UGA Journalism Student Jane Ellyn Hardy Shadows Stanley Leary

Jane Ellyn Hardy

Mark Johnson, senior lecturer of photojournalism at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, has his photojournalism students follow a working photojournalist for day. They are to produce a SoundSlides show where they interview the photographer and capture what they experienced.

UGA student Jane Ellyn Hardy reached out to me to follow me for a day. I told her what I was working on and then was encouraging her to cover some other photojournalist friends of mine. She still wanted to shadow me for the day.

Mark Johnson enjoys the day that everyone in his class shares their stories of spending a day shadowing.  While each student learns something first hand with their professional, the class of twelve students, gets to expand that with the SoundSlide stories that each of them share.

photo by Jane Ellyn Hardy

So in one class these students are seeing what is going on right now in the industry. Mark even told me about a time one of the students shadowed a photographer who was super negative. From the moment the student interacting with them until they finished that day, the pro was telling them to do anything but photojournalism.

This opened up the eyes of the class. They talked about this reality for some photographers and contrasted this to those who were still positive.

photo by Jane Ellyn Hardy

Maybe the reason Mark Johnson has one of the best job placement rates in the industry is because of this project. The students are getting real world experience. he averages about 75% of his students working in the industry six months after graduating.

Those students who graduated this past May 2013, 87.5% are now working in the industry. It might be even higher but he isn’t sure where some landed.