Many college students see their time at a university as time to learn, not work. For three freshmen at Belmont the best time to start gaining experience and beginning their professional careers is now.
Founder of the music website Big City Thoughts, Acacia Evans found what she wanted to do innocently enough: watching Jonas Brothers interviews.
“It’s really embarrassing, but I would spend hours on the computer watching these interviews and when I noticed the people right in front getting to take pictures of them I said to myself ‘I like photography. I could do that!’” said Evans.
When Evans was 15, she set up her first website and from there, contacted a few small, signed bands on their MySpace pages.
“It was super unprofessional because I wasn’t basing anything I was doing off of anything. I was denied a lot in the beginning,” said Evans.
She realized how much she enjoyed interviewing artists a year later when she got the opportunity to interview the band Black Veil Brides on their tour bus while screaming girls were outside attacking it.
Evans decided to make her website look more professional when she started to get approved of interviewing more well-known acts.
Since then, her photography portfolio has expanded with photos of bands such as OneRepublic, Korn and Krewella.
Evans has 16 interns, whose ages range from 16 to 37, across the country working as volunteer photographers and interviewers for her website.
“I don’t consider myself the boss; it’s more of a teamwork effort and I’ve found that not using deadlines makes my interns more successful without having to be too strict,” said Evans.
Evans plans on continuing the website as long as she can but intends to be involved in the business of music for the rest of her life.
“I’ve learned that it doesn’t matter how old you are, if you have the motivation to do what you want you should do it,” said Evans.
Lauren Sorenson had previously been the editor-in-chief of her school newspaper throughout high school.
“I had been involved in journalism since my freshman year of high school and it felt weird not to be writing,” said Sorenson.
In January, Sorenson started her blog, Free Exposure, on WordPress, a blogging website.
A week later, Sorenson realized what she needed to do in order to get attention for her new blog. She chose to interview the Belmont band, Staying for the Weekend, reporting on some inside information about the sophomores’ experience with the group.
Sorenson notes that being her own boss has been the biggest struggle for her because it is often difficult for her to keep to her own schedule.
“It definitely takes a lot of self discipline because there’s no deadline but your own,” said Sorenson.
Owner of AMP Musicians and a freelance photographer, Sam Polonsky has had an interest in photography since she was very young.
“[I was] given disposable cameras at a young age. I loved taking pictures of things I saw and my friends and getting them developed was always the highlight of my month,” said Polonsky.
At age 14, she was given her first digital camera and it was at this time when she realized how much she loved taking pictures of events and people around her.
Since then, she had saved up to buy the camera she primarily uses: her Canon Rebel T3i.
“I started my business when I was about 17 and it’s been kicking since then,” said Polonsky.
Her portfolio includes local bands as well as nationally touring bands such as Fitz & the Tantrums and Fall Out Boy. When she is not going to shows and fighting her way to the front to get the perfect shot, she holds photo shoots for local bands, as well as anyone who wants to have professional photographs done.
Starting her own business at a very young age has not been easy for Polonsky but that does not bother her as she has done more than enough quality work to rebuff other’s assumptions of her.
“Everyone always underestimates me because of how young I am. I do my best to prove them wrong with the quality pictures I produce,” said Polonsky.