It’s been several years now since my staff newspaper days, and currently I’m doing more work now outside of this little town than in it. One client I’ve been able to pick up locally and have been doing work for the last two years is New College of Florida here in Sarasota just a few minutes from my house. There are certain aspects of being a daily newspaper photojournalist I miss (to a point), but one of those was definitely exploring this community I sleep and raise a family in. I would be sent to this college on the bay several times a year for the paper and it was always great to experience from the news side, but now that they are a client – and I’m tackling it from a PR/advertising side – it’s even better.
The school has a simple request for me on the few days every semester I work. Make it look awesome and look fun to attend, which is pretty simple since it is. The school is a liberal arts honors college and has a fairly small student body of just over 800, so for me it’s great to be on campus and a lot and be able to meet students and get them comfortable with this random tattooed guy with cameras. The great thing about this college is its openness and acceptance of everyone. You know when you’ve met a New College student – they are extremely smart, open, and just plain fun to be around. As a photographer it doesn’t get better than being able to be around people comfortable being photographed doing what they do. We don’t use models. We use real students in real situations. It’a almost all documentary with a mix of eye candy and moment-driven photojournalism. That is a strange thing for a lot of clients to appreciate letting go of their own narrative and letting it be what is, but I’m lucky I have several that appreciate and welcome the approach to using real photos to help build a brand’s identity in imagery.
This is a mixture of shoots from the last three semesters including all the traditional classroom stuff you would expect, but the great team New College (Kim, Jessica and David looking your way) definitely finds the best situations to throw me into – including shark research, trips to Honduras for coral reef classes, and several other campus activities that make this gig just plain fun.
Got a kid looking for a school? Check them out – tell them I sent you.