Friday, May 1, 2015

#NorwayOrBust Update: A long overdue thank you

My sister summed it up pretty well with her Facebook post. This wasn't doable without every single vote you guys gave me. I was kept in the top-20 by 13 votes. Needless to say, it was a restless night watching the voting come down to the wire.

There was a little scare at the end when the counter kept counting after midnight and people flew up the chart, but DreamJobbing has frozen their count internally at that point and just not shut down the main voting system, for whatever reason.

But back to you guys. Wow. I can't even explain how overwhelmed I was with the support I received. People came up to me daily asking how it was going, what place I was in, and encouraging me. I was in awe. I felt awful the entire time, filling Facebook with gobs upon gobs of spam, trying to squeeze every last vote out I could. It was a very uncomfortable thing, and I felt guilty for spamming my friends and colleagues.

Thank you for putting up with it and for supporting me.

At the top of the list, I'd like to thank my sister. She was my campaign manager, my energy booster, and an obsessed psychopath who pulled in more support than I could have dreamed of. She wasn't going to let me fail and without her persistence, dedication, and awesome group of friends she has, I couldn't have made it.

Next, I'd like to thank my sister's good friend Kim. Kim didn't know me at all, but she joined our little two-person crew at the end and began hitting up anyone she could think of for votes. She didn't know me or owe me the time of day, but she came on full force and found votes. We couldn't have done it without you, Kim. You're freakin' amazing.

To all the Girl Gone Internationals (GGI's) out there: Thank you. Thanks to Anne for letting us post on your social media and thanks to the countless GGI's I've never met who helped rally support for me. I hope karma doesn't take too long to find you.

Thank you to all my family, near and far. My sister and I pestered you all daily, and I'm pretty sure you all still love us, for the most part. Thanks momma, and to my grandparents and uncles and cousins, all of who shared my post and kept coming back with daily votes. It meant a lot, and I couldn't have made it this far without you.

Now, for the rest of my awesome people, I'm gonna throw out as many of the names as my stressed brain can remember. Thank you to my homies Bryan B., Alexander, Debbie & Jason, Kasia, Eimear, Annie, Gordon "The bossman" Boddington, Abbie, Vivian, Alexey, Ryan, Patrick, Matt, Cody, Ye Han, Paige, Connie, Kyle, Andrea, Jameson, Lucas, Eva, Jared, Heather, Dustin, Allen, Lawrence, Megan "The punkass" Fletcher, Chelsea, Clare, Aidan, Parker, all my photo homies here and abroad, and everyone that I've forgotten to mention and the people I never knew. There was so much done behind the scenes that I'll never be able to figure out all the amazing people who gave me their time.


As for the contest, I interview this coming Monday via Skype and find out by Thursday whether or not I'll be going to Norway. Of course, I'll post once I get notified. Until then, my stomach should be doing flips. 

Thank you all again. This really couldn't have been possible without everyone who chipped in and helped. Even if I don't get to Norway, I've learned so much and discovered that I have so much more support than I could ever have imagined. If nothing else, I had some faith in humanity restored.

Thank you

Saturday, April 18, 2015

NORWAY OR BUST: Why I'm even bothering

(My Instagram feed @justnlstewart)

If you get on Facebook daily and are a friend of mine, you've undoubtedly seen one of my posts begging for your daily vote (which you can log right here:

Let me start off by saying that I've never done one of these contest before.

Always the skeptic, I generally figure these things to be worthless, out of reach dealios that I could care less about, and that's what I though when I first came across this opportunity to work in Norway.

Then, I watched as almost no one entered the contest. My interest was further peaked when watching videos of these people who are amateur photographers applying for this two-week position as a photojournalist.

That's when I decided it was time to throw my hat in the ring.

I only have to be in the top 20 to get the interview, and there are only about two other trained photographers in the top 20, meaning I've got a great shot at winning this thing if I get that interview.

As of this moment, I'm just 300 votes behind 20th place. I jumped up two spots yesterday.

I'm not one to ask for help and I hate spamming Facebook asking for everyone's help, but as I've continuously said, I can't do this without you. I've hated every second of trying to round up votes because I hate to think that I'm bothering someone for some selfish reason.

But this really is my dream and it's within my grasp.

My heritage has always been a source of pride and was a large reason behind sporting my long blonde hair for such a long period of time.

Being Norwegian makes me proud and visiting my family and family farm back in Norway is one of my dreams because we've got some awesome history there.

There's only a few days left of voting, with all voting ceasing on midnight of the 22nd.

I need more votes.

I'm averaging just over 100 votes a day, but I need to get about double that to make sure I get up to at least 20th place. While I'm gaining ground, they're still getting their votes too.

If you are kind enough to share my voting link, please tell people to vote for me daily. There's only a few days left, and if all of my 100 votes got one other person each to vote for me every day, I'd get that 200 votes I need.

Here's my big plea: Vote daily, encourage your friends to vote daily, and if it's not too much to ask, pimp my voting link for these last few days:

Thank you so much to everyone who has been voting daily and sharing my link. I know how painful it is to share it - it kills me posting it every day. I can only imagine what I've done to my professional image.

This has been a really amazing experience in the manner that I've learned about how much support I have that I never could have guessed at. I am surrounded by some amazing people.

And thank you to my sister, who has helped me exponentially, hounding all forms of family (near and far), friends, and colleagues. I couldn't have even made it this far without you.

As a final note, please forgive all the posting and messaging I've been doing on Facebook. It's far from my normal behavior and a sign of how important this is to me. AND IT'S STILL DOABLE!

And a link or two to further photographic work for those of you unfamiliar with me:

3 more days.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Forgotten Photos: Christmas Goodbyes

Had these photos sitting in Lightroom after visiting the Magic Tree and saying goodbyes at McNally's before Christmas break. Sometimes it's just nice to play with your camera and photograph the people in your life. I thought a couple of the photos turned out nice.

Gotta stop forgetting photos on the computer... amongst everything else I need to get better at.

Thanks for looking! 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Costa Rica (January 2015)

At the beginning of the new year, I was fortunate enough to spend a few weeks in Costa Rica in a short study abroad class. We learned vast amounts about the environment, tourism and the history of Costa Rica. Due to the speed at which we pushed through everything, I wasn't able to spend a day working on a photo story that interested me, but here's a large edit of the photos I shot while there.

I think the coolest picture I got might have been of the night rainbow, better known as a Lunarbow or Moonbow. I've never seen one of those and had no idea such a thing existed, so that was magical to stumble upon after a night tour through a forest.

My biggest disappointment was not being able to spend more time photographing the local fishermen and the story behind the low tide that effected when the boats could go in and out. It was a picturesque area with an interesting story related to a company deepening one of the river feeds into the bay to get a new, large ship out to ocean. But I digress...

Hope you enjoy the images.