GDB First-Year Photo Project

UAlbany Freshmen capture their first semester of collegiate life through photos.

What is it?

The Great Dane Beginnings First-Year Photo Project is an initiative aimed at illustrating students’ personal transition to UAlbany through photography. The photo project kicks off Saturday, September 22nd at Clash of the Quads and concludes on November 16th.

How does it work?

We’re asking you to take photographs that show what you liked most about coming to UAlbany.

Here’s what you’ll need to do:

  • Between September 22nd and November 16th, e-mail us at least 4 photos along with a brief description of each. The photos can be from the first few months of this semester or even from summer orientation. As long as it captures what you liked most about coming to UAlbany, it’s fair game. Submissions should be sent to

Note: You do not have to wait until November 16th to send all of your photos in a single submission. Feel free to e-mail us your photos in-the-moment and as you experience all that UAlbany has to offer!

  • Each photo should be submitted with a short explanation of:
  • What/who is in the picture
  • Where the picture was taken
  • Why/how does this picture capture what you have enjoyed most about coming to UAlbany

What are some examples?


“This picture is of me at the block party freshman year on Dutch quad with the mentoring organization "Sisters with Pride". The block party gave me the chance to get more acquainted with the group and other organizations on campus which inspired me to get more involved. The block party is one of the beauties of coming to UAlbany. Not every college organizes such an event for students to get informed and involved on campus.”


“Residential Life had a program where they showed us how to use public transport to get around the City of Albany and back home.  Then they took us the bus to Wal-Mart.  The program made us feel comfortable with traveling around Albany, and we got to get some things for our dorm room.”

Need other ideas?

Consider capturing your experiences in the following areas:

Your University

This is Your Great Dane Beginning - At an institution as large and diverse as the University at Albany, every student has their own unique experience. Take photos that show others the different places and experiences that are a part of your unique UAlbany experience. Based on your own transition to college, each student defines their experience by different relationships, resources and locations on campus and in the community.

Personal Development

Having made it through the first few weeks of the semester, many students choose to mark this occasion through different activities. You might like to spend time with the friends you’ve made on campus or spending some time with friends and family during Homecoming and Family Weekend you may not have seen since summer. Take photos that reflect how you have developed since arriving at UAlbany while making goals for what you hope to accomplish as the semester unfolds.


The first-year of college can be a whirlwind of emotions that is different for every student. Every individual has different obstacles when it comes to developing relationships, facing new academic challenges, navigating a new environment and developing new life skills. Where one student may find it stressful studying for a midterm or working on a research paper, another student may find it stressful commuting to campus or learning how to do his or her own laundry. Take photos of challenges you have overcome, or obstacles you still may be struggling with.