Public Affairs photographer selected for Syracuse University photojournalism program

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Frances Locquiao
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
Nothing short of hard work, dedication and determination are the reasons a photographer from the 23rd Wing Public Affairs office was recently accepted into a program at one of the most prestigious schools of mass communication.

Senior Airman Brittany Barker will begin taking classes for the Advanced Military Photojournalism program in August 2009 at Syracuse University's Samuel Irving Newhouse School of Public Communications located in Syracuse, N.Y.

"I was kind of in a state of shock when I found out I was accepted--it seemed very surreal," said Airman Barker. "The first thing I did was called my friend at Langley Air Force Base, Va., and congratulate him because he was accepted as well."

The 10-month program teaches photographers the tools to help them become proficient military photojournalists.

The program's courses include news writing, introduction to graphic arts, picture editing, advanced design and production, communications and publication photography.

"I went through the program back when I was a senior airman and it was essential to the successes throughout my career," said Tech. Sgt. Jeffrey Allen, 23rd WG Public Affairs chief of photography. "Airman Barker will learn invaluable skills to better communicate the Air Force story."

Selection for the program is highly competitive because only five photographers from each service branch can be selected.

"I am extremely proud of Brittany because she works very hard," said Sergeant Allen. "She applied what she learned to create outstanding products.

"Brittany's desire to learn and challenge herself is what sets her apart from less experienced photographers," added Sergeant Allen. "She definitely deserves the spot in the program."

Individuals who applied for the program had to submit a portfolio and a letter of recommendation from a unit commander.

The portfolio's contents included photography in the following categories: combat documentation, feature, illustrative, news, pictorial, picture story, portrait personality and sports.

"It took me more than a month of preparation to gather the best of the best for my portfolio," said Airman Barker. "Everyone in the office had a hand in advising which ones should be my top selections. I couldn't have done it without them."

Even though the program is still a few months away, Airman Barker is already preparing for the next step in her career.

"I'm still working hard and trying new things," she said. "I'm pushing myself to the next level of my profession."

Upon completion of the program, students will earn 30 credits toward a photojournalism degree and can be officially called 'photojournalists'. They will then use their newfound skills at a new duty station.

"My goal is to expand my knowledge and broaden my skills," said Airman Barker. "I also want to meet people from other branches and learn from them."

"I just want to thank everyone who took the time to support and mentor me," she added. "Hard work does pay off in the end."