Over the course of this semester, I’ve realized that the best stories are the ones that seem the most simple. As the university editor at the Alligator, I have pushed my writers to find something interesting in everything they report on. In today’s paper, that was an influx of students in local coffee shops for finals week. In this story for my Visual Journalism class, it’s the business of Krishna Lunch, where students break from their final exams to eat vegan food with friends.
I wanted to share what Krishna, a UF tradition, is, what people who follow it think and how students and graduates enjoy the wind-down of the semester.
One of the students I spoke with told me that “the library needs to be opened up to outside space.” With a high in the 70s on the day I took photos and video, that sentiment was clear: School is stressful. Work is stressful. Life is stressful. But some simple traditions, like eating outside and hanging out with friends, make it worth it.
For my infographic (top), I wanted to show what Krishna was. Because so much of UF students’ involvement with the religious group is through food, I thought the best way to illustrate this would be with a plate. I then drew icons to quickly identify some key facets of Krishna. The fonts I used were clear and easy-to-read, and the colors reflected those in nature. I am very pleased with the infographic, which I drew entirely by hand in Adobe Illustrator.
As for my photo series (above), I wanted to show how many people were buying Krishna lunch, how students interacted with one another and how Hare Krishna followers shared their views with students. I think the latter is often overlooked. I used interesting angles for these photos, which I took while kneeling on the ground, standing on walls and benches and by waiting for the perfect moment to unfold. My editing is minimal, as I wanted the wonderful sunshine of the day to take center stage. That’s probably one of the reasons so many students were outside!
Overall, I think my project is cohesive and visually interesting and inviting. I look forward to using the skills I learned in this class in the future — to really portray stories holistically. I’m used to writing. I’m used to reporting. But this class challenged me to get out of my element and tell a story in a way that’s new and different.