UM PHOTOJOURNALISM REVIEW

A bit of a late entry here, but still worth a mention. I spent some time last Sunday reviewing the portfolios of the senior Photojournalism students at the University of Montana. The opportunity came my way thanks to Kerri at Gallery Saintonge and I am darn thankful it fell into my lap.

This was my first time being on "that side of the table," and the experience was really eye-opening and totally enjoyable for me. It felt good to be back in the J-school, as it has been (gulp) about 10 years since I spent every waking hour in the old darkroom scrambling to finish an assignment. Looking back, I have nothing but fond memories of that time. Of all the questionable decisions I have ever made (and will make!), the decision to change horses and enroll in Journalism school remains one of the best. I really like that I am able to keep a connection to the school and some of the people running the show over there.

The reviews were rapid-fire quick and I really hope that in all of my hurried chatter, at least one student was able to take something away from the time. I know the experience was totally eye-opening and helpful for me. I asked every student a few basic questions, including "why photojournalism?" and "what next." Of course, there were a couple of "i don't knows" and "ummmm's," but the vast majority of answers were specific, thought-out and took no time to say. I was really impressed by how many people seemed to know where they wanted to steer their photo efforts. My answer to every one of them was if they already have a good idea of what they want to do, then they are more than halfway there.

Anyhow, I look forward to being part of the next portfolio review...if I am lucky enough to be asked back.