Andy Olsen – Solid.

January 14, 2008


Carla and I had the good fortune to meet Lexington photographer Andy Olsen at a wedding show, and I wanted to point you all in his direction. At 26 Andy as already studied in several different countries, been an editor at a magazine, does both commercial and editorial freelance, and is growing a steady wedding business with his wife Erika. First and foremost both him and Erika are really great people, but to top it off they’re solid photographers too.


He doesn’t know it yet, but there’s a really good chance he’ll be one of our Dirty Dozen meetings this semester to speak too.

Check out Andy Olsen Photography.



As a photojournalist, even if international work or spot news isn’t your thing, you’ll inevitably find yourself in situations where you are called on to make pictures as strong and as important as the moment that surrounds them. John Moore, a photographer with Getty Images, was covering a political rally in Pakistan, held by Benzair Bhutto the leader of Pakistan’s largest political party. It was at that rally that Bhutto was killed, throwing Pakistan’s politics into chaos less than two weeks before parliamentary elections. It was intended that this election would restore democracy in Pakistan after eight years of military dictatorship — a vote in which Ms. Bhutto would have been a front runner.


Within seconds Moore’s role changed from covering a standard political rally to one of making images that portrayed a pivotal moment in the political, social and democratic future of Pakistan. The New York Times ran a multimedia piece on Bhutto’s assassination narrated by Moore, which you can see by clicking HERE. (please watch this)

Again, it is SO important that as students you work hard, now, to perfect and hone your craft of photojournalism because it’s your eyes that are responsible for communicating these moments to the rest of the world, and you need to be able to do that very, very well.

Beat the Machine

December 16, 2007

When you talk about the machine, being pushed along by cogs and wheels towards the common fate of graduation, this is what comes to mind. Look at all those photographers, all starting from the same point, the same perspective. Like I said on the blog, when you take the responsibility of your “assembly” away from the machine and put it in your own hands that’s when you have the potential to truly do something great.

When you do that you become the guy with options, with the body of work and the reputation that lets you make the kind of images that are keeping you up at night right now. When you put forth the extra effort and really, really commit yourself to being a great photojournalist and not just another guy with camera, then you become the guy on the other side of the track. You make the pictures that people really notice, really remember, and that change the world.

The protesters are coming!

December 15, 2007


This is a little ways off still, but I think you guys should be very aware of the Republican National Convention that will be happening in September. Why? The potential for huge, rollicking, tear gas saturated protests. There are a number of groups organizing now with plans to either disrupt the C0nvention or make their feelings about the Republican Party very well know. One group, (aka the RNC Welcoming Committee), has a pretty well developed website and blog and will even be producing a cross country tour to galvanize support for disrupting the convention.

Check out the YouTube video by clicking HERE. The video is obviously meant to be funny, but beyond that it’s an indicator that the RNC is probably worth attending with a camera in your hand.


Regardless of how you feel about the various political parties, anarchists or protesting in general this is a really good chance for you students to document an extremely large, extremely important national event and do it shoulder to shoulder with some very talented photographers. The fact that there are so many groups getting organized so far ahead of time is just icing on the cake, and means that there could be some pretty physical protesting going on. We talk a lot about getting out into the world and making images, and this is a very big opportunity for you students to do just that. Start planning now.


December 15, 2007

This has absolutely nothing to do with photography, but is well out of control and pretty awesome so I couldn’t help but pass it along. Check out FLIGHT.


KNPA Conference – January

December 10, 2007


For those of you who missed out on a great opportunity in going to the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, you are fortunate that the Kentucky News Photographer’s Association’s annual conference/contest is still waiting out there for you. The conference takes place in Louisville on January 25 and 26 and has an exceptionally strong panel of contest judges and speakers, such as Pulitzer Prize winner Renée C. Byer of the
Sacramento Bee; David Frank of The New York Times; Seth Gitner of The
Roanoke Times
; journalism professor Steve Raymer of Indiana
University, a National Geographic photographer; Keith Morrison from

The images in this post are winning images from the 2004 contest. We’ve talked about it a number of times already, but KNPA is a chance for you guys, collectively, to let the outside world know what you’re trying to build here at UK and I expect everyone to enter.

Below is a quick description of the event. If you have any questions about going to KNPA (if you’re a UK PJer I would, really, really (really) expect to see you there) let me know or contact Joe Imel, whose email is at the bottom of the KNPA description.


The Kentucky News Photographers Association’ s annual Educational
Seminar and Photographer of the Year Contest will be held Jan. 25-26,
2008, at the Louisville Marriott East. Contest rules, entry forms and
seminar registration can be found at
Saturday’s seminar schedule features a full day of speakers
including Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Renée C. Byer of the
Sacramento Bee; David Frank of The New York Times; Seth Gitner of The
Roanoke Times
; journalism professor Steve Raymer of Indiana
University, a National Geographic photographer; Keith Morrison from
NBC; Fred Shook from Terranova Pictures; and Kevin Johnson, of b-, the Television News Photography website. Local speakers
include David Stephenson, of the Lexington Herald-Leader and Kylene
Lloyd of the Louisville Courier-Journal.
The seminar topics include documentary photojournalism,
multimedia, both audio and video, long term projects and covering
assignments from your back yard to overseas. Seminar Saturday
culminates with an award banquet and dinner.
This year’s POY contest features new multimedia categories and a
separate professional and student contest. The winners’ of the POY and
Student POY contest will receive Nikon cameras and the winner of the
Sports POY will take home a Canon 40D.

We will have vendors on site Friday and Saturday. There will be
coffee, soda, and snacks in the vendor room during the breaks.
Students will be able to sign up for portfolio critiques Saturday and
talk with award winning photographers and leaders in the industry.
KNPA dues are $35 a year from professionals and $10 a year for
students. The contest fee is $35 for professional KNPA members and
free KNPA student members. The seminar is free to KNPA member students
and $35 for KNPA professionals and non-members.
The KNPA, an accredited chapter of the NPPA, is refocusing its
efforts on the working professionals across the state as well as
provide educational opportunities for students. The web site,
, has been relaunched with a new look and features. In the near future
we will add a job bank, used equipment for sale, links to member web
sites and well as feature links to all multimedia entires from the POY
contest. All winning entries will be displayed on the KNPA web site.
In a time when staff jobs are being cut or frozen and our job
descriptions and expectations are changing, the KNPA, with your help,
is looking to be more of a resource that it has it has in the past.
Please make plans to enter the POY contest and attend the seminar. We
have an NPPA Flying Short Course quality weekend planned right here in
our own backyard. It will be a great weekend to see incredible images
from the past year in Kentucky, network and get reacquainted with old
friends and make some new ones.
Keep checking the KNPA web site for updates about the contest
and seminar. If you have questions about the seminar contact KNPA vice-
president Joe Imel (joe@joeimel. com). If you have still or TV contest
questions, contact Amy Wallot (awallot@hotmail. com) or Drew Cook (drewcook@wave3. com


December 6, 2007

We just found out that Elliott Hess and Brittney McIntosh, the two students we submitted to the first round of Hearst (Portrait, Feature and Pictorial category) finished 16th and 18th overall. That’s a great showing, and reflects well on the effort they’ve put into increasing their ability as photographers this semester. At 16th and 18th they were on the cusp of moving on the next round (the top 12 move on), the portfolio round. From the portfolio round the photographers with the top six portfolios are flown to San Francisco for the championship shootout. While we didn’t quite make it in this round, the Sports and News category is coming up soon and will be due in mid January. We also have a few students working on projects that have potential to do well and place high in the Photo Story category, which is due around March. Keep shooting – you’re heading in a good direction.

If you see Elliott and Britney around the Kernel, make sure to congratulate them. They’ve represented what you are all trying to build here at UK well. The Hearst Competition is generally considered the Pulitzer Prize of college journalism, and if you all, collectively, keep shooting and have a sense of purpose as photographers you will continue to grow and place higher in both this and other contests and more importantly you will be able to produce better work overall.

Elliot’s Hearst Images: Portraits






Pictorial/Personal Vision:




Britney McIntosh’s Hearst Images: Feature






Pictorial/Personal Vision:


There are no shortcuts.

November 28, 2007

There have been a few students lately that I wanted to recognize for their effort. Britney McIntosh, Elliott Hess and Kasha Stevenson have been out shooting on a regular basis – almost all of which was not assignment generated – and have been making some very nice, thought provoking images while also building their portfolio. Like I have said over and over and over, the only way to get better is to put yourself out there with a camera in your hand and take some pictures. These three have been doing it and will eventually reap the rewards of building a sense of passion around their work.

Elliott Hess –



You can see more of Elliott’s work on his blog at

Britney McIntosh –



You can see more of Britney’s work on her blog at

Kasha Stevenson –


Kasha doesn’t have a blog at the moment, but if she keeps shooting i’m sure more of her work will be appearing on this blog. Also, Kasha was runner up in the shoot out we had a few weeks ago at the strong man competition. Elliot Hess came in first and both get gift certificates to Chipotle for their effort.

Finally, I wanted to turn you guys on the a blog called A Photo Editor. The publisher is an editor at some major magazine, but won’t say which one so he can keep his job. His blog is a really good look at the inside of the photo world, and the people who send photographers on assignments and pay large sums of money for pictures. To get an idea on what level of photographers this guy works with, he send James Nachtwey on assignments.

To see his blog click HERE.

And last but not least, I wanted to end this post with a quote from the A Photo Editor Blog. I keep talking about effort and what it takes to get better and I thought this went along with that theme. work harder.



November 13, 2007

I also wanted to mention that the results from the College Photographer of the Year competition are in. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend you guys check out the work that your peers are creating. We will be striving to produce photographic work on this level throughout the next year. We will also be looking at some of the results during the Dirty Dozen meeting on Thursday.






VII adds two new members

November 13, 2007

The photo agency VII (7) has just added two new members, Marcus Bleasdale and Franco Pageitti. Blesdale, among other things, was an Alexia Grant winner for a proposal to document diamond mining in Africa and conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone.



Below is a snippet from an article in PDN magazine about the new additions to VII. Top read the rest of the article and learn more about the work of the two very talented photographers click HERE.

The VII photo agency, which strictly limits its membership, has elected two new members, Marcus Bleasdale and Franco Pagetti.

Both are seasoned documentary shooters who expand VII’s roster of conflict photographers.

The photographers were selected last week at a VII meeting in Pasadena, Calif., where current members considered over 100 applications for membership.

“We are thrilled that Marcus and Franco have agreed to join VII,” said VII chairman Gary Knight in a statement. “For the past decade, they have both demonstrated an indefatigable commitment to some of the most important stories of our time. They are also close friends and colleagues, and we look forward to having them join the VII family.”