DNCE Concert at Central Michigan Univeristy 2017

I have FINALLY gotten around to posting, writing and sharing my experience photographing the DNCE concert at Central Michigan University this past April during my internship with University Communications.

Working this show was the first time I felt alive again when shooting. I got a euphoric feeling photographing the concert and I realized what I wanted to do with my degree and in the field as a photojournalist. I want to shoot music, from concerts and festivals to studio work with bands/artists for a publication.

This was probably my favorite experience from my internship and the first time I felt like I had what it took to be a photographer. I knew nothing about shooting a concert, I just read things on the internet from professionals and then went out. It was a rush working this show. I had three cameras, a small area to work, 4 other student photographers, and Joe Jonas running all over the stage. It was AMAZING! I believe these were the best photos I have ever taken and I am beyond proud of my work from this event.

This is my calling. I want to be a music photographer, I just need more practice and more chances to gain experience. Below are my best photos from the concert. You can also find these on my Instagram @alisonzywickiphotography or on the Central Michigan University Facebook page under photo albums.

ENJOY!!! (Criqutes and feedback are always appreciated)


DNCE performs at the Central Michigan University spring concert Friday, April 21, 2017

Cord Overstreet performing his opening act for the DNCE concert at Central Michigan University

DNCE performs at Central Michigan University for the spring concert on Friday, April 21, 2017.

Cord Overstreet performs as the opening act for DNCE at Central Michigan University for their Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 2017

JinJoo Lee (left) and Joe Jonas (right) of DNCE performed for CMU’S Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 2017.

DNCE performed for CMU’S Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 201

Crowd of Central Michigan student sing along with DNCE during their performance for CMU’S Spring Concert on Friday, April 21, 201


Girls on the Run 5k 2017

For the past two years, I have been a volunteer photographer with Girls on the Run of Central Michigan. This non-profit works to teach girls in elementary and middle school self-confidence and self-love, all while training to run a 5k. This year was an amazing experience for me, the Director of GOTR referred to me as the professional photographer. It just felt job to have her recognize my work and treat me as a professional, not just a student. I also grew from the experience this year and I learned how to shoot action shots, find moments, and work with large groups of people for portraits. I had a blast. This is definitely another aspect of photography/photojournalism that I am growing an interest in and it only increased my passion for this career.

Below are some of my favorites from the day. Sorry, this post was made late since the 5k was in May. Enjoy!



Pit Photography Workshop at Warped Tour

This summer I went to Warped Tour and participated in a rock pit photography workshop with photographer Lisa Johnson. It was an experience of a life time.

I got to photograph rock bands, some I have never heard of before, but all of which I couldn’t imagine I would be able to. I got the opportunity to be in the pit for New Years Day, William Control, Stacked Like Pancakes, Andy Black and Dance Gavin Dance.

This a different experience than the time I photographed DNCE at Central Michigan University. I had to struggle with the changing light since the festival was in the day time. I had to deal with different types of security and getting into the pit. I also had to work with different lenses. I knew this experience would be a bit of a struggle because I do not own a wide angle lens and had to struggle with getting the shot. Through all of these minor struggles, I learned a lot from this workshop.

I learned about the safety lane that you have to leave for security so they can get to fans that are crowd surfing. I experienced having to work with a lot of photographers and not a lot of space to work around. Most importantly, I know this is what I want to do. I need more experience, I know I have a lot of work on and I can grow as a pit-photographer, but my passion for this has only grown.

Below are my personal favorite 12 photos from my time at Warped Tour. Enjoy!

Critics/Opinions/Feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Nikki Misery from the band New Years Day plays during their set at the Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

Ashley Costello (left) and Jeremy Valentyne (right) from New Years Day perform during their set at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

A crowd of fans cheers during the set of Dance Gavin Dance at the Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

Wil Francis (right) and Ben Tourkantonis (left) perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday. July 21, 2017.

Wil Francis (right) and Ben Tourkantonis (left) perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday. July 21, 2017.

Kellen McKay, lead singer of Stacked Like Pancakes, stands on the hands of the crowd during their performance at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

(From left to right) Alec Leventis, Kellen McKay, Andy Dawson, and Zach Foote perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

Andy Black performs at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

Andy Black performs at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

A fan crowd surfs during the performance of Andy Black at the Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

(From left to right)Kellen McKay, Alec Leventis, Andy Dawson, and Zach Foote perform on the Skullcandy stage at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

Andy Black performs at Van’s Warped Tour in Auburn Hills, Mich., Friday, July 21, 2017.

A Day in the Life of Rabbi B

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/215874382″>A Day in the Life of Rabbi B</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user43506384″>Alison Zywicki</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Rabbi Becca Walker (aka “Rabbi B”) is the Senior Jewish Educator for Hillel at MSU and Hillel Campus Alliance of Michigan (HCAM). Rabbi B has been an official Rabbi for about a year or so, after 9 years of school from undergrad to rabbinical. Being a member of the conservative movement there can be challenges as a woman rabbi, since only recently the movement opened up the idea of having them. The Jewish Conservative Movement is apart of the three Western “movements” or divisions of Judaism, Reformed, Conservative, and Orthodox. So in understanding this, Rabbi B follows an authentic Jewish lifestyle from keeping Kosher to not traveling or using electricity on Shabbat. This does not make her boring for Rabbi B is one of a kind.

She relates extremely well to collegiate students, who she works with on a day to day basis. As the Senior Jewish Educator, Rabbi B is there to help students learn about Judaism (religiously and culturally), interfaith, theology and most importantly showing that being Jewish is part of life. She leads Shabbat services every week and she leads the high holiday services as well for the Jewish community. In addition, Rabbi B works with the Hillel staff on planning events from interfaith dinners to Sparty’s Bar-Mitzvah Party, that they hold twice a year. She also brings a creative side to Jewish learning with her music videos relating to holidays and events and crafts, such as your Jewish glasses.

This is Rabbi B’s first year working with Hillel at MSU and HCAM and we cannot wait to see moe amazing things from her. Watch her video profile above to learn more.

Fighting Antisemitism on CMU’s Campus

Fighting Antisemitism on CMU’s Campus from Alison Zywicki on Vimeo.

In February, an Antisemtic valentine made at party  hosted by  the College Republicans was passed out in Ansapch Hall. This valentine stated “My love burns for you like 6,000 Jews” and in addition had a cutout if Hilter placed on it. A photo of this valentine was posted to Facebook immediately afterwards and spread through social media like wildfire. The posts caught the attention of various News organizations and reached all the way to the Israeli Press. In addition, the Jewish student organization at CMU, Hillel, was informed and they contacted the Office of Civil Rights and Institutional Equity to combat the valentine and to hold a formal inquiry. As a result it was learned that the valentine did not come from a registered CMU student, CMU’s  President Ross issued an email to the campus apologizing for the valentine, and the College Republicans issued an apology via Facebook.

The campus came together a day later to hold a rally and peaceful march against hate speech on campus. Members from Hillel, Hadley Platek and Steven Keene both shared their experiences with Antisemitism and many other community members spoke up about their experiences involving hate speech. The OCRIE office also held two town halls one on Faith and the other on Free Speech to help educate the campus student body.

Watch the video to learn more.

Women of CMU 11. Mariam Saad

Senior and international student, Mariam Saad, poses for a portrait in the Bovee University Center on the campus of Central Michigan Universit, Saturday, March 25, 2017.”An empowered woman is a woman who knows what she wants and works hard to get it without letting any obstacles stand in her face. An empowered woman is a woman who has equal rights with any man and is capable of making a difference and change around her, and is doing so…empowerment is not exclusive for men or women, it is matter of character, a trait of hard working, of determination, of faith in yourself and self confidence,” states Mariam. 


Say hello to our 11th #WomenofCMU, Mariam Saad. Mariam is a member and leader in the Muslim Student Association (MSA) here at Central Michigan University. I have had the honor of knowing Mariam for two years and she is someone who always brightens my day and has inspired me so much. MSA brings Muslim students together in a warm environment. They build connections and break barriers between students. They also raise awareness about Islam and try to get rid of some of the stereotypes and misconceptions around their faith.

“MSA was a home for me when I first came here. I didn’t know anyone and they welcomed me. I had a place to go, I had common ground between them, and I felt comfortable. At the same time it helped me build a relationship with so many people on the basis of raising awareness and spreading knowledge about Islam, which is something that I love,” Mariam explains.

MSA is an amazing organization on campus and they do such wonderful, inspiring and impactful things for CMU students. One of these was leading and organizing the march on campus this past Jan/Feb against the “Muslim Ban” that was being passed. This was such an emotional time because they had the support of so many people on campus. I know when I was there I saw tears in my friends eyes and I had to give her a hug and let her know that I will always have her back. Mariam lead chants and motivated the crowd through the cold. I was in awe of all that she was accomplishing and all that MSA was doing, it was beautiful.

“Organizing the march was a huge things and we didn’t actually expect it to have this outcome and turn out, but it turned out beautifully. We were working on it with our heart and souls, it touched each one of us personally. When we were working on it we tried to reach out to as much people as we know and more and more. During the march we were too emotional, too happy, too proud, and connected to everyone around us. It was amazing,” states Mariam.

Mariam is an international student from Lebanon. She is studying speech therapy and has great aspirations to do such amazing things with people. She graduates and leave the US this spring and I am so saddened that CMU will be absent of this amazing force of a woman.

“Islam is a religion of peace. It is a religion of beauty. I guess it is being misrepresented and people are seeing it in a very not realistic image…There are a lot of Muslim women who are not wearing a hijab, for me I am wearing a hijab. So, I am pretty clear what my religion is. The first thing they (people) see me wearing a hijab is that I am oppressed, I don’t have a choice, I am not that educated, I might be rolled by men, and all of these things, but it is not true. I am actually a person who is very educated, very independent, who works hard to get to her dreams…It is something that people get to know after they meet me,” Mariam explains.

Mariam continues to educate and change the way people think, little by little. She has made such a huge impact in my life and I know so many others, from MSA and around campus. I think Mariam is everything you want to see in an empowered woman. She is independent, proud, strong, and she doesn’t let anything stop her. I admire her so much for that.

“It is important for women to know that whatever is politically happening, that doesn’t mean they can change the way that they look at themselves or who they truly are, because they are powerful before that and will stay the same way after that. They need to know that they have enough power to actually make a difference and make a change of what people think about them. Maybe this political issue that is happening will help them (women) know the value that they have for themselves more, because no one would fight something they are not afraid of. For them to fight women, it means that they are afraid of them and this means that they (women) are really powerful. They (women) should know that the poor they have in a society is way beyond what they think they do…There are so many elements of society that wouldn’t on without women,” Mariam informs.

Thank you Mariam for everything you do for this campus, for MSA, and for women all around. You are an amazing soul and I am so proud to know you. Continue to break barriers and shut down stereotypes. I cannot wait to see all the great things you accomplish later in life. Thank you for leaving your stamp on this campus.