Emily Kask Photojournalist

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For all business inquiries- ekk5337@rit.edu
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My First Month As An Intern At Erie Times-News

I have officially been interning at Erie Times-News and GoErie.com for a month now, and what a month it has been. I really got lucky with the great group of photographers I’m working alongside. They all go out of their way to help me with all of the questions I ask (and I really ask too many of them). They all help me go through my work and offer really encouraging advice and critiques, and they’re all just really great people to be spending so much time with. This month has taught me a lot about the “right way” to work hard as well. The past year was really confusing for me about where I really was in my college photography career. I was thrown into a lot of things last summer that I wasn’t ready for as a photographer and as a person in general, but I was a 19 year old kid just out of my freshman year. I shouldn’t have expected myself to be there yet. I did a lot of fighting, but sometimes not in the ways I should be fighting. Suffering doesn’t equal entitlement, and that’s the backstory of what I’ve been figuring out this month in Erie. Sometimes we have to learn things at our own pace, and that’s O,K.

But, enough about my weird personal journey!

Here are some of the best photographs I have made these past 4 weeks at the Erie Times-News.

I’m actually really bummed a whole month has gone by already, I have a feeling this whole summer is going to go by way faster than I want it to. I really love what I’m doing every day, and to temporarily be part of such a great team of photographers.

This year I am thrilled to have images featured in all 3 of the major year-end photo expositions here at RIT.

I received first place in features for the photo of the dispute at House of Mercy, and second place in sports features, (the hockey jube quiet moment) and an honorable mention in sports features (the hockey jube in the locker room) at the RIT NPPA What We Do Photojournalism show.

2 of my images (the equestrian portrait and the aerial of the ohio river ) made it into the RIT School of Photographic Arts and Sciences Honors Show, and another 2 images (the dispute in the homeless shelter again, and the baseball photo) made it into Draft 11, a publication put together by the Fine Art Photo department seniors.

Monday Night I took a trip to UCONN to photograph the reaction to the NCAA basketball championship game between UCONN and Kentucky University.

To my excitement, UCONN won and a riot was formed outside Gampel Hall. I learned a lot that night about how to handle myself in a riot and how to photograph an event of such high intensity.

Unfortunately, my greatest lesson was learned that night on immediately backing up important data. I shot with 2 bodies, but favored one over the other. Of course, the card in the body I favored was corrupted the very next day when I went to import. After many tears and desperate attempts of data recovery all across campus, it became apparent that my images were gone. Driving 12 hours, not sleeping, and getting beaten up to get images that are corrupted less than 12 hours has been one of the most painful experiences to happen to me as a photographer. I learned a lesson the very, very hard way. While the images I was excited about are gone, I was able to salvage 4 ones from the card that was not corrupted.

Learn your lesson from me!!! back up your data!!!

Niagara Project Update

Sorry for the big gap between blog updates; it hasn’t been that I’ve had nothing to talk about but rather that I’ve been working so much and haven’t had much time to push images!

This past week was my spring break; for the week I went on a trip with RIT NPPA to Niagara Falls where we each picked something different around the falls to spend the week photographing. For those of you who don’t know this already, I’ve been spending my weekends for the past 2 months on the Tuscarora Reservation. I was able to work on the reservation for the week because it’s really close to the American side of the Falls. I originally wanted to photograph the reservation and give a sense of place and talk a little about the culture of the tribe.

This week however, everything changed.

I met a bunch of new people over the course of this week on the reservation and was educated much more thoroughly about the current issues on the reservation.

I was shocked to learn what is really going on.

The suffering of America’s indigenous people has not lessened up over the course of the years, they’re facing a lot of problems that for the most part did not even originate inside their own community, but rather from the rest of the country.

As upset as I was to find that we are in no way trying to help our tribes with these issues, I was absolutely horrified to realize that we are not even talking about them.

If you have at least a basic middle school education, I’m sure you have a strong knowledge on the holocaust and Rwandan genocides; you probably realize how awful these events in history are. But have you ever heard of Indian Boarding Schools? These schools only closed more recently than the “notable genocides” ended, and I had never heard of them until less than a week ago. A native from the reservation made a 30 minute documentary on survivors of the boarding school, it’s called “Unseen Tears” and I highly recommend you watch it to understand the suffering that these people are dealing with, and the repercussions are being passed down onto further generations.

The boarding schools aren’t the only struggle our indigenous people, specifically the Tuscarora people are trying to cope with and recover from, there are many more but being a photojournalist it’s my job to show you with images.

Despite all of these problems though, the people of the Tuscarora reservation have blown my mind with their strength and determination to restore their heritage. From teaching ska’ru’re , the native language in their schools to the traditions of art and dance, the Tuscarora people are not giving up.

"Living on the rez is a state of determination" I was told.

This past week I focused on meeting people, talking to people, trying to understand the community and the issues and the impact we have had on the Tuscarora people. I made some portraits, but this story is going to take a long time to cover. I have a lot more understanding and listening to do, but I feel a calling to tell their story. We need to be more educated on what we’re doing to our tribes, because if we understood the pain and social unjust we are causing, things would be a lot different.

I’ve met some amazing people this week, I’ll push some portraits later. Keep following this story as it unfolds. This story is important, this culture is important and these people are important. I feel blessed that the people I am working with are beginning to open up and trust me when history suggests that it’s in their best interest not to. I hope over time I can prove to them that I’m trying to tell their stories and the truth.

A follow-up to my previous post! The RIT women’s hockey team won the CHA finals against Mercyhurst college on Saturday, March 8. 2014. Here are some of my images after their win.

Sorry about the delay on the posts! I’ve been super busy this past week trying to get my school work in order to go to Northern Short Course in Warwick, Rhode Island. I’m at Short Course now waiting for a portfolio review, I’ll post about my day later! But for now here are some images I made at the College Hockey Finals where RIT’s women’s hockey team beat Mercyhurst at Mercyhurst in Erie, PA on Saturday, March 8, 2014. I’ve narrowed my edit down to 13, and because Tumblr will only let me group 10 images maximum on a post, I decided to post pre-game and during the game shots during this post, and the next post will have the celebration shots! 

Congrats to RIT Women’s Hockey for winning CHA Finals!!

I had such a great experience photographing the women’s hockey team at Mercyhurst in Erie, PA this weekend as they took on and beat both Robert Morris University in the semi-finals, and then Mercyhurst for the finals. Check the Sports Zone Photo blog for some of mine and Josh Barbers images which we blogged live, I’ll be creating my own edit soon, some time in the next few days of both events and posting it.I’m really excited to look through everything I have, but I have to do story work first!

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Lindsay Grigg #23 of the RIT Tigers nurses her lip after the second period during the CHA Championship against the Mercyhurst Lakers at Mercyhurst Ice Center on Saturday, March 8, 2014 in Erie, Pa. (Emily Kask/RIT SportsZone)

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Lindsay Grigg #23 of the RIT Tigers nurses her lip after the second period during the CHA Championship against the Mercyhurst Lakers at Mercyhurst Ice Center on Saturday, March 8, 2014 in Erie, Pa. (Emily Kask/RIT SportsZone)

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Emilee Bulleid #21 of the RIT Tigers waits in the locker room before the CHA Championship against the Mercyhurst Lakers at Mercyhurst Ice Center on Saturday, March 8, 2014 in Erie, Pa. (Emily Kask/RIT SportsZone)

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Emilee Bulleid #21 of the RIT Tigers waits in the locker room before the CHA Championship against the Mercyhurst Lakers at Mercyhurst Ice Center on Saturday, March 8, 2014 in Erie, Pa. (Emily Kask/RIT SportsZone)