First summer blog post

Well, it’s been awhile since I last posted an update about myself. For starters, I finished a year at Eastern Illinois University and do indeed plan to return for my senior year. It’s after that where the confusion looks to begin.

This past year I held a variety of positions with the Daily Eastern News, the student-run publication that serves the community of Charleston.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I started as the online editor, staff photographer and page designer/copy editor before settling into page designer and occasional photographer to end the first semester. I ended the semester with a 3.79 GPA, which I was extremely proud of despite missing Dean’s List by .01 of a point.

Before heading off to break I interviewed for the job of DEN photo editor along with the job as a page designer. I will say I was pretty content with designing pages, but I knew the opportunity to serve as editor would have benefits including a possibility of an internship over the summer.

Over the winter break, I was fortunate to photograph a basketball tournament for the Pekin Daily Times and see my photographs distributed (thanks to an awesome sports editor who I owe so much to) throughout the central Illinois area. Spending three days at a tournament taught me so much about what to shoot, changing angles, following story lines as well as reminding what gear is important to ensuring effective editing on the go.


A few days into the winter break I was informed I did indeed receive the job as photo editor and I did my best to determine what I thought it would take to be a successful photo editor for a publication that printed five issues a week. I knew I would be shooting a lot and decided a staff of photographers would be the most important asset to ensure the success of both the paper and myself.

To grow the staff I visited classrooms to offer the importance of being published, I scoured social media to see who I could find posting pictures and emailed professors and past photographers to remind them of the opportunities available to them.

I was able to more than double the staff through my efforts of recruiting and quickly watched as the quality increased with the number of photographers available. Just as quickly as the staff grew, the numbers declined.

Many of the photographers I recruited quickly began to fail to return emails or offer their services for whatever reason. I imagine some of which had to deal with the school workloads increasing. I can also assume the job of a photojournalist is not all that easy compared to that of posting occasionally on social media. Through it all, the job was finished and I met plenty of fabulous individuals through my experience as the photo editor.

Despite being super busy with photo editor duties I was able to earn a spot on the Dean’s List for the spring semester with a 3.80 gpa. Makes everything even more worth it when you are able to celebrate a small victory.

I will note that I intend to add to my experience through video work and working as photographer and reporter for the local JG-TC paper next fall.


I’ve been home for a couple of weeks now and have taken a few assignments for the local Courier Papers and plan to regularly update the blog to keep you all updated on my summer.

My son Brady smiles for a picture Tuesday, May 16 at an overlook on top of Peoria’s Grandview Drive. I hope to accomplish much more shots like this of both my daughter and son over the next few months.


Besides shooting and writing for the Courier Papers I hope to also continue to work on my photography throughout the summer. I would like to take the kids to a variety of places to shoot portrait type shots during the day while mom works. I also have a nice personal project that I will be regularly working on when time allows. I think it may take a majority of the summer to complete and possibly into Labor Day weekend.

So, until next time….


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