Young photographers gain national exposure

What makes a successful photographer? A strong portfolio with published photo credits is a good start.

A print advertisement for Calumet Photographic – which runs this spring in a number of publications for professional photographers and educators – is giving students in Appalachian State University’s technical photography program some career-building exposure.

The ad features 10 dynamic images, along with comments by Assistant Professor Mark Malloy about the program’s “Field Experience in Technical Photography: Pro Studio” course and the value of networking.

Each image in the ad includes the student photographer’s name, an important step in entering a field dominated by name recognition and word-of-mouth recommendation. “An ad like this highlights their work and their photo credit. It’s a great opportunity for the students and for our program,” said Malloy, who spent 12 years working in New York photography studios before teaching in Appalachian’s Department of Technology.

A point of pride regarding Appalachian’s technical photography program is its “Field Experience in Technical Photography: Pro Studio” course. In it, students learn how to research, request and perform a weeklong internship during spring break with a professional photographer they admire. This year’s class of 14 students assisted professional photographers in their studios in New York City and Philadelphia.

The opportunity gives them a leg up in understanding the photography industry, networking with potential employers, and building the self-confidence they need to excel in a competitive business, Malloy said.

The Calumet ad is to be used worldwide for one year in all of Calumet’s educational advertisements, brochures, and trade show banners. It is currently in American PHOTO on Campus, PDNedu, and Exposure, the journal of the Society for Photographic Education (SPE). The ad is also to be published in a conference brochure for the SPE’s national meeting in Dallas.

Student photographers featured in the ad include Adam Dixon, Harrison Fahrer, Elizabeth Ligon, David Sand, Jameykay Young, Jon Heller, Lauren Goodwin, and Nobu Tanaka.

Jameykay Young

Junior from Asheville, N.C.

“What drives me… is my own desire to do something spectacular,” says Jameykay, who became fascinated with photos and film at age 6. Growing up, she shot most of her family movies herself. “My aunt put an old Canon Rebel in my hand and I am eternally indebted to her for that. Ever since then I’ve studied the work of professionals and amateurs to learn how to make my photography better,” she said. “I’ve shed so many tears, bled a little, gotten dirty and had my feelings hurt, but at the end of the day here I am—alive, breathing, and viewing my life through a lens. I should get my camera surgically attached to my right hand, it would just make life easier!”

Jon Heller

Junior from Boonsboro, Md.

“While I’m a student and have the time, money and resources, I want to learn every style of photography I can. I don’t want to limit myself in any way and hopefully someday my work will turn into a style of its own,” says Jon. His took an interest in photography as a child, and then became serious about the art in high school. “Striving to be my best is what keeps me going… like staying up til 3 a.m. getting the perfect shot because I didn’t like the first 200 shots I took.”

Lauren Goodwin

Junior from Concord, N.C.

In high school, Lauren worked some as a model and actress. But she found she preferred being behind the lens, not in front. “The photographers at the agency always seemed to love what they were doing. I wanted to be able to have that experience,” she said. As a photography student, Lauren enjoys portraiture. “I like to show who a person really is inside, versus the façade that most people carry around with them. Capturing the soul, I guess you could say… People and the opportunity to create something that can make a difference drive my passion for photography. I love to take a great photograph that makes people smile or think.”

Nobu Tanaka

Junior from Fukuoka, Japan

Nobu loves to travel the globe. His passion is meeting new people and seeing new sights, and he loves to document them all with his lens. What drives his passion for photography? “I can capture the moment,” he says. “It can be hard to get that moment, that split second, but it feels great.” At age 31, Nobu has worked as an engineer for Siemens and a computer expert for Yahoo! He came to Appalachian as a computer science major, but after taking an elective course in Appalachian’s technical photography program, he decided to turn his hobby into a livelihood. His new career goal: work for a photographic retouching company in New York City.