It has been over five years since my last lecture at Rochester Institute of Technology, and I can’t emphasize enough how hard it is for me to stand up in front of a crowd of students and faculty that I admire and not feel nervous. Although I work with some of the world’s top talent and movers and shakers, and I still get goose bumps in front of my professors. It’s like they are my parents–or some other immeasurable influential force in my life!
But after a few minutes I started to warm up and get into the groove. I want to thank everyone for coming out and being supportive. Most of all, it was nice to see Howard Levant, Denis Defibaugh, and Gunther Cartwright, who were all key players in my development as a photographer. Seeing Rachel Jerome Ferraro, who is now a professor, was a welcome surprise. Touring the campus, drinking a coffee, and meeting students and other faculty filled me with a mix of nostalgia and newfound giddiness. So much has changed at RIT, but I can still remember the endless hours I spent working my darkroom magic in Building 7, and the permanent smell of chemicals on my fingers. There are new modern buildings on campus, even a global village, but the photography building still feels strangely familiar.
Looking forward to seeing students’ work at the portfolio review and the award ceremony!