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    Posted July 22, 2013 by
    Eugene, Oregon
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    From hobby to job

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    Photography is not just a hobby to me.


    Hello there! I'm a sophomore at the University of Oregon (UO), double majoring in journalism and international studies, with a minor in digital arts. I was born in Kenya, Africa but grew up in Kansas. My parents migrated to the United States when I was two years old to pursue higher education. I have always had some sort of camera in my hands. I loved the fact that I could pause a moment by one single click. I started taking photographs at family events and then joined my local high school's yearbook. In my spare time, I would ask my friends and family to model for me so I can learn new techniques and gradually grow as a photographer. Photography allows me to express myself. I am able to show what I see, but the way only I see it.


    I moved to Oregon about three years ago following my parent’s relocation from the mid-west. After moving to Oregon, I've put my aspiration and love of photography into action. I've opened up my own photography business- Polly Irungu Photography (pollyirunguphotography.com). Who knew you could get paid for doing what you love? (By practicing, networking and utilizing social media like crazy) My work took a new leap after being invited to the 55th annual Grammy Awards to help photograph with Fashion News Wire. In spring 2013, the UO's Mills International Center choose six of my pictures that I took during my recent trip to Kenya for an international display. This summer, I will have three photos displayed in NYC for the Creative Rising Exhibit. My goal is to study abroad before I graduate and travel to places that I have not been. I want to open up my own photography studio in LA and Nairobi in the years to come.


    During the three terms that I've been at UO, I've been engaged in various student organizations like the Black Student Union, Multicultural Student Union, Black Women of Achievement and African Students Association. I'm also a recipient of the UO’s Diversity Excellence Scholarship and recently was profiled by the UO's Daily Emerald as "One of the 25 DUCKS who will change the world." I am excited about the future, and my continued growth as a photographer and a college student!! Thank you for all of the support!!!

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