Rachel Agana »

Monthly Archives: April 2010

You could be a part time model

Originally posted inĀ UC Davis Student Affairs Blog | I Live UCD.

Karin asked me if I could be her model to take photos of the new compost bins in the CoHo. I thought it was just going up for the new sustainability website Russ is designing but Sam pointed out it was on the homepage when we were working today!

Behind the scenes (Thanks Russ for taking the photos!):

It was fun being on the other side of the lens and there was much less pressure when I found out they’ll probably just use the hand shots. We took some shots of me dropping it too. Hard work! šŸ˜‰

Seizing Opportunities

Originally posted inĀ UC Davis Student Affairs Blog | I Live UCD.

Carpe Davis is the theme of this year’s Picnic Day. For our internship at University Communications, my friend Samantha and I were assigned to cover UC Davis’ annual open house for the UC Davis homepage along with the other interns. This was a wonderful opportunity because annually thousands of visitors will be visiting the site to learn more about planning their day.

We met Nicole and Chris to decide what topics to be covered. It was cool meeting the other students that also work at UComm. Nicole would cover how alot of the events would be moved to Vanderhoef Quad where alot of our new buildings are and Chris would do music.

Sam had the idea of going around and interviewing students about their favorite parts of Picnic Day in the style of what she worked on for last years graduating classes. I also wanted to interview as many of the Board of Directors as possible especially since they are students as this is the largest student run event in the nation. I have always wanted to create an interactive Google Map ever sinceĀ I saw how easy it is but never found a topic that would be fun and also that other people besides myself would find useful. Picnic Day would be a perfect topic and I envisioned using the videos of students we filmed and including that in the map so when you click on a point that is about the Chemistry Magic show there would be a student raving about it, a photo and the schedule included all in one place. I knew that it would not be possible unless we had the final schedule of events.

So we stuck with Plan A since our deadline was Thursday April 8th and fast approaching. We spent morning and afternoon filming for three days and lucky us it was beautiful sunny weather. We shot the Board of Directors at the arboretum and approached students around the quad and outside the MU to see if they would like to give their opinion. It was a lot of fun and we got comfortable with talking to people we had just met. We were so grateful that Monica, Megan and Missy took the time from their busy planning schedule to help us out!

Filming Chair Monica Lindholm talking about the bus shuttles and the parade.

Best partner ever – Sam!

Yours Truly.

Finally, the night before our deadline we received the schedule of events via email – exclusive press access before the final version was designed and released to the public. I was editing the clips that we filmed from the first two days filming because I wanted that done first if a map was not possible which I finished close to midnight, went home and stayed up until 5AM creating the first draft of the map. I wanted it to be as complete as possible before pitching the idea to Susanne our web editor we work with to show that it could be done pretty quickly and see if the deadline could be pushed a bit more.

The next morning…or well a few hours later, I showed Sam what I created and then asked Susanne if she’d come take a look and to my delight she loved it and commended me for my initiative. In fact the whole department was excited about it. Laurie, the design manager, gave me a hug and told me that this was the most useful thing created for Picnic day ever. I was so elated that we got the green light to continue. By the afternoon, Russ, one of the graphic designers, had already created the first image that would go up for the Spotlight on the homepage using a screenshot of the map. I remember it said something about Google-ize your Picnic Day, I giggled because it reminded me of googly eyes. We finished up filming Megan & Missy that day and I helped choose pictures from the archives that should be uploaded toĀ Flickr to use to embed into the map. Every day up until the end of the Monday before Picnic Day Sam and I worked on the map. A lot of it was having to redo work because sometimes the Youtube videos would disappear when switching to Rich Text mode from HTML mode such as adding a photo after a video. We learned how to work the system like remembering to add the photos before adding videos and lots of little details like that. Renaming videos and having to re-embed them after the edited descriptions was also doubling and sometimes tripling our work.

I was in class when Sam texted me that it was up Wednesday morning and I flipped out. It’s very satisfying seeing your work displayed for the public to see. In the end, all our hard work payed off. It was a great collaborative effort. Since the map went live it has neared 45,000 views and we’ve received compliments from students, staff and visitors.

Spotlight of Picnic Day on the UC Davis homepage

The feature (Click photo)

The map (Click to interact!)

For the future I would love include stock footage of the event. I know AggieTV filmed almost all of Picnic Day 2009 that could be edited for an updated map which would enrich and entice people to come up especially if they’ve never been. This year our campus photographers Karin and Cheng took more shots that could also be included. This assignment was definitely an opportunity seized!


Originally posted inĀ UC Davis Student Affairs Blog | I Live UCD.

One of my favorite spots to study, weather permitting, is the arboretum. It’s so nice to spread out on the grass, watch the ducks waddle and runners go by. The library is very close by so if you need to check out books you can easily walk over and read at the arboretum instead and return them through the outdoor slots. Of course I don’t just go here to study, it’s a great place to grab a blanket and eat alone or with friends and connect with nature.

soaring spirits

Originally posted inĀ UC Davis Student Affairs Blog | I Live UCD.

Today as my friend Priya & I were walking to the MU Bus station we saw a girl a block ahead of us with a bunch of balloons – Up style! Thankfully I do my best to always have my camera on me. We sped up to her and I asked her what the occasion was – a luncheon at Freeborn titled “Soaring for New Heights.” She had just cleaned up and was walking to class hoping to give them out to classmates. I can never resist a whimsical photo op & asked her if I could take some with the balloons:

Afterwards, I picked an orange balloon!

It was fun walking around the rest of the day with a balloon:)Later in the day I was biking and saw a girl coming in the other direction with a pink balloon; we both went woohooo! Thank you balloon for keeping me company in the library for 8 hours

my first photo scavenger hunt

Andrew invited me to be his plus one for Toby & Victory’s photo scavenger hunt in SF! I was absolutely thrilled because I for –

1) get to spend time with my Papa (pup-ahh + nickname from freshman year when he would nourish me with late night rice and pork fu) who I rarely see now a days as he is a working man now


3) SF = LOVE

4) get to hang with the G.O.G. (Gaggle of Gays) – some I’ve met and some new!

My day started meeting up with my carpool in front of University Mall. Toby brought donuts <3 AND he & Victor got t-shirts made through Cafepress for the day!

We watched Will & Grace Season 2 on the drive down to Pleasant Hill Bart.

Once we arrived in Powell I made a stop into Sephora to get the holy grail of primer and eyeliner – Urban Decay’s Potion and Glide on Zero. I tried out the liner when we stopped by H&M on our way up to Union Square and it lasted all day long with no smudges! Amazing.

The organizers

Me & Papa!

When everyone arrived we formed a circle and introduced ourselves. Then ice breakers!

The group was broken into four teams of six by each couple drawing a number. We got Team Four! Here was our list of photos + video challenges:

The hardest one for us but the funniest was taking a video of us cheering the next person who came out of a restaurant. We were walking and I saw a man with bags in his hand walking toward the door and notified everyone to get ready to cheer – when he came out he was pleasantly surprised and actually bowed. It was perfect.

A nice British tourist took this one for us.

Sad because no famous egg tarts for us – closed!


Snack time!

After we took these we realized the animal photos had to be group shots.

Another alive animal photo because we’re over achievers like that (but actually because I thought we needed three + whenever I see a bunch of pidgeons I always think of Jason Mraz’s Take Away Show for Live High). We realized the assignment said dead AND alive and even though we passed by a place with roasted duck in the window we had to settle for a picture of one.

I’m a total pro at asian poses thanks to asianposes.com (for real.)

Continuous shooting FTW! His name was Vince and he was so game.

I actually really wanted that vintage dress…forgot the name of the shop though – the icon was a black profile of a boy and girl, I believe; it seemed like a grown up Urban Outfitters.

Even though we took our sweet time and ended last – we still won! Woohoo! Go Team Four <3

A couple favorites from the other teams:

Look who we saw at the food court!

Love these two forever and ever.

Luckily I was still around when Kristen’s dinner plans got cancelled and we had a little photo shoot of our own inside Gap!

A lovely way to end the night in SF before heading back up to Davis and get some rest.

Special thanks to Andrew, Toby, Raymond & Adam for sharing your photos. I’ll add videos as soon as I get them:)