From a Student’s Perspective: A Photo Journalism Exhibit

Morehead Hall - April 26th - May 12th

The typically bone dry white walls of The Morehead Lounge popped to life on Wednesday April 26th, 2017 thanks to the efforts of Professor Thomas Franklin’s Intro to Photojournalism class [JOUR288]. 

Over the course of the spring 2017 semester, students used Montclair State’s campus to document and capture the moments which defined the daily lives of students, educators and alumni for weekly assignments ranging from lighting, to exposure and composition.

The Photo Exhibit, which featured the work of 18 students spread across 32 large unique canvas prints, filled the usual empty walls.  “These photos are very representative of life at our University,” says Professor Franklin in a congratulatory manner to a filled reception gathering.

Junior Shane O’Neill explains, “there was typically a project assigned every week.  This picture is of my girlfriend,” he says while pointing to a dark horizontal canvas illuminated by colored Christmas light and a beam of sun racing in through an open window onto a studying college student.  “This was chosen from about 200 photos taken that day.  We had to use a combination of artificial light and natural light.” 

For each canvas image there was a title and short description presenting the work. The still subjects included wildlife, profiles, drag queens and in true millennial fashion, a college student in heels strutting a cement pathway taking a selfie of herself titled simply: “Selfie.” 

Those in attendance included some of Franklin’s colleagues from the Bergen Country Record, who during his time as a staff photographer captured some of New York’s most iconic moments before joining the Journalism faculty at Montclair State in 2016.

Graduating senior Amanda Williams reflects over punch and snacks, “Everyone worked very hard and it’s great to see our finished projects come to life.”

Behind Williams was Tara George, a humble and soft spoken professor, who like Franklin joined the Montclair State faculty after a career at publications including the NY Daily News.  She currently oversees the student run newspaper, The Montclarion, and teaches a feature writing class which partnered with the photo exhibit to showcase the work across the University’s multiple media platforms.

“They wrote feature stories,” explains George, “and some of these have already been published in the Montclarion.  My students are here to see their work and show support.” 

The Photo Exhibit will be on display in the lower level of Morehead Hall until May 12th.