It’s been more than a year since I left the comfort of the bluff for the uncertainty of New York City. How I ended up here is still a bit of a blur. I distinctly remember the months leading up to graduation and the inevitable, mid-conversation question, “So, what are you planning to do after you graduate?” I, along with many of my fellow classmates, threw out the old “Well, I kinda sorta have something lined up.” My “kinda sorta,” lined-up gig happened to be in New York working as an unpaid intern for a photographer named Mark Seliger. About a week after receiving my diploma, I jumped on a plane to JFK to see how I’d fare in the Big Apple.
While mine wasn’t an easy start on the East Coast, I was far from unprepared for the change. The move paralleled my feelings of shifting from high school to the new faces and expanse of Los Angeles. Writing this now, I can see how much I changed in my four years at LMU. My passion for photography and film really became more than a hobby in my first year, after I noticed a call for photography interns on a bulletin board in the Lions Den. One of the best decisions I made in college was taking the time to respond to that posting, because I not only met a lifelong mentor but also learned how to interact with different people on an everyday basis. The lessons I learned both in the classroom and the University Relations photography office have made my transition to New York’s hectic lifestyle as smooth as possible.
My internship with Mark lasted three months, after which I was hired as his full-time second assistant. From that point on, I found myself hopping back and forth to L.A. every other week. In January 2014, I moved up to become the first assistant — essentially, the photographer’s right-hand man. I now put together crews, work with clients on lighting direction and do everything I possibly can to help Mark “get the shot.” You can see his work most prominently on the covers of Rolling Stone and Details magazines.