By: Mollie Lastovica
After accumulating 25 likes on her album of five photos, Hannah Rogers, senior agricultural communications and journalism major, was named as the winner of the 2012 AGCJ 308 Facebook Photography Contest.
“Winning the photo contest was very exciting,” Rogers said. “It means that my peers also enjoyed my photos as much as I had hoped them to. It personally gave me the confidence I needed to pursue photography.”
A total of 16 students participated in the social media contest as a culmination of their semester enrolled in AGCJ 308, Agricultural Photography. Photos were posted to the ALEC Department Facebook page at the beginning of December and fans were allowed to vote through Jan. 12.
“Without social media, people have no way of knowing about your cause or event,” Rogers said. “It helps put you out there.”
Rogers, who will graduate in May, believes that her AGCJ classes have prepared her for life after college.
“The classes that I have taken in AGCJ have made me a well-rounded candidate for almost any job,” Rogers said. “I believe that having photography skills is very important, whether you are taking head shots or photos at an event you are covering for a story.”
Alana Gonzales, senior agricultural communications and journalism major, was also recognized as winning the individual photo award through the online contest.
Her photo, shown below, tallied over 40 likes on Facebook and serves as a great confidence booster for the aspiring photographer.
“Being voted on is an incredible honor and a motivator since I know that other people like what I am doing,” Gonzales said. “Photography will always be a part of my life. Even if the career I have is not specifically being a photographer, I will always be shooting on the side, either as a business or hobby.”
Finding agricultural communications and journalism was a blessing in disguise for Gonzales who was considering transferring out of Texas A&M University prior to her change of major.
“I spent countless hours during the Christmas break of my sophomore year searching for something that would keep me at Texas A&M, because I didn’t want to leave,” Gonzales said. “The endless searching paid off when I clicked on the link to the department’s homepage. As soon as I saw “photographer” as a possible career path with this degree, I felt like God said, ‘I told you not to worry.’”
Gonzales took special interest in AGCJ 308 as it helped her develop as a photographer.
“I live for constructive criticism,” Gonzales said. “Being able to hear how others perceive your photo and receiving suggestions for the shot is priceless.”
Both Gonzales and Rogers are confident that their AGCJ courses will allow them to be more marketable as they search for jobs.
“I learned so much being in AGCJ,” Gonzales said. “If I needed to run a camera for a TV show, I could do it. If someone needed a layout for a magazine, I could now do it. I feel prepared walking into a job interview and being able to tell them that I know how to do something and have applicable experience doing it.”