By: Scott Smith
Last year, I wrote a story about using my hobby of photography for relaxation. If you read the story, you’ll know
that I photographed hummingbirds. I love photography and over the past several months, my photography has
Being a JRMP student, a lot of my training plays into my skills as a photographer. Thanks to Yanjun Zhao’s
photojournalism class, I have learned camera settings. Professor David Bublitz was instrumental in teaching me
more about post editing and of course, Dr. Jenkins taught a lot about composition and attention to detail. I’ve also
used YouTube videos and online forums to learn things that I never imagined that I would learn. I have been able to
practically apply techniques to actively make my photography better.
Earlier this year, I was able to apply the knowledge learned at Cameron to photograph some pretty unique things.
In May, I was able to take a dream vacation to Yellowstone National Park. This trip was on my bucket list as a
The first thing I did when I flew into Bozeman, Montana, was to visit a camera store and rent a 150x600mm lens.
The lens really helped me capture wildlife at a great distance. I was able to photograph grizzly bears, black bears,
elk, pronghorn and wolves. Wolves are so elusive that tourists rarely get great shots, but it just so happened that I
had the opportunity to get fairly close. Besides the animals, the landscape offered some beautiful photo
I can’t wait to go back!
I also had a chance to use my skills with some concert photography. Earlier this year, I attended a Bret Michaels
concert at a small venue. I know most of you are unfamiliar with Michaels, but he is the lead singer of the 80’s band,
Poison. Ask your parents for more details.
Normally, attendees are not allowed to bring in professional photography equipment, but this was a smaller
venue, and I received permission. Bringing my Canon 70x200mm, 2.8 lens was a treat for sure. During the show, I
was able to make adjustments to my settings and get some really great shots. I think I took some 800 photos that
night. I had so much fun with the photography that I forgot how the concert actually went.
I printed off some of the photos, dropped them by the venue owner’s office and sent a follow-up email. My
phone rang minutes later, and he told me how exited he was about the photos and invited me back to photograph
Since the Michaels concert, I have been able to shoot a Stoney LaRue show as well as Ted Nugent’s final show
on his tour (ask your grandparents). With all of the shows, I was able to post the pictures to Facebook and tag the
venue as well as the artists. I went from just a few people seeing my photos, to thousands. I was able to practice
during the shoots and really dial in my shots.
Through the Facebook posts, I caught the eye of the local arts council.
They hold several concerts per year and have asked me to photograph all of the shows. I realized that my skills
are valuable and have since started a photography business that I do in my spare time. I also sell wildlife and other
types of prints and canvases.
The point is: if you have something you’re passionate about, you should work as much as possible to develop
I know without being a JRMP major and receiving the excellent training from Dr. J., Professor Bublitz and
Professor Zhao, that my photography skills would not have evolved as quickly as they have. I owe them a lot of
credit. Also, use everything you can find to learn more about what you want to do, regardless if you are a writer,
photographer or mechanic. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!
If you love cool pictures, I would invite you to like and follow my photography page at