Kaci Smart ’09 has had a unique vantage point for most of the college's signature events by serving as Columbia College's primary photographer since 2009.
After working at Columbia College and taking photos of the campus for more than 10 years, I've tried to find new perspectives on the buildings. The front of Dorsey Hall above is my favorite building to shoot, and this was just another way to get a view of it. I shot from underneath the large planted pot on the right, and was able to balance the composition with the trees in the upper left. I love when I can get the sky in the shot; it pulled the blue out of the windows, which just made it so much more colorful.
This shot of the signs came right after they were installed on either side of Rogers Gate in April. Again, just a different perspective of something we have so many shots of.
I liked this series of images because I was able to capture the action, but also because a lot of times, it's hard to get those moments after the ceremony. There are so many people wandering around after commencement, by the time I see somebody hugging, the moment is over before I can set up the shot. So to capture such a sweet moment in full was really nice.
The college unveiled its newest capital project to the public on Sept. 25, 2019. New Hall is the new home of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business, and its top three floors comprise Columbia College's first new residential rooms in half a century.
Most of the photos we have of New Hall are of the front of the building, so the shot above was taken at a different angle to capture the lines of the building contrasted with the lines of the shade canopy in the outdoors sitting area.
This photo of Dolly Plaster next to her father's name was a staged photo before the New Hall dedication ceremony. It was on my shot list to get to commemorate the magnitude of the day, but I was pleased with how it turned out, especially considering how many shots we had to get throughout the building that day.
The college was pleased and honored to welcome Ron Stallworth ’07 for the annual Schiffman Lecture in Ethics. The lecture came just 10 days after BlacKkKlansman, the Spike Lee-directed film that used Stallworth’s critically acclaimed book “Black Klansman” as its basis, won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
This was the photo that ended up as the cover for the Summer issue of Affinity. The funny thing about it is that it was one of the last photos I took during the shoot. We were basically done, we had shot several other locations around the course, and everyone pretty much said it was a wrap. But I hadn't gotten any shots of Michelle near the hole, or kneeling down like she is, so I said, "I think I want to get one more shot here."
We had been battling shadows as the sun rose; in the raw image, the sky is completely washed out, but after editing it, I'm really happy with how it turned out.
These were a mix of different shots of our students; some were from events (like the Jenga tower from Welcome Back Bash below), while others were staged shots for marketing student life in various publications.