I still remember it like yesterday. I was a student at the University of South Florida and true to form I had been at the school for a few years before actually taking classes in my major. I was running my last leg of the public school system race and had the freedom to choose some electives to compliment my degree in journalism news. Rummaging through the available classes online I spotted “photojournalism”. My heart skipped a beat. I had waited many a semester to take THIS course. My excitement came from a fond memory of high school when I took a photography class. It was a basic course in “classical” photography; learning all about lines, composition, light and to my joy developing our creations in a darkroom. I had no camera so I borrowed what I thought was the greatest camera ever because it belonged to my dad. It looked like this, except a little dirtier maybe and with a super retro strap.
And it was with those memories that I clicked and enrolled hoping no one had taken the last spot before I could finish my submission. Alas, I was in! I simply could not wait to learn a new craft. Well, semi-new. As a journalism student I had the privilege of toting a 50 pound camera (or so it felt) complete with a tripod and lighting equipment all in the hopes of capturing a few good sound bites and b-roll. Needless, to say I was relieved to shave a few pounds of baggage in favor of a shiny new Canon dslr they handed me for the semester. The possibilities seemed endless. Except, save my high school course, I had no idea what I was doing. (As evidenced in these photographs.)
Not everyone was as enthused as I was. One student even told me she was taking the course for an easy A. We learned all about the greats, Adams, Besson, Capa, Lange, White….It was the history of it all that enraptured me. Knowing that through their creations, they were changing lives and shaping history.