50 Hours in Stephens County

November 23, 2015 by  

West Doyle Street in Toccoa, Georgia, on Saturday, February 28, 2015 (Photo/Heather Fulbright, heatherfulbright@gmail.com)

West Doyle Street in Toccoa, Georgia, on Saturday, February 28, 2015
(Photo/Heather Fulbright, heatherfulbright@gmail.com)

For the tenth year in a row, students in the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication Documentary Photojournalism class wandered into a North Georgia county to tell the stories of the people who make the county unique. For 2015, Stephens County was selected and the workshop partnered with the Toccoa Record, working out of their newsroom for a late-February weekend.

The workshop was also named for the first time – it’s now the Woodall Weekend Workshop, in honor of Lynda and Henry Woodall who have stepped up to support the workshop with a gift that will see it continue for many, many years.

Now, for the stories that were told …

The students researched these stories in advance, made photos beginning on a Friday and then cycled through time with their subjects and time with a team of visiting professionals who constantly critiqued their work, offering feedback and ideas to quickly improve their stories. Those editors, including Mike Haskey of the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, Katye Martens, from the Pew Charitable Trust, Robin Nathan, Akili Ramsess, Mike Roy, Minla Shields and Billy Weeks (all independent visual journalists) coached the students on everything from composition to compassion.

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