Writer or Photographer, Photographer or Writer?

Writer or Photographer, Photographer or Writer?

This journey started during childhood, as I unskillfully documented my life through journal writing and disposable camera shots. It was not until my college years, though, that I began to realize that my love was not so much for documenting life but for telling stories that needed to be told.

I entered the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia under the impression that the only way to tell stories was through words. As a magazine journalism major, I learned journalism ethics, reporting skills and how to ask the hard questions. I loved every minute of it, but then God, as He often does, threw me a curve ball. He placed me in Mark Johnson’s Introduction to Photojournalism course. There I picked up my first SLR camera, and the rest is history. I spent the next two years learning the technicalities of exposure, lighting and the brave new world of multimedia, still photography and video storytelling.

So that is when the question first came up: “Am I a writer or photographer, a photographer or writer?”

Even as I pushed off answering this question, my heart continued to grow for both writing and photography. By my senior year at the University of Georgia, Georgia Magazine had published my first big feature article, and I was working as a staff photographer for The Red & Black newspaper, covering the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championships, the SEC National Swim Championships and the daily news cycle of Athens, Ga.

I graduated from the University of Georgia summa cum laude with highest honors in May 2010 with a degree in magazine journalism and an emphasis in photojournalism.

So again, which one: “Am I a photographer or writer, a writer or a photographer?”

Upon graduation, I landed a 10-week summer internship with seasoned photographer Stanley Leary. Taking what seemed like a crash course in lighting and post-production, I spent those 10 weeks learning about my love for people and capturing moments, but most surprisingly, I learned about my undeniable love for writing. Focusing primarily on photography, I missed the challenge of description and sentence structure.

So there I had it: I am not just a photographer. I am not just a writer. I am both.

Through God’s grace, doors continue to open:

Monday – Friday:  I work as a communications consultant for Chick-fil-A Inc., writing stories for their internal communications website and on occasion, photographing Chick-fil-A people and events. I am a writer & photographer.

Friday – Sunday: I work as a photographer for my very own Jackie Reedy Photography business, covering weddings, engagements, people and events. I am a photographer & writer.

Moral of the story: I print out two stacks of business cards.


One comment on “Writer or Photographer, Photographer or Writer?”

  1. Hi Jackie, I recently have been searching for a lost friend by the name of Kendall Cathy. I’ve done a couple google searches and found a picture you have taken. I didn’t know if you possibly knew her or not. I knew she had gone to UGA. I lost contact with her about that time. Thanks for your time. Jason

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