from FSU Art BFA ’20 Emily Chavarie:
As the Resident Photographer at Club Downunder, it is my responsibility to photograph each event that the organization puts on. Club Downunder is FSU’s student-run programming board dedicated to creating fun and diverse events catering to students and the Tallahassee area. Events range from concerts and comedy shows to lectures and special events. Because of the construction of the Student Union over the past 2 years, we have been programming events in other venues on campus and around the city. Some of the legendary musicians we have brought to perform since CDU’s opening in 1971 include Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins, and Dinosaur Jr. Through this position, I have had the opportunity to photograph cultural icons, like American physicist Michio Kaku, Queer-Eye culture expert Karamo Brown, and Humans of New York artist Brandon Stanton. I got my start photographing concerts when I was 15, so I cannot leave out the ability I’ve had to photograph some of my favorite bands, like Car Seat Headrest, Remo Drive, and Of Montreal. Above anything, it has been especially rewarding to be a part of an organization that is there to serve the students; All events are free for students that attend FSU and many are free to the general public as well.
This position has been pivotal in not only my time at FSU but in my career as a photographer. It has definitely been a lot of work- Some weeks I was shooting events 6 nights on top of balancing my school work and other obligations. Nevertheless, the best way for me to learn is to do. There were times I made mistakes- I didn’t bring any SD cards or didn’t charge my batteries. There were times I had so much school work I did not know how I would possibly be able to do both. There were also times the night went by in the blink of an eye because of how much fun I was having. There were times I realized that I do feel very confident in my work and my abilities. This position taught me how to think on my toes and adapt to a fast-paced environment. I have had the opportunity to network with wonderful artists and people who have enjoyed my work and shared it with others.
Other than everything I learned about photography and the industry through this experience, the people I met and grew close to during my time here have been the best part. They truly became my family and provided me a community of support that I needed during this transition period in all of our lives. There is an overwhelming sense of comradery and every single person has a passion for the organization. CDU hosts volunteer interviews every Fall and I would highly encourage anyone and everyone to give them a shot.