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Video: 21 Veteran Salute 

Each year just prior to Veterans day, reporters across a variety of beats at the Chattanooga Times Free Press work on a project telling the stories of 21 local veterans. During each of the seven days leading up to Veterans Day, three veterans are featured in our print and online products. This year we chose to focus primarily on veterans of World War II and the Korean War. While in years past, the project has consisted of a portrait of each veteran along with their story, this year we changed it up a bit. To improve our coverage, I took on the task of producing seven videos to go along with the stories produced. Four of those can be seen here.

Video: CPD Gun Unit

Gun violence rates fluctuate from year to year in Chattanooga, but it is an ongoing problem that the city and police department have tried a variety of methods to combat over the years. This video was created while at the Chattanooga Times to go along with a coworker's article on what the Chattanooga Police Department's gun unit was doing to reduce gun violence in 2019.

Video: Hand Spinning

Caroline Reinschild, 19, grew up on a sheep farm, and from an early age, she wanted to learn to hand spin fibers into yarn as she had seen the other women in her family do. Now a college student at the University of North Georgia, Reinschild still enjoys attending a monthly group of hand-spinners, the Georgia Mountain Handspinners Guild, with her grandmother and older sister at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center in Gainesville, Ga.

Video: Ocoee Agreement

A historic private/public partnership finalized by Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam saved whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River and laid the groundwork for future deals. The agreement ensure the Ocoee will flow for rafting season for at least 15 more years while compensating Tennessee Valley Authority for lost power revenue. Hundreds of thousands of people raft and kayak the Ocoee each year each year, it hosted the 1996 Olympic games and is the biggest economic driver for the towns and county along its banks.

Multimedia: UGA Dairy

This project, which originated as a Soundslides project, combines photos and audio from a morning at the University of Georgia teaching dairy. The subject of the project is Aimee Sonnier, a student worker at the dairy who wakes up at 3 a.m. to tend to the cows before going to class every day.

Multimedia: Custom Clothier

A man walks out of Giorgio Men's Warehouse carrying two mannequins, one in each arm, both dressed as if they are headed to a gala. He sets them in the storefront's glass showroom, adjusting collars and straightening pocket squares before placing them to face passers-by hastily heading home after work.

One by one, the crowd of mannequins evolves into a group of well-dressed friends standing around having a conversation.

Oscar Buchanan, 52, a sales consultant at Giorgio Men's Warehouse and a custom clothier with more than 30 years of experience in fashion merchandising, connects on a personal level with his clients and considers each of them friends.

No matter who the clients are or whether they even make a purchase, Buchanan strives to provide whatever service they need.

"Each and every sale is distinctively about you," Buchanan explains. "Whether it's a pair of socks or McCallie School is buying 150 tuxedos, you will get the same attention from me."

That perspective landed Buchanan in the 1999 comedy issue of GQ. After losing luggage at the airport, Comedian Bernie Mac went to a local mall searching for a suit to wear on the Kings of Comedy tour.

Intimidated by Mac's stardom, several businessmen at the mall referred Mac to Buchanan. Because Mac was so impressed with Buchanan's work, GQ included a story on Buchanan along with its Kings of Comedy article.

"I want to go over and beyond just the store," Buchanan says. " I want my guys in this city to get noticed."

Buchanan takes his gift further by going to the houses or offices of athletes, pastors and businessmen to custom-organize their wardrobes. Buchanan lays out outfits, color-coordinating and tying bow ties, preparing his clients for events they may attend over the course of a month. These men hire Buchanan to save them time previously spent choosing appropriate outfits, freeing them to relax with their families or work on more strenuous matters.

Buchanan also speaks at local schools about the importance of dress and can pair a client with a suit without even asking for a size.

"I paint a picture," Buchanan says. "And once the picture is painted, then you make up your mind whether it should hang in your home."

Multimedia: Guffey Saddlery

As the sun begins to set over the North Georgia mountains, gravel crunches under Matthew Guffey's feet as he walks toward the workshop behind his childhood home. He opens the metal door and reaches over to flip on a light switch, illuminating tables made of two-by-fours blanked by piles of tools and boxes. 

Electrician by day, saddle maker by night, Matthew Guffey, 37, of Trenton, Ga., is part of a dying breed. 

"There's not a whole lot of people who do it," said Guffey. "The people who do ... they take pride in their work."

Saddle making is a family tradition for Guffey. His parents, James and Betty Guffey, started their business after working with other saddle makers in the Chattanooga area, including American Saddler and Lookout Saddle Co. until 1984. 

Betty Guffey started sewing just to earn some extra money. She enjoyed sewing and learned that saddle making was just sewing with a larger needle. 

"It first started out we were just making the stirrups," Matthew Guffey said. "From there we went to making the breast collars, which actually tie the saddle to the horse, and then hired people that knew how to build saddles." 

Guffey, one of three children, was the only one who learned how to build a saddle. While not an avid rider himself, Guffey finds pleasure in the challenge of working with his hands. Each time he learns something new.

"It's just the way the leather works. You'll work it this way one time, and the next time it would work that way," said Guffey. "You've got to constantly use your mind to figure out how to work that leather." 

With a last pop of the stable gun securing the horn of the tree of the saddle, Guffey finishes work for the night. He closes up the shop and heads back across the gravel toward his house. 


Video: Butterfly Dreams Therapeutic Horse Farm 

Butterfly Dreams is a therapeutic horse farm located in Watkinsville, Ga. The program is for disable children and their families.

Multimedia: Day in the Life of Mike Haskey 

This project encompasses a day in the life of Mike Haskey, the chief photographer at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. Mr. Haskey allowed me to shadow him during a typical work day at the newspaper and interview him about his job. The final project is a combination of photos I took of him working, photos from Mr. Haskey's portfolio as well as a few photos I had taken earlier used to illustrate the narrative. 

Timeline: Jeanette Rankin Scholarship

This timeline was created through Timeline JS as part of an interactive iBook project for my capstone New Media Institute class. The timeline's purpose was to educate individuals selecting scholarship recipients on the history of the Jeanette Rankin Scholarship Fund and show them where they fit into its history. The timeline includes embedded maps and videos, text and contributed photos.

Graphic Element: Personal Logo

This is a personal logo I have created to represent myself. Although there were several phases of this logo, this is the final version. I started out with the idea that I wanted my initials, "eos," to a be prominent aspect of the design and also that my middle initial, "o," would be the largest. My name, Erin Smith, is one of the most common names there are, but what makes my name different from all of the other Erin Smith's is my middle initial. Then I decided it needed to relate to the direction I am going with my work - digital. The E in the logo also serves as a rendition of the WiFi symbol. This is also to show that I am connected to what is going on in society. I used a grayscale version of this logo as a watermark for my photography.

Graphic Elements: Posters
Myron_for web.jpg
Shakeem_for web.jpg

Both of these were personal projects created for friends. The friends I made these for are both big DC and Marvel fans, who hang framed movie posters from their walls. 


I took their favorite characters and combined them with who they are in their own lives to make these graphics. While the bar scene in the second poster is completely made up and designed to compliment the superhero design, the living room scene in the first is created to look exactly like the actual living room set up that particular friend had while he was a Chattanooga resident.

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