The annual “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project by the Northern Arizona University (NAU) photography students is back in its 4th–and best–year!
Four years ago, I partnered with my good friend, fellow photographer, and NAU photography instructor, Amy Horn, to offer her intermediate 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, where 24 students participated in our sophomore effort. In our third year, we saw 39 excited guest bloggers “show and tell” their work!
This year, I’m proud to introduce the 48 NAU photography student guest bloggers – bringing the total number of students who have participated up to 146 over the last four years!
On March 29, 2016, I stopped Amy’s Intermediate Photography (PHO200) 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–and were excited enough about it to tell the story in 800-words (or less) about 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 our blog readers get to know them better, 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 diverse perspectives, creativity, and personal stories each student will present in their own post.
Even though my blog and personal photography focuses primarily 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 by leaving your thoughts and any constructive comments you might have for them in the Comment section for each blog post. To not only provide your encouragement and perspectives to developing talent, but also to help you 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 workshops and 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? Share with us all your ideas!
Without further ado, starting tomorrow morning, please join me in welcoming the 2016 NAU Intermediate Photography students “Behind the Image” photographs and stories!