A new familiar term in my world is PJ. Not the abbreviation for pajamas but the letters for the word photojournalist. One long word that I’m too lazy to spell out each time. For as long as I have held a camera in my hand I have always dreamed of using those skills to partner with non-profits, travel with missions, or donate my time to special organizations. The idea of capturing images photo journalistically has always intrigued me. National geographic photographers WOW me big time! Teaching at Fresno Christian for the last few years has opened a door for me to partner with my old (Sorry Stobbe… not that old) English teacher who is still there advising our amazing publications team. The team publishes an online newspaper called The Feather.
Now allow me a second to boast a bit. This is not your ordinary high school newspaper. They publish on average about 60-80 articles a month. They have won the top national awards for the last 10 years. These students are invited every year by Columbia University to teach at the national conference, and the scholarships they receive are amazing.
Stobbe (my not so old english teacher) is sort of a wizard / guru at this whole journalism thing. Kind of a BIG deal in the journalism world. So naturally when I came back and saw how amazing this team was I was blown away. Content was fabulous, the product they published was far beyond what I expected out of high schoolers. The only thing missing was the same level of photography. Now if you know me… I’m a fixer. My friend would say that’s a feature not a flaw. Naturally I began to want to fix this lack of fabulous images to accompany the award winning writing. Little did I know my dream would begin to be fulfilled in a much different way.
This is the beginning of my chapter 2, my second act, my next phase, or whatever it’s called. A door opened and I lept through. This new website will allow me to talk more about this part. The part where I teach, coach, challenge, and hopefully inspire students with what I have learned and continue to learn as a photographer. The students learn everything from photography to business calls and marketing. The challenge is exciting and revives a little part of me that got burned out after 10 years in the business.
I hope to share my successes and my failures. I hope my journey with the PJ’s can offer you something. I hope more then anything you leave feeling encouraged to pick up your camera and capture your own world.