The Sheridan Libraries hired two undergraduate photography interns to document a year in the life of the libraries. The undergraduates are John Belanger, JHU ’14 and Eric Chen, JHU ’16. Below are Eric’s thoughts regarding his work on the documentary project so far. You can follow the project here.
Hi, my name is Eric and I’m currently a sophomore studying International Studies. I really enjoy traveling the world, and wherever I go, you won’t ever find me without my camera. Photography has been a huge hobby of mine ever since middle school, and I’ve been working on improving my photography and keeping a personal photography blog for a couple of years already. John Belanger and I are the two intern photographers at the Sheridan Libraries. I get paid to do what I love, and it’s an amazing feeling!
My aim as a photographer is to document student life in the library and create a collection of photos that will become part of the University’s Archives. This turned out to be a much more complicated task than just snapping pictures around the library.
On the outside (or technically inside of the library), everyone is just studying, but what’s more difficult to notice is the diversity of thoughts and the spectrum of emotions people have in the library. Before I prepare to take a photograph, I’ll introduce myself to the person or group of people I’m taking a picture of, and ask what they are studying or how they are feeling. Then, I try to compose a shot that shows the reality of that moment.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. What I would like to do is take a series of candid photographs that look more natural and less staged. It has definitely been a challenge, but this internship has been a wonderful opportunity for me to improve my photography and fully appreciate the diversity of people we have in our university.
Photography aside, this internship has allowed me to meet many different people and learn about many different subjects. It’s been a wonderful experience. If you ever hear a camera snapping in D level past midnight, it’s probably me.