Hello everyone, my name is Andree and I’m originally from Taipei, Taiwan, but I live in Bangkok, Thailand. Flying pretty much half way across the world to one of the greatest cities in the world I have never been to… I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Thinking about a year ago, when my friend and I joked about applying for this program, but would never get in, and now here we are, living through each day like fast pace New Yorkers, it’s hard to believe it’s all really happening.
From day one, the schedule is packed with all sorts of different events, and today we started off with exploring the wilderness of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.As a kid who has never been to New York, I am excited to see every little thing, the Botanic Garden is something I only hear of in movies, and to be able to go there, oh the magical butterflies that flew around me. I’ll admit, I am a city kid so I am not the biggest fan of nature, but if anything, I love gardens, and this was the most enchanting garden I have ever stepped foot in. From the beautiful colors of the grass to the delicate blooming flowers, there was not a scene I did not want to melt in. Hearing Nichole describe the Japanese Garden sounded like it was an enchanting place, trying our best to hurry we tried to get there as fast as we could. Unfortunately, a couple friends and I never made it because we got far too distracted by the beauty and enchantment on the way. The disappointment my heart felt when we had to depart from there, I really hope I get to go back again because it is absolutely magical.
After another adventure trip to Brooklyn, something amazing awaited for us in the studio. It was Nichole’s turn to present her work. While waiting for the set up, everyone was curious as to what was going on, an old projector was brought in, and a box of slides opened up, a comment from Ashley “I’ve never seen real slides before!” It was amazing to see the photographs presented before our eyes, and to hear each click of the projector. During the first week, when I learned how the whole film photograph system worked, I repetitively told everyone person who I had a conversation with how much I admire film photographers and I honestly don’t know how they do it. Seeing Nichole’s work sincerely blew my mind away. Each click led to another photograph that was so beautiful it was hard not to tear up. Through the entire presentation, all that I would process through my head was ‘wow’, and even till now, I am still processing how incredible the presentation was and how beautiful everything was. When I asked classmate Hannah Becker about the presentation she said, “I am fairly new to photography and whenever I see someone present their work, whether it be our TA’s, our professors, or the visiting artists, I can’t help but think, oh my god… that was the best thing I have ever seen. But today–today’s presentation just might have been the best thing I have ever seen ☺. I couldn’t help but wipe the tears from my eyes as Nichole opened up a part of herself to us “tisch-tography” kids today as she showed us her work, her life. Each picture holding so much meaning in her life that I couldn’t fight the lump that was building up in my throat. Photography has a way of telling a story in ways words never will.” Everything Nichole did was breathtaking, like her ability to explain her photographs in a way that allowed her works to come alive and become more than just a photograph., Also, her passion for it and how certain she was about her work is absolutely inspiring, I remember her saying that when she wasn’t having a good time in Arizona, what kept her going was her work, and how she knew that even though she had a choice, she knew she had to take photography because it was her path. At the end, when someone asked her why she chose to present the works she presented, she told us that she wanted each one of us to look into our lives and find the uniqueness. I don’t know how well I have explained my love for Nichole’s work, but you know that moment when something amazing just happened, and no one knows how to react but whisper how incredible it was?… It’s like that.
Not a day goes by where I do not learn something new. The program was certainly overwhelming at first, but I feel like I’m slowly adjusting and getting the hang of it. The experiences I have gotten at TISCH (and will continue to) has been as I repeat everyday “the most amazing opportunity I have yet come across.” I feel like just within the past 3 weeks, my life has been completely changed. From not knowing how to pick up a camera, to knowing what to adjust through my senses, besides all the amazing and unbelievably lucky experiences I have gotten through the program work wise, I’ve also met incredibly amazing people that have each inspired me in many different ways. Every student, every teacher, faculty member, is like an idol to me, if I ever feel lost; they help me find my pathway back. At the end of every night I tell myself how lucky I am, and if this is a dream, please whatever happens, do not wake up. I could ramble on forever, but there will never be enough words to describe how much I appreciate and love being here, this program is a memory that will last forever with me, no matter where I go. To whoever that’s reading this, a picture can stand for a thousand words, take a look at our photos and you will understand…