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|| Member Message Board

Good Photography Universitys
Kayla Toohey, Photographer, Student/Intern
Bozeman | MT | USA | Posted: 2:08 AM on 08.28.02
->> Hey Everyone I'm a High school Senior and I'm sports photographer for my school paper. I'm Looking for good universitys to go to that have a great phototgraphy program. My goal is to someday work for sports illustrated. If any one knows of good schools i would love it if you let me know. Thanks
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Joshua Brown, Student/Intern, Assistant
Bowling Green | KY | USA | Posted: 11:05 AM on 08.28.02
->> WESTERN KENTUCKY UNIVERSITY.....Brooks, missouri, north carolina, florida, ohio, san jose state, are a few of the major ones.
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Jason Burfield, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 11:45 AM on 08.28.02
->> Ok...I have to put this in here. I had someone tell me this when I was getting ready to go to college for photo-j and I didn't listen. Be sure to take as many business classes as you can. Make sure the school you choose has business classes. Personally, I think you are MUCH better off studying business and doing the photography outside of your classes.

Start assisting people. I learned more from assisting than from my 4 years at Ohio University in the photo program. You will NEVER learn more from school than you will from actual experience. It just makes sense.

Once you get out of the school the most important thing for you to understand is going to be business. How to run your photo business, how to invoice, how to track payments, how to be a business person, as this is what you will be.

I completely ignored this advice when it was given to me. I really wish I would have listened to it back when I was in high school.
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H. Rick Mach, Student/Intern, Photographer
Bowling Green | KY | USA | Posted: 11:51 AM on 08.28.02
->> I'm partial to Western Kentucky Univ. too. Not only will you learn more about sports photography, but it will also make you a well rounded person.
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Sue Jarrett, Photographer
Beaufort | SC | USA | Posted: 12:19 PM on 08.28.02
->> Randolph Community College is North Carolina. I think it is in Asheboro NC. Great program and low cost. Also, try helping at your local daily. My paper's sports dept. loves extra shooters at peak sports time. That way they can cover more events. Don't expect much, if any money. You are after the experience and feed back. My paper (small) would spring for mileage and burgers and a PHOTO CREDIT!
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Rich Pilling, Photographer
New York | NY | U.S.A. | Posted: 12:38 PM on 08.28.02
->> The University of Missouri school of journalism has a terrific photography department. And don't forget the International Center for Photography school in NYC.
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Bill Frakes, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 1:21 PM on 08.28.02
->> It doesn't really matter what you study. It simply matters that you do. Expand your mind. Learn to read, really read. If your mind is agile and sharply focused you will have the basic tools you need to make images that matter, that have impact.

Don't get caught in the trap of spending all of your time dealing with photography. Even for that brief period of formal matriculation a university can not be the sole educational influence in your life, so go to school in a place where you appreciate the lifestyle and where the community offers inspiration not just for photography but for life and growth.
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Josh Merwin, Photographer
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 1:49 PM on 08.28.02
->> I couldn't agree with Bill more. I chose the University of Colorado and don't regret the decision at all. If you are into sports, pick a school with the major ones.(CU unfortunately doesn't have baseball) CU has every sport, plus the mountains (extreme sports:skiing, boarding,etc.), and don't forget riots to shoot!!! Find a school that you will enjoy, and the rest will come as long as you shoot. Also, get an inernship early and assist as many photographers as you can. SI shooters are always looking for assistants at football games. If there is a big game in the area call the mag and ask the respective editor if they are sending someone to cover it, if they are ask to assist! Good Luck
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Matt Hevezi, Photographer
PSC 557 Box 914 | FPO AP | USA | Posted: 2:01 PM on 08.28.02
->> There is a great school out there not too many people know about. Let me warn you though, it is not for everyone. It takes a lot of guts and patience to get through and the rewards, wether you study for four years or 20, are incredible. You get immediate worlwide assignments and shoot all manner of subjects, including combat. It is called the school of hard knocks ... USMC. Again, not for everyone. But I tell this to all young people who want to get a start in photojournalism and have an interest in serving their country. The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have supreme opportunities to learn the craft. Schools include Defense Information School or DINFOS (Maryland), Newhouse (Syracuse University), and a few others. Many of our serious shooters also attend the Eddie Adams workshop and some special in-house workshops coordinated through DINFOS. It is a great way to start a career and see the world. Gaining experience with challenging people, situations and locations I believe is very important to a photojournalist. Military photographers shoot a good amount of pro sports events as part of their duties. Some examples inlcude: Winter Olympics, XGames, Goodwill Games, any pro team with a military tie, etc. If you are interested in a photojournalism career in uniform, let me know and I will put you in touch with the photojournalism department at DINFOS. Don't go to the recuiter until you have all the info you need first. You might also want to check out This website is dedicated to current and former military photographers. It is very informative, although it does not yet contain any info about the "joining the services as a PJ." I'm going to speak with the webmaster today and I'll see if he can't get some info up on how to do that. If the military does not interest you, and money is not an issue, I'd say come out to San Francisco Bay Area for school. The culture and variety is great for anyone doing photography. Plus it is one of the most beautiful parts of the world. You may not ever be able to afford to live here, but if you can spend a few years out here as a student, I think you'll really enjoy it. Finally, check out Preston Keres here on SS. He is the hottest military photographer now on active duty and is a real inspirtation to all of us shooting for Uncle Sam. Hope this helps. Good luck.
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Jeffrey Haderthauer, Photographer, Student/Intern
Norman | OK | USA | Posted: 3:28 PM on 08.28.02
->> I'm not a photo major, I'm doing it all on my own. Whatever school you go to, if you rely on the faculty alone for your education, you're getting cheated. Pick someplace fun, one with a good football team. Kind of like the University of Oklahoma, I hear we're fielding a decent squad this year...
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Dave Burman, Photographer
Waterloo | IA | USA | Posted: 4:26 PM on 08.28.02
->> I can give another point of view. I graduated from a 4 year school, and now I teach photojournalism
and digital imaging as part of a comprehensive professional photography program at a 2 year community
college in Iowa. A 2 year degree is a great start-my students go out and work for smaller papers/assist after they
graduate. Most also eventually pursue the 4 year degree, often while working at the school they are attending in
photo related jobs.

Our two year school offers an education both in the technical and design side of photography. Students have an
equipment pool, darkroom facilities, studios and computer labs. Our first year students will have a Hasselblad in
hands the second day of class. 4x5, 35mm and digital cameras are made available as well. Our students pay a
camera fee to use this pool and the facilities. They subsidize the modernization of their equipment and facilities

We teach classes in all areas and a student chooses to specialize in either PJ, Portraiture or Commercial Photography
Additional classes in multimedia, digital imaging and graphic design round out the program. our students compete with
the professionals in many contest and do very well.

That said, I can say that I am very impressed by the students I've met from Western Kentucky and U of Florida at the
Atlanta Conference. I would not hesitate to send one of my students on to either of these programs.
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Doug Holleman, Photographer
Temple | TX | USA | Posted: 7:24 PM on 08.28.02
->> Where were you guys tweny years ago? Anybody out there need a 40-year-old assistant?

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JC Ridley, Photographer
Davie | FL | USA | Posted: 12:23 AM on 08.29.02
->> I agree with several responses given so far. Burfield is right about the business aspects. Photography is 10% shooting and 90% all the other BS, and you need to be a salesman, accountant, secretary, computer tech, etc, etc. He’s also right about assisting people. I learned more from alums of the program and from some local pros than I did from the program itself. I was amazed that more photojournalism majors didn’t get involved in anything outside the program. Three that did from my class at Miami in the early 90’s (Dave Bergman, Preston Mack, and myself) are still around; the others have all disappeared long ago.

In fact, I was strongly discouraged from shooting sports while in the program. One professor even said I’d “never make a living shooting sports.”

Frakes is right, too! I could’ve been a music major and still have had the same opportunities in photography I did at Miami. Fortunately, I was also a history major and that broadened my horizons and gave me the discipline needed to succeed in this business.

And for the others who said go where there is big-time college football, having the “Canes was a factor in getting in doors as opposed to a smaller school that would draw little or no interest. The Miami connection got me in the NFL door and in the door of some larger publications and companies, would a Ferris State have provided the same opportunity? I think not.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 2:24 AM on 08.29.02
->> My first bit of advice would be to think long and hard about getting a dual major if time permits. Think of it as cross training... Majoring in business (or accounting) and photography would be a great idea anymore. I was a dually. Photo Journalism and Abnormal Psychology/Psychoneural Immunology. I did that in case I ever happened to go blind I would be able to have something to fall back on that does not require sight, just listening. (already down to just one functioning eye).

JC pointed out the true reason to go to college ? networking. Sure you don't need to major in photography, or even go to college to be a good photographer, but the networking you miss by not going to school is what is going to hurt you in the long run. Like a lot of people mentioned, they didn't really learn that much in the program, but learned the most by working with the local pros and assisting and yada yada yada.... You have to ask yourself if those doors would have ever opened if you weren't in that particular program, found out about a workshop to go to, and met a photographer that needed an assistant..... See what I mean? The college experience for photographers is maybe 25% classroom and 75% real world experience in my opinion.

Each school has it's own area of specialization. Ohio U. is HEAVY on documentary. RIT is very techincal. Syracuse tilts towards commercial. WKU (according to H.) has a stronger emphasis on sports, but that doesn't mean if you want to be a sports photographer you should necessarily go there. If my ultimate goal was to be an SI staffer, I would be looking for a program that taught about portraits.
I just lost my train of thought, sports center had a great little thing on about Chilian football players not even getting paid and the MLB.

Anyhow, be cool, stay in school.
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Steve Boyle, Photographer, Student/Intern
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 1:04 PM on 08.29.02
->> any questions about missouri? let me know. I'll share my reasons for not choosing the others privately...
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Steven E. Frischling, Photographer
Amherst | MA | USA | Posted: 2:11 PM on 08.29.02
->> My reply is from the point-of-view from someone who never went to college (well that is not true, I was enrolled at The School Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), Tufts Univ. and The New School/Parsons, but never quite got around to accumulating credits).

I think photojournalism is something you learn by doing. A number of schools have great PJ programs (WKU, U Mis, BU, Syracuse, RIT) but shooting is something you have to develop. I have looked at a number of portfolios from a particular school photoJ program and ever book looked like a carbon copy of the book I saw before it.

If you want to shoot I think you need to learn on your own, with the help of mentors. You should approach the newspaper in your area, daily or weekly, and try to shoot some work for them. Get to know photographers in your area, as well as photogs in forums like SportsShooter, or on the NPPA-L ( and learn from them. Get internships while in college, and shoot for the newspaper in the area of the college you attend (better chance of getting help from a local paper if the school does not have a big PJ program).

Sports is a separate area of photojournalism, not an area usually taught by professors. Sports is something people are either thrown into or gravitate to and develop their skills by shooting game after game.

Look for a school with a broad base, with a lot to offer. This school should have a good paper and decent sports department, so you can join the paper, and shoot the sports.

Take business classes, legal classes and general studies classes while you hone your skills.

But then again, I never really went to college. I learned how to shoot while working as a wire service freelancer (before that was a terrible thing to be).

(Grover, I'll leave my web address out of this post)

Good Luck!

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Joshua Brown, Student/Intern, Assistant
Bowling Green | KY | USA | Posted: 3:18 PM on 08.29.02
->> These are all good points. I would like to address the issue from a current students point of view and why i chose to go to one of the large PJ schools. (not in any particular order)
1. I was a student at UNIV of TENNESSEE( shooting tons of sports and working as the editor of the student newspaper.My friend/mentor Patrick Murphy-Racey helped me in many areas but also suggested i head to i trust his opinion and checked it i am
2.YES, learning the business side of things is crucial if you want to do it on your own.(I consider Pat to be one of the best in this area) I am a marketing major in addition to my photojournalism(new media emphasis)major.
3.You need a college degree...why not study something you love and have other students around you that are just as passionate about it?
4.INSPIRATION-I am inspired daily by my classmates. We have students from Singapore, Norway, Canada, California, Korea, Texas.....everywhere. All with different interests, personalities, and backgrounds to learn from. Some are more artsy, some want to shoot sports, others are lighting masters, gear heads, business people... But most importantly we are storytellers.
5. There are some very practical reasons im here...
-its cheap
-Like Thomas talked about earlier, i am "networking" right here at school. my friends now will be in the field with me later
-we have access to a fair amount of gear that i would not be able to purchase on my own ( computer labs, software,video equipment, Nikon and Canon stuff, studio time)
6.Being in a photojournalism program is pushing me to the next level... now this all depends on your own personality, but i KNOW that when i was out on my own at tennessee, i was not shooting as consistently as i do now ( a story a week for this semester)
7.Rounded education-i'm taking video classes, web design, marketing, consumer behavior, finance, personal selling, phys ed, reporting, media law, cooking(lol), film, and others that help me to become a well rounded shooter and person. (not all this semester)
8.INFORMATION-Workshops, contests, events to shoot, gear to buy, internships, how to use final cut pro and photoshop tricks, games to assist on, websites to check out, freelance jobs, books to read, parties, road trips to NYC, LA, DC......all things that i was clueless about at my "football" school.
9. Family-we help each other, push each other, inform each other. I am grateful for the experience.

Sooo, thats my 2 cents. I will say there are obviously different paths for everyone...I am happy with the one i chose, i have a long way to go....
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Grover Sanschagrin, Photo Editor, Photographer
Albany | CA | USA | Posted: 3:30 PM on 08.29.02
->> Who needs to spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a college when you can get all the education you need right here on for 25 bucks?

OK, just kidding.

But seriously - the best thing about college for me was my internships. That's where all the real learning came from. School helped prepare me for internships, but internships helped to prepare me for real life.

I went to 2 different colleges (RIT and Ohio University), and OU really pushed the whole need for good internships. (RIT didn't seem to care one bit about internships back in the day I was there.)

Although I would agree with everyone else who said that running a BUSINESS is an often neglected component in most photojournalism programs.

Make sure you get a good dose of that because you never know if you're gonna end up making websites for a living - and you'll need to know how to count (and hide from the IRS) all the cash that comes flying in. (He he.)
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Jim McNay, Photographer
Santa Barbara | CA | USA | Posted: 6:55 PM on 09.02.02
->> Mr. Burfield and Mr. Frakes have this question pretty well wired. Their comments are worth a second look.

Find a school that insists you get some coures in business --- unless you already have gotten this from life experience or have worked in the family business. Since so many photographers today become freelancers at some point in their careers, this training is crucial.

Interning or assisting are important learning experiences. Students often tell me however much they get from school, their learning curve (and the results in their portfolios!) go w-a-y up while interning and assisting. There is no substitute for being in the trenches on-deadline every day.

Getting some education outside photography in what in often called liberal arts or humanities is important too. Photographers are asked to cover the world. It helps to have read something about the people of the world and the photographers and visual artists who preceeded us before we venture forth.

Recently I left teaching at a state university where a substantial number of liberal arts courses were required. However unless photography students minored in business (which few did) they missed out on business training.

Having moved down the California coast to a school with a traditional commercial orientation to start a photojournalism program, the tables are turned: Our students get business courses and tons of photography. They only get a few humanities courses.

So when selecting a school, look at all the course offerings and what kind of work the classes prepare you for. Then weigh all the options.

Bottom line: Get a degree --- in something! Having that degree opens doors later that we cannot even see at the front end of our careers.
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Darren Whitley, Photographer
Maryville | MO | USA | Posted: 10:54 PM on 09.09.02
->> I think one of the biggest things I learned in school was that the quality of your photos is entirely up to you. Whenever I'd walk out of the darkroom for a consultation with another photographer about a print, they'd always answer with the question, "Is it good enough to put your name on it?" My alma mater, Kansas State University, which doesn't have a PJ curriculum, is a great place to learn. It offers a five-day a week student newspaper, which is the sixth-largest morning daily in the state when in publication. It also has one of the best yearbooks in the nation. However, don't count on finding any jobs in Kansas for photojournalism. Most photojournalists at good Kansas papers are pretty well entrenched. The University of Nebraska has turned out some great shooters too, but you didn't hear that from me. Bottom line, your fate is in your own hands... shoot well and shoot often.
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Danny Moloshok, Photographer, Student/Intern
Ann Arbor | MI | USA | Posted: 11:07 PM on 09.09.02
->> Hey..I am the assistant Photo Editor at The Michigan Daily at the University of Michigan. We are one of the largest daily student newspapers in the country. Please feel free to contact me with any questions. E-mail me at I can send you some newspapers too so you can see some of our stuff. We are traveling to New York now for 9/11 anniversary and we went there last year on 9/14. We also travel across the country all year to cover our Division 1 Sports. We are 100% Digital and we also have a studio light set up for the paper. I can tell you more if you like, just e-mail me. Talk to you all soon.
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Clark Brooks, Photographer
Urbana | IL | USA | Posted: 11:27 PM on 09.09.02
->> Like the minority I went the non-traditional route. I had great mentors locally that really help contribute to my informal education.

If I had to do it all again I would be a finance major with a minor in marketing. And, still learn learn to shoot the same way I did. Now may be I have the wrong impression but too many schools seem to want coral youngster into a styled approach rather than develop each individual on their own vision. Again, may be it is just me.

Learn real estate finance, buy a bunch of rental property and then you can concentrate full-time on your photography and work part-time collecting rents and doing repairs. My long term goal is to buy four more units and retire to a quiet life of shooting sports!

I've taken only one photo class and nearly flunked. Strange for a guy who does it for a living. But what can I say, it was a fine arts class and I like the commercial side of photography. I wanted to make a living, not be a starvin' artist.

Awhile ago I did a three year gig as a defense department contract shooter. It was the greatest time of my life. Great pay, little work, and lots of cute Air Force babes! What more could a single guy ask for???

I recommend going the military route as would Les Stukenberg would I think. Let Unkie Sammie train ya to shoot and kill (hopefully more shootin' than killin'). If you can go the government contract route even better. You have all the benies of military rank, but don't have to salute or kill anyone.

I'll reiterate what's been said - concentrate on marketing, accounting, and add web technologies. It will keep your cost down if you are your own IT person!

Whatever your decision try and learn as much as you can and shoot even more.

Good luck!
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Lucas J. Gilman, Photographer
Jackson | WY | USA | Posted: 2:49 AM on 09.10.02
->> I agree a university experience is a life changing one, but I learned more at workshops than I did spending thousands and thousands at a well known 4 year university. Frakes is right. read, read, read. Whatever your interested in (not required homework) is what you will excel in.
Nothing against the big schools just keep shooting and pushing yourself. Ask for feedback from friends, family and sportshooter members especialy. If you like someone's work on sportsshooter email them and ask if it's ok to send images every now and them. Most photographers are good people. In the end keep focused and work hard. If you want it bad enough it will happen for you. -L
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Tyson Evans, Student/Intern, Photo Editor
Los Angeles | CA | USA | Posted: 3:40 AM on 09.30.02
->> My two cents, and a different perspective (and part advertisement):

I grew up in the Midwest (could have gone to MU if I'd known I wanted to do photojournalism), but I was dead-set on graphic design so I headed to UCLA's Design School. Once I got here, I signed up for the paper, and since then I've been consumed by Photojournalism. Now I'm Photo Editor for the college paper, with a daily circulation of 20,000.

The moral of the story, go somewhere with a huge foundation for many things. Don't go to a school with a bad reputation for everything except what you're interested in, because the whole point of school is to explore what you don't know.

Regarding photojournalism, UCLA has been great. If I was looking for a photojournalism education, it wouldn't have looked good - there's no journalism department. But we do have a huge daily paper, an amazing set of sports and culture, and we're in the heart of LA.

I don't know that anyone will gain insight from this, but just think that the "best" school on a piece of paper (and even in logic sometimes) isn't always the best retrospectively. Any school can get you where you want to be, if you're determined to get there.
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Mike Isler, Photographer, Student/Intern
Santa Barbara | CA | US | Posted: 4:43 AM on 09.30.02
->> Kayla,

I'm writing you as someone who was in your position just a few years ago. I was photo editor for my HS yearbook, so I shot a lot of high school sports. My aspirations, just like yours, were to shoot for Sports Illustrated. I wasn't sure how to proceed after high school, so I spent a year at a university that was local but didn't have a great PJ program (Univ of Central Fla). While I was there, I continued to shoot and I also travelled to NYC for some time to assist working professionals. While assisting I learned more than I ever thought possible. I learned what a tough world it is, and what it takes to succeed. I also made some great connections, and ended up assisting Walter Iooss Jr for a few days.

After being exposed to the real world of photography, I decided that's what I wanted to, I applied at Brooks. Before I started at Brooks, I shot a lot for myself and also for publications I had been getting involved with. I also attended the Rich Clarkson workshop several months ago. That workshop was incredibly valuable. If you are interested in sports photography, attend either that workshop or the Sports Shooter Luau, or both. The contacts you will make and the sources of inspiration you will be exposed to are invaluable. I've made contacts at Sports Illustrated, Nikon, and several other large companies just at that workshop that will be valuable later on.

I'm currently a student at Brooks. I'm in the commercial photo program, not Jim McNay's visual journalism program. In any case, I'm learning about photography full time, exposing myself to the techniques and thought processes of others, and basically doing what I love all week long. No matter where you choose to go to school, it will be upon you to get the most out of it. Go beyond the classroom. Attend workshops. Assist photographers...cold call them if you have to, it's worth it. Try to make connections with the local paper. Do whatever it takes.

Best of luck! Mike
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Sean Sperry, Student/Intern
Missoula | MT | USA | Posted: 8:05 PM on 09.30.02
->> Kayla,

First from what I have learned so far is that everything is up to you. Don’t limit yourself by thinking that your only a student. Think and sell yourself like a professional and get as much advice as you can from pro’s around you. Make yourself known to the people in you community and constantly ask them for advice and what they might think of a photo. Probably the best advice I can give right now is to start showing up and shooting local sports matches. Get to the point where you feel confident in the photos that you produce; good composition, sharpness, ect. As you approach a level of confidence in your own photos stop and look around during the game and see if you see the local paper’s photographer at the game. If not this can become a great opportunity for you to sell your photos to the local paper. This is how I was able to land my internship and also work on a freelance bases while at school.
Smaller town papers are typically always looking for an extra local sports photo to splash on the page. The only things that you need to do is be quick, write good cut lines, have decent photos, and have a way of developing your film if they are digital.
I’m currently a photo journalism major at the University of Montana in Missoula. Since you live in Bozeman you would not have to pay out of state tuition and would be close, but far enough from home. I’m fairly impressed with the photo program there so far, class sizes are small and instruction is good. Also it is close enough for you to stop by and look at. If you are interested I can give you contact numbers and names for faculty there if you would like.

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Richard Uhlhorn, Photographer
Chelan | WA | USA | Posted: 12:35 PM on 10.01.02
->> Kayla... Another option for you that is much closer to home is Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, WA. I have a very good friend who retrained there and came out of the program with a great deal of knowledge in two years that would take you many years on your own to learn. She came out of that program with a solid understanding of how to use lighting, Photoshop, set-ups, and all those other nifty things that we poor slobs who didn't go to school in the discipline probably spent years obtaining.

Success in photography, however, has nothing to do with schooling. It is marketing. 85% of photography success is marketing. The other 15% is shooting.

Good luck and remember, you can do whatever you wish. Just do it.
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Mike Cohea, Student/Intern
Missoula | MT | USA | Posted: 3:38 PM on 10.01.02
->> Kayla-
I don't know if it is possible for someone in Bozeman to go to school in Missoula but if you could put the whole Griz/Cat rivalling aside the U of M has a great photoj program and great faculty to learn from and not to mention a great town to live in. I have been going there for the past couple years and all the students seem to get a long and help each other out when assignments are due all at once. Hope this helps, GO GRIZ Mike Cohea

P.S. The student newspaper isnt all that bad eithier
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Jeremy Rue, Student/Intern
Fresno | CA | USA | Posted: 5:23 PM on 10.01.02
->> Hehe, I think it's sort of funny how everyone is recommending their own universities...

Just my 2 cents:
All of the universities mentioned in these posts are good. But the best input I can add is that there are two main notions of teaching a subject like photojournalism. In some schools it's very academic. A lot of book work, a lot of disscussion into ethics and business and the purpose behind taking a photograph and what you are trying to convey. Also a lot of photo story work and a lot of emphasis in other areas of journalism like reporting. These usually tend to be the larger universities.

Then theres the schools that emphasize photojournalism as more of a vocational study. A lot of "real world" shooting, assignments, and more into the technical aspects of photography, lighting, darkroom, etc. These tend to be more of the JC's.

So when looking for a good college, consider those two aspects and what you think would be best suited for you. There are a lot of schools out there that teach both... I don't think any school is completely on one side or the other, but it's something to consider...
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Karen Quincy Loberg, Photographer
Ventura | CA | USA | Posted: 2:29 PM on 10.11.04
->> The University of Kentucky in Lexington has just started a pj department headed by twice Pulitzer nominated photojournalist, Dave LaBelle, an extremely good educator. Dive in!

If you want to learn commercial photography, Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA is the place! It's also very tough and equally expensive.
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Joshua Brown, Photo Editor, Photographer
Salt Lake City | UT | USA | Posted: 2:37 PM on 10.11.04
->> Wow this is an old thread...where did you end up Kayla?
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Allan Campbell, Photographer, Assistant
Salem (Portland) | OR | USA | Posted: 3:39 PM on 10.11.04
->> I went Art Center Pasadena, if you have questions about the school drop me an email.
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Patrick Murphy-Racey, Photographer
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 4:21 PM on 10.11.04
->> Whatever your path into photography, don't let anyone or any program put you in a box as a shooter. Take a big step back and see the forest and the trees. Still photogs of the future are going to have to be experts in new media. Your knowledge of Flash/GoLive (at least right now), and skill/speed in Photoshop will be a huge part of your life.

WKU has a fantastic program that has really good people at the top running the show. I've reccomended many people to WKU over the last fifteen years and I've never had any of them come back to me and intimate that the program was bad for them. Rick Loomis, Joe Howell, Josh Brown, Brian Wagner, and Price Chambers are a few people I have urged to head to Bowling Green, KY.

The thing of it is, WKU is in the middle of nowhere. I went to Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. I had a killer time there because it was smack dab in the middle of a metropolitan area filled with events to cover, interesting people, and tons of sports. I concur with Bill when he encourages a wider vision in terms of degree. If I wanted to go to law school right now, I'd likely have an easier time getting in with my degree from Marquette than from WKU. As a university, MO is probably a better degree overall if you chose to someday go to grad school, but WKU kicks serious butt if you're really going to be a shooter. The thing WKU has going for it is a high energy spirit of competition not found in many places. When you're up there, you feed off of the collective spirit of the program which is powerful and will break your balls. Those not "called" are swept out of the way by the more aggressive people that are getting the work done at the highest levels. But then, every year people graduate and the whole thing begins again. New people scramble for the top; it can be a very healthy or unhealthy situation depending on how good a photographer you are.

Best advice I can give you is to check out WKU carefully, especially their "new media" classes, because this is the beggining of the next thing for us all as shooters. The days of whacking trees every day to produce newspapers & magazines that become kitty litter in 12 hours are numbered. The internet doesn't require trees to operate. Bandwith and speed are on the increase, computers are faster than ever and going faster, DVD will be old news in a couple years. These are things worth considering gravely as you choose a place of higher education. Consider this website which is serving the needs of photographers better than the NPPA ever has and for 1/3rd the cost. This is what I'm talking about.

Oh yeah, and may the force be with you, Kayla... God Bless!

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Stanley Leary, Photographer
Roswell | GA | USA | Posted: 10:39 PM on 10.11.04
->> While degree is important, I am not sure I would go to any PJ school. You need experience and clips as much as the degree. I would pick a school where they have a school paper, yearbook and maybe near a metro area, so you can assist.

I wouldn’t major in photography. I would major in business, psychology or something which you would enjoy shooting. At National Geographic, many of the shooters are biologist, anthropologist and so on. They know the subject they are shooting.

Frankly a few classes and lots of experience are better than a degree at a s big PJ school where you may be competing with numerous others students trying to get a press pass to shoot an event.

I went to ECU and majored in Social Work. Shot for the school paper, yearbook and also for the university relations office. Was published all the time and was one of 3 to 4 photographers at a major university. Beats being one of 50 to 100 photography majors at a school of similar size.

You must find the place right for you, but there are many ways to make it and not only one path in this career.
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Matt Hevezi, Photo Editor
Camp Pendleton | CA | USA | Posted: 12:01 AM on 10.12.04
->> I think my military marketing/recruiting message may be worth restating; for a few reasons ...

1. This War on Terrorism, or as I like to call it "World War III" is a VERY VERY important story that needs to be told as often and as honestly as possible.

"That which is ugly and hidden is much easier to accept than ugliness which is presented often."

The above paragraph is not a political statement; please don't try to turn it into one or try to interpret it as such ... that is not what the words mean.

The region where this war is happening is also very dangerous for PJs working there. Many, especially those from Western countries with "Western" appearances are enduring huge risks making pictures of the killing in that part of the world.

Civilian PJs embedded with military units and military PJs have the best chance to collect and present images that are very important.

Many civilian and military PJs, frankly, are too fearful of going on this assignment. But the fact remains ... the story needs to be told often and honestly.

And the military will need to fill vacancies as their PJs complete their tours and move on to the 1st CivDiv or retire, etc., etc.

To that end, becoming a military photographer can be a wonderful way to simultaneously learn about life and the craft of photography. Those who land a combat tour will experience an opportunity to produce very powerful and important images critical to the world's visual history.

Who knows, it may just be a military photographer to make "the defining image that makes a difference" ... there are certainly enough cameras in the hands of military PJs in the combat zone right now. Several there now are on my team from Pendleton and are making very powerful and important images that will endure for years and years to come.

Many "names" got their start wearing a uniform.

Eddie Adams is one of many that come to mind.

2. Civilian opportunities to "get into the business" are out there, but they are very few and far between. It is a tough go in the civilian sector right now. I am not educated enough to characterize exactly "how" tough it is ... but let's just say it is tough.

3. On a personal selfish level, I want to work with good dedicated PJs who really burn with desire to make good images. We often get force fed guys and gals who couldn't care less about what they are doing in uniform just so long as they are sprung from their situation at home and get out of town with pay. Those kind of folks are most often the exception, but we do have a few like that. We call them our "ten percenters."

Bottom line: if you think you can hang, I want you on our team. If not the Corps, the Navy and Air Force have great PJ programs too. I can't guarantee you'll get a combat assignment, but chances are pretty dang good at this point. I may be able to guarantee that after November depending on how that all goes ...

I've got people in Iraq now who were in high school just 16 months ago.

If you think you've got the belly and are not afraid to take a risk to make some very important photographs ... come on down.

One last thought on this topic; and I'll shut up.

Regardless of your political views (for the record,I'm neutral), serving a tour in the military is a great experience, especially if you can qualify for and nail a photo career assignment. Is it not without BS? Of course not. There are huge ups and huge downs. I've been doing this for going on 18 years. My experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. But the military is not for everyone. It is a tough life, especially if you are married and/or have kids. But the pay, education, travel and experiences are priceless in my view.

Thanks for listening.

See you at the Luau.
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Omar Vega, Photographer, Student/Intern
San Francisco | CA | USA | Posted: 4:59 AM on 10.12.04
->> Hmmmm, I was in your shoes a semester ago. Getting a four-year degree and above punches your ticket for life, so certificate programs are out of the question.

Looking at photojournalism programs is good, but depending on your drive..."knowing what you want and knowing how to get it"...Will make your decision much easier.

I chose San Francisco State University because of the unlimited resources at school and in the FANTASTIC city.
You name it in the world, it's in San Francisco! Location is a huge part of everything. If you can't handle diversity, open mindedness, freedom of speech, leadership, individuality, ART, and GREAT weather, don't come.

It's all about what you make of it. If you’re a lazy person, you’re in the wrong business if you want to be a SI employee. You need to have a DRIVE that surpasses everyone because that will set you apart from the thousands who want that same position. And being in the RIGHT place at the RIGHT time! Also, NETWORKING lands everything imaginable. "It's about who you know not what you know" Go out of the country if you can, why not?

Key things to look for in a department:
NPPA student chapter
SS members
Associations within the city
Student work
Teachers (SFSU-Ken Kobre)

If you have time, go visit the school.

Throughout the world, photography is photography, so pick a place that feels right inside rather than by the weak advertisements.

Other than that, good luck. You can do it! ;@()
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Robb Long, Photo Editor, Photographer
Faribault | MN | USA | Posted: 9:25 PM on 06.07.05
->> Hey all,

Just wanted to toss in my 2 cents here. I think all of you have great comments on the school gig.

I feel most photographers especially pro photogs are stuck on photography as their main creative outlet. Why not open up and paint, draw, video tape, etc......

Most schools offer photo programs but they don't open your minds eye to being creative, they just stick you in a photo class, send you out on the streets to take shots instead of helping you find your creative eye through other means.

uhhhhhh yeah! who cares, just pick up a camera, start shooting all day, every day for years and you will eventually get it. hahahahahahahahahaha

Photojournalists out there, Listen, In editorials, illustrations what have you, be creative, open your mind, going to a art school can help you achieve this, rather than just taking photojournalism classes become an artist, paint, draw, do it all, yeah baby, yeah.
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Stewart Cox, Student/Intern, Photographer
Asheboro | NC | US | Posted: 11:16 PM on 06.07.05
->> If you have any questions about Randolph Community College in Asheboro North Carolina you may want to contact fellow SS member William Thompson, he is the PJ instructor there
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Robert Meyer, Student/Intern, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | United States | Posted: 11:36 PM on 06.07.05
->> University of Nebraska-Lincoln...wait...I lied...

We don't have a dedicated photo-j program as of yet but rumor has it we will soon.
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Anthony Soufflé, Student/Intern, Photographer
Collinsville | IL | USA | Posted: 11:56 PM on 06.07.05
->> Southern Illinois University at Carbondale

While it's not as big or well known as WKU, MU, or OU, we're doing pretty well.

Here's a few examples:
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Dave Prelosky, Photographer
Lower Burrell | Pa | US | Posted: 2:06 AM on 06.08.05
->> It seems that Ms Toohey took everyone's advice and headed for a hotbed of photography - Montana State.

Kayla - how is college going?
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Thread Title: Good Photography Universitys
Thread Started By: Kayla Toohey
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