Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Bob Leverone Visits JMU

Last week was an exciting week in the world of SMAD. (School of Media Arts and Design, for all of the non-JMU'ers out there). In addition to SMAD Day on Friday, a jam-packed day of career advice, networking and portfolio building from JMU SMAD alum, we had the pleasure of meeting Bob Leverone.

Bob came to our photojournalism class last Thursday to talk about his career and some of his favorite shoots he's done; some recent, some not. He started out after graduating from JMU at miscellaneous VA newspapers before ending up at The Charlotte Observer, where he helped the paper win the Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Service. From there, he wound up shooting for big names like ESPN magazine and Sports Illustrated. One shoot he focused on for a long time in class was a Bulls-Heat game he worked on for ESPN magazine. The idea of the shoot was a day in the life; of 10 photographers, Bob's assignment was to follow one player (apologies, I'm not a basketball/Miami Heat fan, I can't remember the name of the player right now) throughout the day. He got behind-the-scene shots of him eating breakfast, getting ready for the game, traveling to the game, going to dinner after the game and him going home at the end of the day. During the game he was one of the photographers on the floor for action shots. We got to look at the pictures he took and he would add in stories, advice, and instructions on how he got certain shots. He is now freelancing and running his own company because he grew tired of the demands of constant traveling (something that sounds pretty ideal to most people my age...or maybe just me), and showed us examples of advertising shooting he's done. Sports and advertising, both something I'm highly interested in now because of Bob!

Friday at SMAD Day Bob also gave a lighting presentation, a hands-on way of inspiring new lighting ideas and setups for shoots. In fact, I'm going to the studio tonight and going to try some of the ideas he showed us with the lights I have to work with.

There's plenty of more information on his website, where you can also view his portfolio and become a fan just like I have in these past few days.

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