At the 2012 JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention, Mark Murray and I presented a photography portfolio workshop. We have presented thirteen portfolio workshops at the last twelve JEA/NSPA national conferences starting in Nashville, Tennessee. (We have also presented at other conferences separately.)
At last year’s Anaheim convention, we presented with Jim McNay. Jim is an influential photojournalism educator who helped us create the original presentation. I can trace most of my photography relationships to Jim. Jim also connected me to Grant Morris the photographer who allows Mark and me to use his college photography portfolio for our presentation. Grant was a student at Brooks Institute and the Eddie Adams Workshop. Jim started the Visual Journalism program at Brooks and he has worked many of the Adams weekends.
On Saturday, Dave LaBelle and I presented a workshop at the 2012 Spring National Scholastic Journalism Conference. This was the first time that Dave and I presented together although we have critiqued and judged photo competitions several times. At the last three conventions, the Journalism Education Association introduced a photo story category. Dave and I noticed that contestants did not seem to understand how to create compelling stories.
Students were submitting groups of photos that were often related, but missed important elements. While structure is not the most important aspect, it is not inconsequential either. As I stated during my presentation,
“Saying a photo story is about structure is like saying a good written essay is about having five paragraphs.”
A good photo story changes the participants, including the photographer, but also the viewer and the subject. Photo stories are interactive. I used the photo above to illustrate interaction. The photo also has a deeper meaning.… 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