Monday, March 12, 2012

Intro to PJ student conquers his fear of feature photography

Mages gather for Friday Night Magic. This is a strong overall shot of the gaming scene. (PHO 245 photos by Paul Murray)
Nice detail shot to compliment the feature story.
    PHO 245 student Paul Murray is the shy type who admits he doesn't really like people. That's a pretty bold confession considering his major is journalism.
   "I was never very thrilled about photos that involve people," he wrote in his most recent blog post.
   "I think the world is a beautiful place, but I tend to dislike most people in general. The thought of approaching a random stranger with a camera is probably one of my biggest fears."
  For Paul, taking this Intro to Photojournalism course took a lot of guts. Most of my Intro to PJ students come out of Black and White 1 and Digital PHO 1, where they hone their camera control skills on inanimate objects. I can't tell you how many railroad and tree photos I've graded over the years. Taking photos of complete strangers opens up a whole new world to them. Some will love it and some will hate it, but all photoj students have to at least experience it.
   I have no grand illusions that PHO245 students take the course because they want to become photojournalists. Most of them have hopes of becoming commercial photographers, though, which means dealing with people. So this course is probably the first one that forces them to meet strangers and visually document their stories.
   It's easy to sip cappuccino at a coffee shop and criticize the photos in the local paper, but until you walk in our shoes, well, let's just say it's harder than it looks. And that's why I've chosen Paul as my  blogger of the week.  This week he posted his essay about feature photography, and I have to say his feature photos were good. He tried hard not to let his fear of photographing strangers inhibit his creative side.
   Visit his blog to see his other photos, and read about how he stepped out of his comfort zone. I also encourage you to read the blogs of the other PJ students. Their blog links are in the Student Blog roll above.

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