Thursday, December 1, 2011

Me and my shadows: Owens students follow me around on the job

Owens student Cheri Guthrie shares the photo box with CatTrick at a Walleye hockey game Nov. 30. (Photo by Lori King)
   With only a week left in the semester, the pressure was on for photography students at Owens Community College to finish all of their homework assignments.
   One of the final projects for the Photo Seminar course, taught by Margaret Lockwood-Lass, was to shadow a photographer of their choice and create a PowerPoint on what they learned. I'm a little flattered that four of her students, including Cheri Guthrie, chose to follow me around during my 'day' job as a photojournalist with the Toledo Blade newspaper. Cheri worked on her panning skills, and I think she nailed it!
   I don't have grand illusions that any of the four students, or even my own PHO245 students, will go into the photojournalism field. First of all, the competition is very, very steep. There are so many so-called photographers out there, thanks to digital cameras with auto capabilities, that finding a good paying job these days is nearly impossible. Secondly, aren't newspapers supposedly dying a slow death?
   As dismal as that sounds, I still believe that my role as an Owens photojournalism instructor is vital because the students become informed citizens with photojournalism sensibilities. The education taught in that classroom helps them to better understand the basic legal, ethical and civic responsibility of the news industry.
   We can not survive as a free society without trained journalists and citizen communicators.
   Yes, modern journalism is complicated, but it allows non-traditional photojournalists to tell truthful stories via social media, which makes it possible for them to have a voice without a newspaper to print it.
   This my train of thought when I'm in that classroom, or when I'm being shadowed by eager students who think photojournalism is cool.

1 comment:

Rebecca Okenka said...

I really would like to "shadow" you also. I think it would be so interesting to actually experience a real day in the life of a photojournalist and I can't think of anyone better than you, Lori.