NYC Shoot-out: Students of CMA

Photographers given opportunity to reflect on conference attendees

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

I couldn’t be at the College Media Association convention in New York City this spring. It was just bad timing the week before our spring break. Yet I knew there would be an enthusiastic group of students wanting to participate in the Shoot-out. Jack Zibluk again stepped up to help with the administration.

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Co-sponsored by the National Press Photographers Association

But I wanted to get a feel for what I was missing. So working with Brandon Stanton’s basic reporting concepts in Humans of New York, I tweaked the assignment to challenge the students so we could all have a little fun and learn a little more about our conference attendees as well.

Just based on the results, I’d say everyone had a little fun and learned something in the process. It was good to see that the students had time to get out of the hotel, visiting different parts of the city that never sleeps. The top entries made me feel like I was there.

But they went beyond that. The best entries also gave me some insight into the individuals who attended the convention. The write-ups didn’t take a shot-gun approach, telling me a little about a lot. They took an in-depth approach, as Stanton does, telling a lot about a tiny piece of the person’s life. If there was ever a time to exercise what a friend of mine used to say — “If you have five minutes to take a person’s photo, spend three minutes getting to know them and two minutes taking their picture. — this is it. Get to know them. Pick one interesting aspect of their life and tell me more about that.
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Austin Shoot-out: Texas Our Texas

Photographers had to contend with a soggy shoot in Austin


By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

The assignment was rather straightforward. “Texas, Our Texas.” Give the judges a feel of a piece of the story of Texas, Our Texas. Routine life. Daily life. Work. Play. Offer an analysis of the state that goes far beyond the superficial.

Then came the rain. Lots of it. More rain that Austin had ever seen in a single day — 16 inches.

Then came the tornadoes. Damaged a school south of Austin. Closed the airport.

But the 60 or so students who indicated they wanted to participate in the Shoot-out and the 47 who finally participated persevered and documented a little slice of life in Texas during the College Media Association / Associated College Press convention in Austin over Halloween weekend. Continue reading Austin Shoot-out: Texas Our Texas

Shoot-Out provides photographers on-location learning opportunity

From the contest coordinator’s notebook: change, evolution the constant in student photojournalism

By Bradley Wilson
CMR Managing Editor

Twice a year, photojournalists come to the College Media Association’s national conventions to share ideas, to meet other college photojournalists and to visit another part of the country. And twice a year about 60 of them choose to learn by doing, participating in the CMA Shoot-Out, an on-site photo competition and critique, an event that has helped students as they begin their work as visual communicators.

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CMR Managing Editor Bradley Wilson is entering his second decade of work with CMA’s on-site “Shoot-Out” for student photojournalists.

Mark Watkins, a participant when he was a student at Georgia College and State University said, “Winning ‘Class Favorite’ at the Shoot-out in Chicago in 2012 was the moment I decided to pursue photography as a career. It was a challenge, and I remember thinking not just how a photograph communicates something, but for the first time how I can communicate something through a photograph. It seems a small distinction, but I think it makes all the difference.”

When I first started helping out with the Shoot-Out, in 2004, students still used film. The contest was limited by how many rolls we could afford to develop, 30. So it didn’t take long to move to a digital paradigm. In 2005, to be precise. Kansas City. The theme for the contest was “Kansas City Portrait.” Then as now, we challenged students to “to get outside that box.”

FIRST PLACE 2005: Nathan Lang, Johnson County Community College (Anne Christiansen-Bullers, adviser) — Kansas City’s 106th homicide of 2005
FIRST PLACE 2005: Nathan Lang, Johnson County Community College (Anne Christiansen-Bullers, adviser) — Kansas City’s 106th homicide of 2005

Continue reading Shoot-Out provides photographers on-location learning opportunity

German student offers tips on being College Photographer of the Year

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Mario Wezel

By Bradley Wilson, Ph.D.
Midwestern State University

Since 1945, the College Photographer of the Year competition has been the premier competition for college photographers. Last spring, CPOY, administered at the University of Missouri, announced the winners selected from 11,024 still images, 82 portfolios, 456 picture stories and 169 multimedia stories and projects entered by 545 student photographers from 99 colleges and universities in 18 countries.

CPOY named Mario Wezel of the University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hannover, Germany, as the 69th College Photographer of the Year. Wezel’s work was awarded Gold in the portfolio category, as well as awards of excellence in Documentary and in Interpretive Project. Continue reading German student offers tips on being College Photographer of the Year