Each year we work with the Northern Arizona University (NAU) photography students on the “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project, it just keeps getting bigger and better – and the 3rd annual event is certainly no different! I’m thrilled to officially introduce the participants who will serve as guest bloggers on my blog starting tomorrow through mid-May.
To give you some background on this effort, two years ago, I partnered with my good friend, fellow photographer, and NAU photography instructor, Amy Horn, to offer her photography students an opportunity to turn their school studies into real-world, practical experience. Thirty-five students participated in this inaugural project (to see their entries, select Guest Blogger and Making the Image categories from the right side of this screen). After receiving many positive comments from both the students and this audience, Amy and I teamed up again last year, where 24 students participated in our sophomore effort. In our third year, we have 39 excited guest bloggers ready to show and tell their work!
On March 31, 2015 I visited Amy’s two Intermediate Photography (PHO285) classes to share my “Clowns, Snowballs, and Boats: Surviving as a Freelance Photographer” presentation and to share details about the “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” assignment. The students received instruction to select a single image they created during this semester. Then, we asked them to provide an 800-word (or less) description of their photograph, outlining why and how they made their image. We encouraged them to share what process they used to create it, what inspired them to make the photograph, and the technical information for the resulting photograph. To help readers connect with them, we also requested a 100-word bio.
Their photographs and words will be shared exactly as they submitted (i.e., I’ve done no editing of their work). Some are blogging for the very first time! I hope you enjoy the diversity, the unique perspectives, and honesty these students will present.
Even though my blog and personal photography focuses on the Great Outdoors, the students were given free range to pursue their own interests beyond nature if they desired. No matter our own individual domains, I feel strongly that we can refine our own style and work by reviewing and evaluating any type of photography – and get lots of new ideas!
If you feel so inclined, please show your support for these learning student photographers! Leave your insights and constructive comments in the Comment section for each blog post to not only provide your encouragement and perspectives, but also to help polish your own style. As you review the image and write-ups, ask yourself, “What do you like about the image? What might you improve? Do you have any similar experiences with this subject, technique, or approach?” As I often share in my presentations and the Austin Kleon book suggests, “Steal like an artist!” How can you apply what you like to your own work in a different situation? Tell us about it. Let’s hear what you have to say!
With that, please join me in welcoming the 2015 NAU Intermediate Photography students and enjoy their photography and “Behind the Image” stories!