One of the draws to engineering at USC is being able to take elective courses, not just “technical electives” but real electives that fuel your passions.

I’ve been able to take dance classes, workout classes (for units) a surfing class, and some photography classes! I’ve blogged about the other types of classes so I wanted to take some time to talk about my photography class.

In high school I was able to take photography classes at my local community college and fall in love with the art (now they have AP art and AP photo at my high school…not bitter). I started my freshman year with the intention of minoring in political science because it “looked good” with aerospace engineering, but then learned that doing something to just “look good” on paper is incredibly boring and should never be done. I then decided to quit the minor pursuit and just take classes I wanted to for fun!

I started taking photography classes my junior year with intro to digital photography. If you’ve ever been interested in photo, this is an incredible class! You can rent beginner DSLRs if you don’t have one, learn the basics of digital cameras, photoshop, and contemporary photography. Here are some of the series I took for my first project:

This series was aimed at capturing the community around USC. So many people think USC has this terrible area surrounding it, but going just one mile north, south, east, and west, I found these images of community.

This series was aimed at looking at how people do their make up and damage their faces in the process of covering up their damages. I thought it was a metaphor for life at the time.

Yes series 2 features fellow VSA Maria!

I’m now in Photo 2, where we learn/ use a mixture of digital and analog photography and we get to use incredibly professional equipment!! It’s awesome. I was actually inspired to write this blog because I spent about three hours in a dark room this morning! It’s been an incredibly amazing experience to learn from awesome roski professors and use photography as a creative outlet to contrast constant engineering classes. Don’t get me wrong, I love engineering, but 4 years of the same style class can get to be a lot and photography was just what I needed.

My first project covers what it’s liked to be a mixed race woman in America and will feature yours truly (me), fellow VSA Bethany, and fellow VSA Shana! Follow me on instagram @bettystearns to see me post it in a couple weeks!

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Aerospace Engineering, Class of 2017, Learn more on her profile here!