2012 Workshop Behind The Scenes Video "Chattanooga"


2012 Workshop Participants

Sara Caldwell

Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
The Augusta Chronicle

Most probably think of scribbling pens, messy notebooks, or someone taking a deep breath as they prepare to dive into a long-winded tale when considering the process of how one tells a story. 

For me, it's the click of a shutter.

My name is Sara Caldwell and I'm a staff photographer for The Augusta Chronicle. I've been living in Augusta, Georgia for the past year, hitting the streets every day armed with my Nikon D3 and D3s, searching for moments and connecting with people. 

I graduated with a degree in Print Journalism with an emphasis in Photojournalism from The University of Georgia's Grady School of Journalism. I caught the newspaper bug while I worked for my high school newspaper, and once in college, that bug led me to The Red and Black where I started as a news reporter. I found myself holding various positions as a writer, photographer, editor, and ultimately photo editor in the time I spent at the top of Baxter Street, and I know the lessons I learned from such a strong student-run, daily college newspaper have helped me problem solve and grow as a newspaper staff member in the "real" world. 

However, this photo thing wouldn't have happened for me without the influence of a great teacher in UGA's photojournalism program. Mark Johnson forgave me after blowing out a shutter on a class camera, he let me crop photos to squares if that how I thought they needed to be cropped, and even now, he still offers kind guidance when I ask for help.  

I'm very excited to an opportunity to work with well-known coaches who will help me improve my skills. 

I'm aching to learn, so teach me. 


Philip Botta

Photo by Patrick Hovan

I just want to take pictures.

Since I was old enough to remember my mom taking photographs of my brother and I growing up on her Minolta camera, I have been intrigued by the device. I was curious how it worked and that made me want to use it.

I still use it.
In high school I learned the darkroom and started digital shortly after. I skipped my lunches and study halls to lurk in the corners of the darkroom.

In college I started out trying to shoot everything and anything. I shot a lot of sports for The Daily Kent Stater in the beginning and three years later I have photographed anything from drug addicts to the president himself. I have shot for many different organizations and news sources. Most recently my photos and video have been published and aired around the world from the annual College Fest party that turned into a riot this past year. 
Lately I have been getting into on location lighting and putting cameras in out of the ordinary places for photo and video with the help of Magic Arms and GoPro cameras. I’m excited to explore Chattanooga for stories and document them with the new techniques I have picked up and to learn more techniques to apply them for the rest of my life.

I am a senior at Kent State University.
Philip Botta
1 (234) 542.9543
Photographer | Daily Kent Stater
Photographer | Fusion Magazine
Photographer | NastyFancy.com


Chloe Makarick

I am a senior journalism student at Kent State University studying information design with a photojournalism minor. In the Spring 2011, I studied abroad through a program called Semester at Sea, traveling to 11 countries as the ship circumnavigated the world. I have a huge passion for traveling, volunteering and connecting with people from all backgrounds. Upon graduating next year, I want to join AmericCorps and later teach English abroad. After, I hope to be able to use my photography and design skills and work with a non-profit or NGO. I want to continue to travel, tell people’s stories through words, through pictures, with all my heart.

As Pauline Kezer said, “When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless. But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better.”

Luke Thelen

Photo by Joe McNally
“A continuous, ever changing, exciting, endless journey.” This is how I would describe my love affair with photography.
As far as I can remember back, I’ve always had a camera in my hands. From a young kid taking pot shots of my childhood friends and our activities with my trusty ol’ Kodak 110, to finally getting that upgrade to a 35mm when I was a little older, I always felt a need to record what I saw with a camera.
Step forward many years and now I’m in my 12th year of my U.S. Air Force career as a Military Photographer and Combat Cameraman. I’ve had amazing opportunities to document the good, the bad and the ugly of military life, war and other cultures. I’ve been able to change lives with my cameras and best of all…I have a clear understanding of just how powerful a camera and lens can be.
My name is Luke Thelen and presently I’m a photography instructor at the Defense Information School in Maryland. This assignment has proven to be challenging but also very rewarding. Along with a talented pool of fellow instructors, we teach the basic building blocks of storytelling with cameras and every once in a while, we see passion spark and our students run with it. That is my reward!
Personally, just as my students are learning, so am I. I’ll never stop learning. I am surrounded by photographers with varying experience, talents and abilities and I learn from them constantly. Also getting involved with various workshops as much as I can has allowed me to find invaluable mentors that constantly help me grow as a photographer and teacher.
“You have an obligation to pass on what you learn as freely as you received it.” A statement made by one of my mentors in regard to learning the art of photography and storytelling. I constantly remember these words and follow them as much as possible. I’m excited to be part of this year’s workshop, to learn, to grow and to ultimately share! ===

Samantha Owens
My name is Samantha, but I go by Sam. In the fall of 2010, after I graduated from high school, I packed up my bags to move from Northern Virginia to Southeast Ohio for college. I am currently a junior at Ohio University earning a degree in Photojournalism with a specialization in Anthropology.
I have always been one to listen first and speak second. With a naturally reserved personality, I observe all the facets of a situation before acting. I feel this has led to my uncanny interest in learning every little detail about a person, place or thing to which I make a connection. I am intrigued and engulfed by the multiple stories and layers of personality that each person conveys throughout their lifetime. My camera is a tool used simply to record the intimate moments of daily life, no matter how big or how small, with the hope of better understanding the lives that unfold around me.



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