As the summer comes to an end I wanted to take some time to reflect on my last month in Toledo, Ohio working at The Blade. The second half of my summer proved to be jam-packed with a variety of new assignments and a chance to learn even more about the importance of journalism. During July, and the beginning of August, some of my favorite assignments were a photo story at the local drive-in movie theater, a Thunderbirds airshow, the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, OH, a serial murderer's investigation, a Paralympian's training for Rio, local football teams getting ready for the fall season and a NBA basketball player giving back to the community.
What I learned
1. Preparation - cameras, lenses, lighting, batteries, contacts, assignment details, research, locations, clothing, weather, traffic, etc. Everyday is different in journalism and not being prepared is a recipe for disaster.
2. Arrive early / Leave Late - some of my best images were taken before an assignment started or after it was over. Assignments are unpredictable and some of the best images can be made when you least expect it.
3. Ask questions- talk to EVERYONE! Being a photojournalist means you need to be a reporter too. Getting the smallest details of a story can be important when you are editing pictures or writing captions later.
4. Feedback - ask other photographers to look at your work. Two sets of eyes are better than one. Also, one of the most important parts of an internship is the exit interview. Always ask the advisor to explain what you did well and what you could improve on this advice is crucial to grow as a photographer.
TOP 3 ASSIGNMENTS
One of the most important learning experiences I had this summer was working on the tragic story Sierah Joughin, a 20-year-old Delta, Ohio college student who was murdered. I learned just how important it is as journalist to be knowledgable of the first amendment and when to properly exercise the freedom of the press.
The photo above was taken on my way back to the a crime scene after lunch. I noticed a few FBI evidence response team members stopped along the road. I stopped to take a few photos until I was practically forced to leave. The body of Sierah Joughin was later discovered just ten feet into that corn field and this photo ran in the Washington Post a week later.
Republican National Convention
Photographing the 2016 RNC in Cleveland, Ohio was a great experience to learn more about large event coverage and how important it is for a photographer to be ready. Most of my day was spent predicting where I needed to be to get the best images. Staying in contact with reporters, subjects, following national news coverage, and social media were very important. My day began by photographing a group of Farm Labor Organizing Committee protestors from Toledo, who were marching into the city. Following the march, I captured rowdy protestors outside the RNC event gates. I learned that being aware of your surroundings and planning ahead pays off at the end of the day.
This assignment was essential to prepare for my trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in September to photograph the 2016 Paralympics. Photographing D.J., a double amputee sprinter, gave me a chance to learn more about his story, training, and how athletes with disabilities run track and field. The story was also picked up by the Associated Press, who I will be covering the Paralympics for this fall.
My summer internship experience at The Blade in Toledo, Ohio was more than I could ask for. Getting paid to document the world around me on a daily basis is a dream for any photographer and I was fortunate enough to have that opportunity. I strongly recommend anyone taking a daily news internship to start it with an open mind and the willingness to learn. I'm excited to begin my senior year at Penn State and I look forward to the opportunities ahead of me.
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Facebook : Photography by Cameron Hart
Alicia Gonzalez dances in a traditional Baile Folklore dress to the song "Las Alazanas" during a talent show at the end of Lourdes University's annual Upward Bound theater week at The Franciscan Center in Sylvania, Ohio, Friday, July 8, 2016. The program prepares high school students from Waite and Woodward schools for post-secondary education.
Law enforcement search for Sierah Joughin, Friday, July 22, 2016, at the property of James Worley, 57, of Delta, Ohio. The remains of a college student whose disappearance several days ago prompted a search in Ohio are believed to be found, authorities said Saturday, July 23, 2016. Investigators looking for Sierah Joughin found the remains Friday evening in an area near a rural county road, Fulton County Sheriff Roy Miller said. “At this time, we strongly believe that this is Sierah,” Miller told reporters at a news conference Saturday afternoon.
Sylvania Historical Village Executive Director, Andi Erbskorn poses with a picture of the Sylvania Heritage Center Museum after it was renovated in 1902 in Sylvania, Ohio, Tuesday, July 26, 2016. The Sylvania Historical Village plans to repaint the museum back to its original color beginning August 8, 2016.