“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” John Lennon
As one of the local committee members who planned the 2013 Spring JEA National Convention, I was busy creating expectations. After the last convention in San Antonio, I even thought that I would influence the story. Wrong. I did not even control my own computer. I barely managed my own emotions. When the convention ended and people said that they had left their heart in San Francisco, I returned three different times searching for some connection to everyone who had left. I have never felt so disoriented after a convention… AND I LIVE HERE!
John Lennon also wrote “Give Peace a Chance.” I was leading a photography workshop down Market Street when this person crossed the street yelling on his megaphone. With his colorful shirt, peace signs, and megaphone, we could make a good photo, but I think he is an example of the first quote more than the second.… Read the rest
While I was preparing for my final presentation, a sales person approached me in my hotel lobby. The woman wanted to sell me something similar to a timeshare, “but it was not a timeshare.” I stopped preparing my presentation while my tea finished steeping. She continued asking me questions loud enough so that I could barely hear the newscaster discuss the recent CIA Director’s resignation. Then the salesperson inside my hotel asked me, “So what do you think about this David Petraeus thing.” Before I could respond, the salesperson continued,
“I think that Obama is a secret Muslim and he is covering up Benghazi.”
I paused before responding… I paused several times. My answer was quite brilliant, and I will share it for you in the comment section in case your hotel sanctions similar sales tactics. For now, I want to illustrate a different point.
Some people will make up “the story behind the story.”
At the San Antonio JEA/ NSPA National High School Journalism Conference, I presented a photo story workshop with Dave LaBelle.… Read the rest
A few hours ago, Mark Murray and I presented our photography portfolio presentation in San Antonio, Texas for the Fall 2012 JEA/ NSPA National Journalism Convention. We have presented together at every JEA Convention since Nashville, Tennessee. The presentation changes with technology and the city. The students influence or presentation too. Here is my post from our last presentation in Seattle, Washington.
From this year’s discussion, I will remember “purpose and audience.” At least, I will remember that Mark and I tried to explain to “our audience” the importance of identifying the correct audience.
I often relate a portfolio to music. Photos can belong to the same album and sound different… but not too different. Photos can also sound similar, but not too similar, otherwise listeners feel cheated. We want variety and similarity. Viewers know variety when we see it and we know dissonance when we see it too. Portfolios and albums (or CD’s) are similar.… Read the rest
Student press supporters often claim that students “do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate.” At a recent national journalism education conference, I noticed a different version of this quote. Outside the schoolhose gate, students express themselves too.
Fourteen year old Malcolm Sutherland-Foggio, started a non-profit for pediatric cancer research after Malcolm watched his friends die next to him in the hospital. Malcolm and his mother brought the national angel quilt to Seattle, and coincidentally, were stationed at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center. The journalism students and educators from JEA/NSPA would pass his table several times each day.
During the convention, I met with students from the Carlsbad High School Lancer Link. These students somehow operate inside the school gates with readers throughout the world. I was familiar with the publication before the teacher asked me to critique the publication.… Read the rest
Have you ever walked into a room and felt as if you belonged?
I remember the first time I saw Mark Murray and Bradley Wilson. We attended a national convention for the Journalism Education Association. There were about six thousand other people, but I figured I would know these two for a long time. At that convention, Bradley asked if could help critique photography portfolios. The simple meeting led to the creation of a popular workshop that has informed photography portfolios.
When Mark Murray and I created our workshop, photographers submitted prints on matte boards. At our first presentation in Nashville, I photocopied handouts from Pulitzer Prize winning photographer John Kaplan’s book Photo Portfolio Success. (John granted permission and helped me prepare content.) I underestimated the size of our audience. We needed 125 more packets.
Eventually, Bradley Wilson moved all of the national contests to a digital format.… Read the rest
Somehow, I have done it again.
I have found another partner to create an important presentation for the Journalism Education Association. Just as I have done at previous national conferences with the photography portfolio presentations, I have partnered with an amazing photography educator.
In addition to being an award winning photographer, Dave LaBelle has educated many Pulitzer Prize winners. Dave has also written important books on photo ethics and story telling. Despite his accomplishments, Dave is friendly and modest. He is one of the most approachable people I know. At JEA conferences, his sessions are usually packed. I assume that a few hundred people will attend our photo story session.
To paraphrase Mark Twain, the death of the photo story has been greatly exaggerated. Dave and I will discuss the importance of the photo story, especially in a world that is increasingly virtual. Newer technology tools have helped image makers tell stories with pictures.… Read the rest
Twice a year, the Journalism Education Association and the National Student Press Association host national journalism conferences. Several thousand students, educators and professionals attend each convention. For those four days, it is easy to reflect on the conference and believe in the future of journalism.
At this year’s conference, veterans and newcomers inspired the students. Vadim Lavrusik spoke to a couple thousand attendees. Lavrusik is Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager. He is also 25. Before he worked at Facebook, he was the Community Manager and Social Strategist at Mashable.
Dave LaBelle, photographer and educator presented at the conference. LaBelle has authored two books that have defined how photographers cover photojournalism. While Lavrusik is only 25, LaBelle has more than 25 years of experience. LaBelle and I are going to present together at the next conference. This year, Mark Murray and presented together again. At the next conference, I will present on photography portfolios and photo stories.… Read the rest