I remember when I graduated high school being so annoyed with all the questions.

"What are you going to do now?"
"What college are you going to?"
"What are you going to major in?"

It wasn't that it was just repetitive, but that I wasn't going to college. My plans and dreams never fit into a mold pre-created by society, and especially what was expected from the people in my home town of Oklahoma. I never had the typical answers they wanted to hear. The looks on their faces when I replied, "I'm not going to college," were always predictable. Coming from a straight-A, band nerd extraordinaire who always took the advanced classes,... I guess it did sound kind of weird.

I talked about going to massage therapy school, or a school that specialized in photography. I dabbled in the idea of art therapy for a while too. I looked all over the country. I wanted to get out of Oklahoma finally, do something liberating, and brave. I hated the idea of a four year college. Quite frankly I was sick and tired of high school. But instead I worked meaningless jobs that had nothing to do with who I was. However,
looking back, I wouldn't change any of it. If I hadn't waited 4 years to finally go to RMSP, then I wouldn't have met all of my new wonderful family that I have now. You all know who you are. :)

I graduated Friday. I've never slept so little, learned so much, and loved my life more than I have in the last 5 months. And every second of it was worth it. It hasn't really hit me yet that it's over. I keep thinking tomorrow morning I will snooze too long, get ready in a hurry, try and find a free place to park, and be late to class, yet again, a little after 9am. I cried a little at graduation, but not as much as I expected to.
I'm usually a major sap. I think it will hit me when my car is loaded and I'm driving away.

In the mean time, I wanted to share my last school assignment with you. Our main focus during AI (Advanced Intensive) was to prepare a body of work for a portfolio review the day before graduation. Along with my prints, I also printed these 4"x4" cards to leave behind with the reviewers and peers who saw my work.



I wished I'd printed more. I'm going to really miss not printing everything myself. Just another thing to add to my photographer's wish list :)
I decided to do triptychs and diptychs of sorts for my photographs because I felt like the two kinds of photographs (people and details) are who I am and how I photograph. I'm known for capturing little unnoticed details so I wanted to find a way to marry the two. Looking back I wouldn't of done this. The reviewers got stuck talking about the pairings and not looking at my style or my photographs. Overall, I had great feedback though. I think the thing I gained the most from it was just exposure. If you're a
photographer, you need to print your work and show people. Don't make it live inside your computer forever. Click on the images to see them larger.

I'm sure there will be more to come on this experience and my last days in Missoula. In the mean time I'm going to go crawl back in bed because I got a nasty cold the night of graduation and can't shake it off. I'm just lucky I stayed healthy all the way through school. At least now that it's over I actually have time to rest. Hope everyone had a great weekend. And to all of you who are driving out of Missoula and heading home,I wish you safe and happy travels. Leave me a comment. I love hearing from you all.


  1. Hailey-you had my attention the first time I saw your rasberry image. i didn't even know who you were! i just knew it was honest and that meant something. congrats on graduating from AI! I look forward to seeing more of your work:)

  2. Lurve your logo. You're just too cool for words.