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"Act Like I'm Not Here"

I've been doing photography for close to two years now (four if you count my high school newspaper experience), and one of my favorite things to capture is people at work and doing the things that they love. When it came time for us to apply for our positions on the Visual Brand Storytelling Team, my choices were between the Brand Point Pleasant photographer and the BrandJRNY photographer, so it was sort of a no-brainer for me to apply for the latter. My job is to document and tell the story of the BrandJRNY team and process, as opposed to telling the story of the community of Point Pleasant, which is the job of the Brand Point Pleasant photographers. 


During my first trip to Point Pleasant with BrandJRNY, we were at two events, a Point Pleasant High School basketball game on Friday and one of our Share Your Story events on Saturday. My job was fairly simple: document BrandJRNY at work in the community, from the capstone team to the brand storytelling team. 


I found it pretty easy to photograph my friends working at the basketball game, and even BrandJRNY Principal Investigator and Director, Dr. Rita Colistra, and her capstone team. Smiles were everywhere, and everyone was enthusiastic about promoting the Point Pleasant Brand Launch, creating some of my favorite photos. However, a few attendees of the basketball game that the team was talking to seemed to be somewhat uncomfortable from my camera, prompting me to tell them: "Just act like I'm not even here." Which, to be completely honest, I've had to say multiple times in my time as a photographer.


Seth Seebaugh takes a photo at the Point Pleasant vs. Wahama High School basketball game. Source | Corbin Mills

We hosted our brand launch in Point Pleasant recently. Seeing the smiles on the capstone team's faces, as they unveiled all of the hard work they completed over the past seven months, was truly amazing.


Capturing the brand launch was kind of difficult for me. I have never photographed an event like it before. Before the event, I had planned many shots in my head, but the turnout for the event was so great that I could barely move around. This was a great problem to have, as it shows the support the community has for the branding initiative. It was one of the hardest things I've ever photographed, but it was also the most rewarding. 


Having the opportunity to capture moments that will be remembered by the team and residents is something that I take lots of pride in, and I look forward to returning to Point Pleasant for other projects as soon as possible.


My name is Seth Seebaugh and I am the BrandJRNY photographer. My earliest memories of WVU come from watching the 2008 Fiesta Bowl and the 2010 Final Four with my dad. Follow me through our journey — @KingSethington



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Housed at the WVU Media Innovation Center, BrandJRNY is a community branding initiative that is a grant-funded collaboration between the American Electric Power Foundation and WVU Reed College of Media.

The Initiative was previously funded by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation for our three pilot projects.

Original website designed by Mariah Elliott, under the direction of PI and Director Dr. Rita Colistra.

Photos and content may not be used without written permission by contacting brandjrny@gmail.com.

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