The last session I went to was Covering the 2012 Olympics with One Backpack by Steve Johnson of the University of Florida. This was by far the most interesting and useful talk of the day. Steve is 22, a 2012 graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. He now works at the UF as a Senior Producer for Special Projects and he teaches a class in the graduate school. Steve is legit.
He started shooting photos when he was 16 and became a freelancer at 17. He started shooting for The New York Times at 20 and his resume goes on, including ESPN, Sports Illustrated, you name it.
He talked about his shooting style and what he looks for in a story. He is always dedicated and treats everything with the same amount of importance.
What I admired about him is that he is only 22 and so successful. You don’t have to wait around in order to be shooting for national outlets. Establish yourself locally, get your portfolio in order, and they will be contacting you.
The most important lesson I took away from the session: Freelance in college and establish your freelance business so that when you graduate you can be financially independent.
New goal, mark my words.