Caroline Adams, '20

Caroline Adams sits in the big blue Adirondack chair on campus.

Figuring out a career path can be difficult. For junior Caroline Adams, her childhood paved the way for what she would ultimately become interested in as a career.

“I have so many photos from my childhood, so many albums. So I was always kind of interested in that,” Adams said.

Adams’ professional photography training came from a job she held in high school with a portrait company.

“I applied for Picture People at the local mall,” Adams said. “I was trained professionally on posing, setting things up, backdrops, and a little bit of editing. I think the largest shoot I ever did was 20 kids under the age of 20. One day I had a five-day-old baby and one day I had a 96-year-old woman. It was all different age ranges that I had to learn to adapt to.”

Her job was supplemented by digital imaging courses she was taking in high school. From there, she was gifted a camera where she was able to continue pursuing photography.

“I started doing my sister’s senior photos, my cousin’s and then word of mouth has probably helped spread it. I’ve probably done a dozen high school senior sessions. I’ve done college sessions. I do portraits,” Adams said.

Deciding to continue to pursue photography and a marketing degree in college, Adams was looking for something to supplement the skills she already had and to really tap into other talent and abilities. In doing so, she came across the visual arts minor offered at Rockhurst.

“I was doing a lot of research. I’ve always been interested in the arts and my parents really encouraged me to look into getting a minor,” Adams said. “Once I dove into our website and kept looking and searching I found it.”

Adams had always been interested in the arts, but graphic design took a little bit of time for her to learn. 

“I had taken a class or two with some of the Adobe programs and actually struggled in them, but this summer I took a graphic design course and really loved it,” Adams said. “I had a friend ask me to design a logo before I took the class for her Etsy shop and I did it without knowing anything. Thank goodness she came to me this summer while I was taking the class and said, ‘I’d love to give it a facelift, or can we revisit it?’ and I looked at it and was like, ‘oh my gosh, yes, we need to.’”

Graphic design presents the challenge Adams is looking for in her work.

“Taking things digitally, seeing how things work on all different platforms, and adjusting them. That’s what I love about the creative side of life. It’s always a challenge. Even as I accomplish one thing, there’s still more to do.”

In each area, Adams has had opportunities around campus to build her portfolio. As historian of her sorority, she is able to use her photography skills, while with graphic design she has been able to create logos for other students hoping to start up their own business or build their own brands.

“We do big photo shoots, and I bring my camera to any event we have so we get really high-quality photos. It builds my portfolio as well as supports the sorority and our organization,” Adams said. “I did reach out to a friend who just graduated from Rockhurst who’s an artist who said he was interested in a logo. I ran into him today actually and he was painting his logo that I designed on a huge canvas to be at his show this weekend.”

Expanding her portfolio on campus has been a learning experience. Adams has had to reach out to others to find ways she could employ her expertise and help them out.

“What I’ve learned while being at school is that I really have to put myself out there. Nick Davis is a DJ and I was like, ‘let me take some promotional photos for you,’ and now we kind of have a thing and we’re doing it again in the future,” Adams said. “That is something I’ve really had to work on, how to put myself out there and present myself as a businesswoman.”

Off campus, Adams has worked with her father’s business to create his logo and help create his brand identity.

“I’ve started to do some brand identity for him and worked with his web designer for that,” Adams said. “I guess that’s as close as I’ve gotten beyond my friends and the Rockhurst community, although I do have my fingers crossed for some things to come.”

In the future, Adams hopes to work as an account director for a marketing firm, but her dream job would be with TOMS Shoes.

“I’ve always been all about TOMS and what they do in the world and what they do for other people so I think it’s amazing and the opportunities they give other people are just incredible,” Adams said. “They were a company that was successful with shoes and then they moved to bags and then they moved to glasses and they just keep inventing and creating. I guess it goes back to there’s always a challenge and that’s what fuels their fire.” 


Check out more of her work HERE