SWPJC MODERATOR | 2018
Sonya Singh is a freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in Los Angeles magazine, Rogue magazi
SWPJC FACULTY | 2018
A few years ago I gave myself a challenge, “I want to be in the best financial, emotional, relational, spiritual, and physical shape I have ever been in by the time I turn 40.” Well, it took me a few years, and I realize I’ll never fully arrive, but I can say I’ve been hitting a few highs: I completed 3 personal photo projects this year and directed my first commercial. Through some trusted mentors I’ve learned the power of accepting myself and others in new and profound ways. About 6 months ago, motivated to reduce back pain, I made major changes to my diet and exercise routine, I lost over 20 lbs and now wake up most mornings pain free and feel stronger than I did in my 20s. I can say that after 25 years I still believe in the power of the message of Christ to restore human lives and be the hope of the future of change and renewal for all.
Photojournalist, Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News staff photographer Louis DeLuca has spent almost 40 years documenting memorable moments in time. He has covered 12 Super Bowls, the NBA Finals, the World Series, the Stanley Cup Finals, the Summer Olympics and a variety of youth, high school and college sports events in Texas and nationwide.
DeLuca’s non-sports work has included coverage of five hurricanes, the Los Angeles riots and the Mexico City earthquake, as well as innumerable daily newspaper assignments that range from routine groundbreakings to the Ebola outbreak. DeLuca has been published in Sports Illustrated, Life Magazine, ESPN the Magazine, Newsweek and The New York Times Magazine, and his work has been on display in galleries in Austin and Dallas’ Design District.
Five times DeLuca has been named Regional Photographer of the Year by the National Press Photographers Association, and he finished as runner-up another five times. In addition to the DMN, he has also worked for the Dallas Times Herald, the Chicago Sun-Times, the Shreveport Journal and the Marshall News-Messenger. He is married and has four grown children.
Photographer, X-Photographer by Fujifilm
Bill Fortney is a photographer, writer, pilot, and highly sought after presenter with over 47 years of experience in-the-field. Bill has done professional work as a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, sports photographer, (once an official photographer for the Washington Redskins), medical photographer, and nature/landscape photographer. Bill’s best selling books include; The Nature of America (with David Middleton), American Vision (with David Middleton, John Shaw and Wayne Lynch), America From 500 Feet (with Wesley Fortney), Bill Fortney’s Great Photography Workshop. America From 500 Feet II (with Mark Kettenhofen). Bill’s books have sold well over 150,000 copies, placing him on the list of best selling photographer/authors in America. Bill has been named a Fellow by the North American Nature Photographers Association.
Bill currently teaches for KelbyOne as a speaker/teacher. Bill teaches His Light Workshops, a Christian based workshop company and with Jack Graham Photography Workshops. Bill has been named as a X-Photographer by Fujifilm and use the Fuji X-System. You can learn more about Bill, his workshops and view his work at: www.billfortney.com
Bill, and his wife Sherelene, live in Corbin, Kentucky, and have three grown children and 6 grandchildren.
Founder and Educator, Picture Change
Kate Gazaway began as a travel photographer and has become a creative activist, global educator, and founder of the non-profit, Picture Change. She strives to provide opportunities for individuals to move from subject to storyteller, empowering local leaders to re-claim authorship of their own narrative through photography and digital storytelling. Since 2011, she has championed her students’ work to raise awareness, inspire empathy, and redefine stereotypes around the world. After years of being on the receiving end of hospitality, Kate has found her roots and wings in Nashville, Tennessee. Even though she travels much of the year for work, she finds joy in being able to provide a good meal and a sense of home to anyone who sets foot on her front porch.
Picture Change provides photography education and resources to students in developing countries, empowering them to discover innate creativity, share their own story, earn income, and become proactive documentarians and leaders in their community. Utilizing donated cameras and local partnerships, Picture Change has impacted lives on four continents to over sixty students, shifting the perspective on poverty and promoting global empathy through the students’ photography.
Executive Director, ASMP
Thomas R. Kennedy is Executive Director of American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), a U.S. trade association representing independent photographers working across commercial and editorial genres.
He is an internationally known visual journalist with extensive print, broadcast, and online journalism experience, including positions Managing Editor for Multimedia at The Washington Post, and Director of Photography at the National Geographic Society. He has created, directed, and edited visual journalism projects that have earned Pulitzer Prizes, as well as EMMY, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow awards.
Previously, he has also worked as an independent consultant coaching and mentoring individual photographers, as well as providing strategic analysis on visual storytelling for media companies and nonprofit organizations. In addition, he has taught regularly at universities and multimedia conferences, and advises about recruiting, coaching, and managing creative talent for optimal performance. He is a graduate of the University of Florida, with a B.S. degree in journalism.
Chief Creative Strategist, Journey Group
Ron Londen is chief creative strategist at Journey Group, in Charlottesville, where he leads the visual content team and also serves as a writer for a diverse set of clients and projects. As a photographer, he has done client work in Africa, Asia, Central America, and throughout the US.
Before Journey, he spent 15 years in the newspaper business. While he was director of photography, two of his newspapers were awarded the prestigious “Best of Use of Photography” award from the NPPA.
Over the past few years, Ron has pursued a personal writing project — a Christian apologetic book based on the facts of creation. The book is targeted to be published in 2014.
Ron also has served as the editor of the Christians in Photojournalism newsletter (and now website) since its inauguration in 1983.
Photojournalist, The Tennessean
For over 30 years, Larry McCormack has covered the everyday lives of his friends, his neighbors, students, church members, country music stars, politicians, and other members of the general public in the middle Tennessee community for local newspapers in the area.
He currently informs the readers of The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville, Tenn.
With his years of experience, McCormack attempts to translate for his viewers the surroundings of the “big city” that still has a small town feel. Sports, politics, music, food, news and even the occasional society event draw his eye toward things of interest to show his viewers.
Numerous national, regional and state awards validate his ability to tell the story of everyday people in the joys and struggles of life. Larry was also on a team nominated for a Pulitzer for The Tennessean’s coverage of the 2010 flood that devastated Nashville.
McCormack is a frequent lecturer, teacher and mentor on photographic vision with aspiring photojournalists in conferences around the country. www.tennessean.com
Photographer, Sony Artisan of Imagery
Sony Artisan Associate Patrick Murphy-Racey has been looking ahead and adapting to the “next thing” for his entire career. While he started in newspapers, he quickly moved into magazine editorial work, then into corporate and advertising and high-end wedding photojournalism. Now, half of his assignments are video. He will share why Christ must be the center of transcending, reinventing, updating, adapting and making forward momentum as we shoot our way through life.
Director of Communications, Diocese of Nashville
Over my 30+ years in the business of storytelling, there have been tremendous changes. Large metro daily newspapers are a shadow of their former selves. Staff positions have been slashed and the news hole has dwindled. Small, niche publications with targeted audiences are thriving. The commitment to fair, honest, engaged coverage of local communities is the currency that earns access to delicate situations and opens the door to important stories.
In Aug. 1998, after a 15-year career in daily newspapers including internship and staff positions at The Chicago Tribune, The Kansas City Star, The West Palm Beach Post, The Clarion Ledger, and The Tennessean, Rick Musacchio became Editor in Chief of the Tennessee Register. Since that time, the Tennessee Register, the newspaper of the Diocese of Nashville, and its staff have won numerous awards in Catholic Press Association competitions including four awards for General Excellence as the top newspaper in its circulation category. He also serves as Director of Communications for the Diocese of Nashville, responsible for the publication of the newspaper, the diocesan website, and a number of other aspects of the diocesan communications operation. He serves on a number of committees at both the diocesan and national level. He and his wife, Karen, live in Nashville and have five children, 30-7 years old, and one grandchild and another on the way.
Executive Director, NPPA
Akili-Casundria Ramsess is Executive Director of the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA ) based in Athens, at the University of Georgia. Ramsess returned to the Atlanta area in 2011 as an independent photographer/photo editor following a distinguished career as a Pulitzer-winning picture editor that culminated in her role as director of photography for the Orlando Sentinel. She returned to her first love as a photographer covering the vibrant music scene of Atlanta, local news and politics for the Atlanta Journal & Constitution (AJC), Associated Press, EPA and contract photo editing for CNN.
Prior to the Sentinel, Ramsess built a portfolio of photo editing experiences, from the Associated Press, Los Angeles Times, AJC and deputy director of photography for the San Jose Mercury News. She has also won numerous NPPA Best of Photography, POYi and Society of News Design picture editing awards.
Ramsess began her photojournalism career as a freelance photographer in the Los Angeles area covering news, entertainment and sports for local newspapers, and wire services before landing a staff photographer position with the now defunct Los Angeles Herald Examiner.
Vice President of Photography, WWE
Brad Smith is an award winning photo editor, with 35 years experience in visual storytelling. He’s the former DOP at Time Inc., Sports Group, which included Sports Illustrated and Golf Magazine. He was also with the New York Times as the Senior Sports Photo Editor and Assistant Director of Photography for the White House during the Clinton administration. He’s on the Board of Directors for the NPPA and the Eddie Adams Workshop, as well as the Creative Board for NYC Salt. He’s on the faculty for the Summit Photo Workshops. He’s the founder and director of Brad Smith Creative, a visual consulting group. Currently, he’s the Vice President for Photography, for the WWE.
Sally Jean Wegert
Photographer, Recent Graduate of Western Kentucky University
Sally Jean Wegert is a native of Louisville, Kentucky, and a recent graduate of Western Kentucky University’s prestigious photojournalism program, graduating with a B.A. in Photojournalism and Spanish Language. She recently edited for The CW Television Network in Burbank, California, and has been California dreamin’ ever since.
Her storytelling is motivated by a fascination with human nature and world cultures, which led her across several continents before the age of 20. During her final four months as an undergraduate student, she created The Femininity Project, a print magazine profiling women of varying backgrounds and ages to explore and expound upon what it means to be a woman in 2017. In the same year, she worked as the Art Director for the newly-created Talisman Magazine, a bi-annual student lifestyle magazine published through her university.