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Spotlight on a Photographer’s Aspirations

Madeline Bertasi (front row, second from left) lives, learns, and volunteers with fellow students from around the world“It definitely made me realize how much I needed to be in New York,” said Ashley Nevader, senior in journalism and electronic media. “I don’t think I have ever been so calm or so peaceful until I stood in the middle and just looked around.”

This might not be your typical feeling of standing in Times Square in New York City, especially at night when you can’t even see the sidewalks because of all the people.  And the lights -- the lights make Times Square seem like pure chaos.

But Nevader, an aspiring high-fashion photographer, found it to be relaxing.

Nevader, along with 23 other journalism and electronic media students at the University of Tennessee, traveled with Assistant Professor Naeemah Clark to the Big Apple to get an inside look at how the media industry operates. The students visited media appropriate to their career aspirations.

Nevader visited, Real Simple Magazine, Rodale, W Magazine and Young & Rubicam Advertising. She also went to "Live with Regis and Kelly," saw "Phantom of the Opera," took a Manhattan movie/TV tour and more.

Nevader said she took advantage of networking after visiting these various media.

“After we would go to all of the meetings, I would stay a little bit after and talk with them personally,” Nevader said. “I had business cards that had my personal information on them, so I gave them a card to stick in their pocket. Whether or not they use it, they at least have something.”

Nevader hopes to make it to the big city after she graduates.  And her long love for photography might help get her in the door.

“I got my first camera when I was 13,” Nevader said while scrolling through E! Online’s photo gallery on the Internet (E! Online is an entertainment Web site). “My dad bought it for me for Christmas.  I piddled and did photos of the gymnastic competitions that I was in.  I really got hooked when I did my internship with the News Topic in Lenoir, N.C. The newsroom there is only 10 people, and they have one staff photographer, so I got to do a lot of photography for them. I realized how much I love being behind the camera.”

Nevader said she will do whatever it takes to make her dreams come true, and she’s starting off on the right foot. She’s taking JEM 490 in the spring semester, which is the second photojournalism class.  She just got an internship with an advertising agency. She’s also going to try to do a little photography of her own.

“I’m going to try to get friends who are willing to take a day and go to the park and have fun taking photos,” Nevader said. “I want to try to set up a portfolio of photos that I would want to do.  I just want to start taking a lot more photos.”

So where will we see Nevader in a few years?

“I would love to get involved with W Magazine or Harper’s Bazaar -- high-fashion magazines that are a little bit more upper class,” Nevader said. “I’d like to work off the fashion that probably doesn’t cater to your average person.”

So keep an eye out for Nevader’s name on some high-fashion editorial pictures. She’s ready and willing to make it happen.

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