Meet the Photographers of the Mace

Darryan Miller | Contributing Writer

Tayla Mallory, a student at ODU and photography editor of the Mace, first got into photography her sophomore year of high school. She started out with pinhole cameras made out of oatmeal boxes, that used negative film, and the pictures were developed in a dark room. "Once we learned the basics [with the pinhole camera] we started using manual cameras and loaded our own film, we took pictures using an aperture," Mallory said.

Mallory’s favorite thing to photograph is landscape. "When it comes to taking portraits, I'm always that awkward person that’s like ‘oh yeah, maybe you should put your hand there.’ Whereas landscape has kind of already positioned itself and I can move around it." Mallory said working with the Mace has been fun. "It's all a learning experience. I've learned better ways to do certain things just by being part of [the organization]

When asked how Mallory educates herself to take photos she says it's always trial and error, "If I don't like how something looks one way, I'll try another way. Or even with talking to other photographers, they might know something that I don't." She said that even though he isn't a photographer, Basquiat is her biggest artistic influence.

One thing Mallory has learned through her experience as a photographer is that it [photography] takes time. "When I first started, there were some photographers that were so good in my opinion, compared to me, but it really does take time. Once you start learning different things it betters you as a photographer. The more you take your camera with you, the more you learn about taking photos. Photography is such a learning experience."

Mallory also explained that the photographers she works with at the Mace are her inspiration, "Seeing their works, I'm always so amazed. Even if they've edited the photos, or they've used an older model of a camera, or they have a grainer film it [the photos] always just looks really nice."

Mallory says a goal for her photography, in terms of being less busy and being able to get back into the action of taking photos, is to be able to capture [her life's] memories.

Maggie Giordano is not only a Journalism Major at ODU, but she's also assistant news editor, writer and photographer at the Mace. She first got into photography at a young age when she asked for a small point and shoot camera one Christmas. "I really liked pictures when I was younger and really enjoyed taking pictures of anything I could. When I got into high school, I was able to get a camera from grandfather and really develop more of a skill."

Giordano said working for the Mace has been great, and that the publication has a sense of community, and she likes that it really has a lot of opportunities to take pictures around campus. When asked how she educates herself to take better pictures she says, "I constantly look online at other photographers, especially Instagram nowadays, just to get more ideas. I follow more people with pictures because it opens my eyes to what you can take pictures of and different angles and styles. One thing she's learned about during her photography experience is the technical aspects of it, such as shutter speed. Giordano’s favorite things to photograph are nature and people. "I like to set up people rather than have it as candid because I like to set up a scene rather than something you see every day."

Giordano is inspired by music and films and her favorite photographers Ansel Adams and Emily Hardwick. "His [Adams] set of pictures of Yosemite are so organic, raw and beautiful. Emily does [captures] very fantastical images"

She said her goal for her photography is to be able to take it to the next level. "Since I am a Journalism major, and I want to work in magazines, I would definitely want to be able to take my photography to the next level, technology wise. [I want] to have a bunch of equipment that I could use and to definitely travel, and to take pictures with whatever I write about and more. I would love to take pictures and make a journal of my travels," she said.

Kam Nedd first got into photography as a hobby. He started off doing video for his friends that played basketball, bought a camera and started doing things through school. He says working with the Mace and Crown has been cool. "It's given me the opportunity to do things in a variety of different ways as far as sports and concerts. It's been fun."

Nedd learns to take better photos through trial and error, "A lot of the people that I follow on Instagram kind of mirror what I'm trying to do and then I look at how they capture things, and each time [I take a picture] I try to challenge myself to be better than I was the last time. It's really trial and error for me, I learned a lot more from my mistakes and that kind of makes me better the next time out."

Nedd said as a collective his biggest influences are the people he follows on Instagram, as well as many artists. "My favorite artist is Fabolous, their concert photography motivates and influences me,” he said. Nedd also mentions that as far as sports photography his friend Travis, a photo intern for the Vikings motivates him. "His work motivates me because it's the closest to me in that he's out there doing what I'm trying to do and gives me tips and feedback."

One thing Nedd has learned while perfecting his craft in photography is that you have to take your time. "You have to take your time and to let things come to you. I feel like sometimes, you come in with an idea of what you want and you don't allow yourself to kind of let it happen, you're trying to force it to happen. I've done shoots where I wasted so much time trying to make it happen versus just seeing what's there and working with what I got," he said.

Nedd’s goal for his photography is to be a photo intern for a professional NFL or NBA team within the next two years. He eventually wants to start his own production company.