reduce his seizures, it is not sufficient in subsiding the symptoms of his cerebral palsy. With THC, Ayden's muscle would be able to relax, but THC is not yet legally avilable for patients in Missouri. The Markums have previously debated on moving out of state to obtain the necessary medication for Ayden, but since CDB oil significantly helps with his Hypsarrhythmia, they decided to stay in Missouri and fight for the legalization of medical marijuana as a whole.

Ashley Markum holds her youngest son Ayden Markum, 3, in their home in Rogersville, MO. At 18 months old, Ayden was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and infantile spasms. After multiple medications failed to treat his seizures, Ayden's parents began to look into alternatives , which led them to CDB oil. "It has been the single most medicine that has helped," Ashley said, "After trying CBD for the first time...he laughed for the first time, and started to make eye contact; different developmental things along with seizure reduction." CBD oil is only available for patients who have specific siezure disorders and have a neurologist's recommendation. Although CDB oil does help Ayden reduce his seizures, it is not sufficient in subsiding the symptoms of his cerebral palsy. With THC, Ayden's muscle would be able to relax, but THC is not yet legally avilable for patients in Missouri. The Markums have previously debated on moving out of state to obtain the necessary medication for Ayden, but since CDB oil significantly helps with his Hypsarrhythmia, they decided to stay in Missouri and fight for the legalization of medical marijuana as a whole.

Jay Timms is a licensed medicinal marijuana cultivator and dispenary owner. He entered the medical field through the pharmaceutical industry, and saw how opioid addiction continued to increase. "When you look at the medicinal purposes and the pain relieving factors of medicinal marijuana, you're not actually going to have that," Timms said while explaining how marijuana is a safer alternative to prescription medication. Timms did not believe in the medicinal properties of marijuana until he attended a neurology conference in Vancouver over two years go, and continued to do clinical research on his own. He saw that marijuana did have analgesic as well as anti-imflammatory effects, and has since grown his business.

Jay Timms is a licensed medicinal marijuana cultivator and dispenary owner. He entered the medical field through the pharmaceutical industry, and saw how opioid addiction continued to increase. "When you look at the medicinal purposes and the pain relieving factors of medicinal marijuana, you're not actually going to have that," Timms said while explaining how marijuana is a safer alternative to prescription medication. Timms did not believe in the medicinal properties of marijuana until he attended a neurology conference in Vancouver over two years go, and continued to do clinical research on his own. He saw that marijuana did have analgesic as well as anti-imflammatory effects, and has since grown his business.


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I did half of this project in California during Thanksgiving break, and then took the rest of the photos in Missouri. For the most part, the lighting setup for each photo was technically the same, but obviously they don't look as consistent as they should. It was really difficult to match the lighting in each situation because the environments are all so different. I think that it all kinda of worked together though. What I wish I were able to do was to make a more professional and complex lighting set up. Because I couldn't really bring any of the big lights to California with me, I had to continue to use either my umbrella or reflector on my strobe. Also I had to be pretty mobile so I think the single strobe worked really well in that way. 

At every photoshoot, I feel like I was rushing every time because I didn't want to look like I was unprofessional look like that I had no clue how to use the flash or my camera. I didn't think about that the photos I took outdoors had the sun as the key light, and for the indoor photos I used the strobe as the key light. This would be okay, if I had realized that I moved the key light to the right for the indoor photos, and the sun is hitting the subjects from the left in the outside photos. While I was in the middle of this project, I just didn't know how any of it would look consistent, but I think that after I finished taking all the photos, I was able to actually picture what it would all look like together. 

It's such a bittersweet feeling knowing that this class is over. This class challenged me and definitely stressed me out, but this was probably the most rewarding class that I have taken so far. I have learned so much about light and will definitely continue to learn more about using my strobe and create photos that I would have never imagined I would have before this class. Thank you, Rita Reed, for showing me light. lol.