D.C. Trip - Day Five
On day five of the #RITPJDCTRIP, I woke up with my glasses on, laptop knocked over on the floor, and the tv and lights still on. We didn’t make it back to Cal’s until 2 a.m.
After having a great time at the reception, JuliAnna, Dan, Joey, Brittainy, Cal, and myself went over to Eli’s house where we listened to music, watched some basketball on tv, and had a great time catching up with each other. Something that this industry has given me that I am very grateful for is friends all over the country, and the world. I have met some of the most amazing people because of photojournalism and photojournalism workshops. I have become very close with many people that I have met while attending these workshops and gatherings. I think being part of this industry can be tough at times but attending these workshops and gatherings can really help inspire and motivate you. I will always try to make it to photojournalism events.
After waking up, picking up my laptop and finishing my day four blog post, our first stop on our last day of meetings in D.C. was Pew Charitable Trusts. Pew is a data and fact center that informs the public about the “issues, attitudes and trends” that are happening around the world to enhance public dialogue. It is important to know that Pew Research is nonpartisan and just gives you the data and facts.
At Pew, we met with Bronwen Latimer, multimedia officer. It was interesting to listen to Bronwen talk about what she is doing as a multimedia officer at Pew. She talked about she is showing her colleagues the importance of photographs and how they can enhance the writing to a story. Bronwen showed us the first issue of the magazine that used visuals and, in my opinion, it looked very very well done. From the stories, layout, the feel of the paper in the magazine, it was really exciting to see that. There were many topics that Pew focuses on to tell stories. Some of the topics that I would be interested in covering for Pew would be juvenile delinquency, immigration, Antarctica, illegal and over fishing, penguins, cancer, voting and elections, construction, and religion. Yes, I am a sports guy but that is not the only thing I want to do. If I can tell meaningful stories about what is going on in the world and shoot sports as well, that will make me happy. I think that sports has helped me develop into the photographer I am today because of sports. Sports has helped me hone my eye and I’ve improve immensely starting at RIT in the fall of 2014.
Bronwen also talked about the importance of finding photo editors and keeping a relationship with them. “Find 10-12 photo editors that you want to work with for the rest of your life,” Bronwen said. “In order to find 10-12 people, you’ll have to meet 500.”
This is so true. You have to meet a lot of people to find the right ones to work with. If I am going to be a freelancer, I need to know editors in different areas of photojournalism. It isn’t just knowing 10-12 editors, it’s having a good relationship with 10-12 editors. I was surprised at what Pew is doing and I enjoyed learning about what they do and can see myself working with them in the future. I am also interested drone work and it was nice to see Lee Gillenwater, videographer, and some of his amazing video work that he is doing with Pew.
After an informative and interesting meeting at Pew, we had lunch and then made our way to our next stop, Smithsonian Magazine. Here, we met with Donny Bajohr, another RIT alum. It was nice to see Donny. Quick side not, Donny took me under his wing when I was a sophomore and went to my first Northern Short Course in the spring of 2015. I always enjoy seeing Donny and we have a good time when we get the chance to catch up.
Smithsonian Magazine records the arts, history, sciences, and culture that is going on around the world. In addition to talking with Donny, we met with Jeff Campagna, photo editor, and Quentin Nardi, chief photo editor. One thing Quentin talked about not getting stuck in a niche, and that really resonates with me. I want to be able to photograph sports at a very high level but it’s not the only thing I want to do. I want to be able to tell stories. I also think that I would excel at photographing politics in D.C. I know that it’s hard to do and it can get very boring, but I think when I get bored, that’s when I get creative. It’s also good to know that Smithsonian is interested in sports stories as long as there is some type of history behind it.
This week has been amazing. Like I said in the beginning, I always enjoy catching up with friends in the photo community and meeting new people. I get to see so many amazing people on these trips, new and old friends. It has been such an inspirational week. I believe our class had a great time this week and William did a fantastic job setting everything up. Each one of us in the class has more connections and friendships then when we started the week. We have learned so much in the past five days. Thank you to everyone that we met with this week and thank you to William, especially, for everything that he does for us and our program. William is doing great things for RIT PJ and I think he is just getting the program where he wants it to be. When I graduate in December, it’s going to be exciting to see where the program goes in the future. I really care about our program and it is so nice when I see fellow and former classmates are not only getting jobs and are employed, whether that’s freelance or staff, but are happy and enjoying what they are doing in the real world. I think that speaks to where our program is at the moment and to the dedication and passion William has for photojournalism, teaching students, and forming the community that we now have.
Until next time!