Alumni Spotlight

Derek Miller  –  Class of 2015

 

What is your job title and what are your job duties?
I am a freelance photographer. My job duties go far beyond just taking photographs.  Everyday tasks are scheduling, marketing, retouching photographs, updating my website, emailing & calling clients, invoicing and prepping for future shoots.

What are some of the things you like best about this job?
Nothing is more rewarding than creating a name for yourself and doing something you love everyday. I could list a million reasons why I love photography but if I had to list a few I would say it’s a never ending learning process. I love learning new things and experimenting with light. I enjoy challenging myself and watching my work progress over time. I have also met so many great people during my career already. Making your own schedule can be nice as well.

How do you see yourself using your photography skills in the future?
I see myself doing better and continuing to work hard with building my craft and educating myself to advance my skills in the field. I always strive to be better. I also see myself continuing to photograph portraits of people due to the fact that I enjoy meeting and working with others.

How did your education at AMP prepare you for this job?
I give AMP so much credit for where I am today! I couldn’t have had better instructors. They are very well educated and know the photography field better than anyone I know. They are the reason why I am so technical with my photography today. I know more about the photography field than what some of my friends do that went to a 4 year university. The crazy thing is I learned all of it within six months. Not only do you learn how to be a successful photographer but you learn the business of photography as well. I now run a very successful photography business. I have been in numerous magazines and achieved many goals since my graduation.

What is your fondest memory of AMP?
My fondest memory of AMP is the friendships I have made with people who enjoy the same things I do. We didn’t just learn from our instructors, we learned from each other which helped us grow as artists so much faster.

What advice would you give to a student who is considering pursuing the photography field?
If you love photography and you know in your heart that you couldn’t see yourself doing anything else with your life then go for it and NEVER GIVE UP. You will get discouraged and worry about being successful but if you push yourself and work hard I promise you will be rewarded. The photography field is a saturated field so you need to make sure you are always working on your craft to stand out from others.

http://www.derekmichaelphotos.com
https://www.facebook.com/derekmichaelphotos/
Instagram- derekmichaelphotos

 

 

Bradley Stephens  –  Class of 2016

Stephens_Bradley-AlumniSpotlight

What is your job title and what are your job duties?
My job title is Sound and Lighting Technician at SpiritSound Production Services. Some of my duties include setting up and tearing down sound and lighting equipment for shows and events. These events range from small stages at local festivals to presidential campaign rallies.

What are some of the things you like best about this job?
There is a huge variety of skills required in this field of work. One day I could be mixing monitors for a band and the next day setting up lights in a catwalk for a theatrical play. Once I find what I like to do, I can learn more about it and thrive in that area. It is awesome to be a part of a crew that sets up for big concerts and to see it all come together in a show you’ve helped to create. 

How do you see yourself using your Recording & Sound Technology skills in the future?
In the future I see myself using my sound and recording skills to continue to work for this company and continuing to learn as much as I can with audio to help us succeed as a business. I will also be using my recording and sound skills at my church to record services for podcasts, and in the future, record the live worship music and mix it for broadcasts and video archives.

How did your education at AMP prepare you for this career?
I knew some basics of audio, but when I started at AMP they really broadened my knowledge of sound. We studied sound production and recording both in a theoretical aspect and through several hands-on projects. The techniques I learned not only apply to the recording side of audio, but for live applications as well. If it wasn’t for AMP and the awesome instructors that would help out with anything you needed, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What is your fondest memory of AMP?
The fondest memory I have is when our class was recording sound effects. We were to go out in the field and record as many sounds as we could without getting into trouble. We decided to go to Walmart because we figured we could get a lot of good sounds there, which we did. But after 20 minutes of being stared at because of our audio gear, we got kicked out. It was just a funny experience and was cool going around town recording a bunch of different sounds.

What advice would you give to a student who is considering pursuing the Audio field?
I would advise them to give it everything and really try to learn as much as they can at AMP. The courses go by super fast and then it’s time to get a job within 6 or 12 months. If you don’t know exactly what you want to do with it yet, it’s okay. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do either but I got an opportunity through the school.  They help graduates get out in the industry and it worked for me. So apply to a lot of places and don’t hesitate to take a job that is sent to you from AMP.  Even though it might not seem exactly what you want, it could help you get exactly where you want to be. 

 

 

Tess Kongkeattikul  –  Class of 2015

tess

What is your job title and what are your job duties?
My title is Studio Photographer. My duties at ItemMaster are to photograph products for marketing and planograms. The marketing images are used for companies, such as Giant, to use on their website and advertisements. The planogram images are used for floor sets and digital storefronts. Each day I have a set number of products I’m expected to shoot and submit.

What are some of the things you like best about this job?
I love working with the products. I’ve photographed everything from a pack of tic-tacs to an air conditioner. There’s always something new and exciting. It’s so neat seeing products that have yet to be in stores. We get a sneak peek as to what is yet to come, and it’s so amazing. My team is also wonderful. Even though we each have our individual work, we have a great network that is there to support us every step of the way. It’s like a big family.

How did your education at AMP prepare you for this job?
It’s funny because we talked about this in a meeting this morning. As our company is looking to expand we were talking about finding quality photographers. They mentioned how most colleges don’t really prepare you for actual photography jobs and it’s common for a graduate to apply without any knowledge of strobe lighting, lightroom workflow, etc. They said how students, like myself, who have gotten hands on technical education really stand out. Without AMP I wouldn’t have known how to light products correctly. I wouldn’t know what it was like to have outside experience with products. Those things are priceless. Without what I learned at AMP, I would have never landed this job.

How do you see yourself using your photography skills in the future?
Whether this job is what I stay with for my career or a stepping stone into something in the future, I plan to always be learning and growing in my photography skills. I want to do what I love, and I really love product. I hope my skills and hard work will either take me up the company ladder or take me somewhere even bigger and better.

What is your fondest memory of AMP?
I have two fond memories from AMP, and I can’t seem to choose between them. They are priceless, albeit simple. My first was when I was sitting in class and I went to toss Keith’s flash drive back to him after submitting my work. I tossed it right into his coffee. It was a known fact in the class that I was a bad throw. I felt so bad about it, but it was a funny moment the entire class had a laugh about. My second fondest memory was when I had an app on my phone that reminded me every hour to drink water. I used it to keep hydrated throughout the day.  Every time the notification would go off the entire class would take a consecutive drink of water.

What advice would you give to a student who is considering pursuing the photography field?
Don’t give up. I struggled with finding my place in the photography world, and at times I wanted to walk away. It was hard seeing others moving forward with great determination and having these huge accomplishments. Instead of using their success to motivate me, it made me feel discouraged. Keep your eyes on your own path and keep moving forward. Even if you’re moving slow, don’t stop. If this is what you really want, just push through your doubts. If there was something that drew you to this field, hold onto that, you’ll be glad you didn’t let it go. I could’ve easily let go. If I did I wouldn’t be where I am right now, doing what I love, working with people I love. I’m happier doing what I’m doing now than I have been at any job I’ve ever had.