NEWS: Pulitzer-winning photojournalist talks to Truman students

by Nia Norris, Staff Writer

John H. White signs a photography collection at his presentation and chat in Novar Hall. Photo credit: Nia Norris

John H. White signs a photography collection at his presentation and chat in Novar Hall. Photo credit: Nia Norris

The Photography Department hosted photojournalist John H. White in Novar Hall on Wednesday for a lecture about the challenges and risks in his field.

With approximately 80 people in attendance, Photography Director Danielle Paz opened the event with a little background history about White as she introduced him. Paz said, “John’s story impacted my life, and I hope his story does the same for you.”

Once White took the stage, he greeted the audience by asking three times, “How is everyone doing today?” Once a big portion of the audience yelled “Good and you?,” White stated, “My father always told me to make a friend a day.”

In 2009 White celebrated his 40th year as a local photographer. According to his own testimony, White began his career at the Chicago Daily Newspaper in 1969. He caught the attention of an editor for the newspaper when he entered the Southern Short Course in News Photography competition and won second place nationally in the General News group.

“See, you never know what God has in store for you if you don’t put action to your dream,” said White.

White gave an approximate 20 min. PowerPoint photo presentation of some of his work. “The images here have a story to them,” he said. The room was filled with different sounds of emotion as he clicked from photo to photo. Some people laughed, some reacted vocally and some even gasped deeply at some of the more graphic images.

As the lecture came to an end, White said, “There are three words that I live by that helps me to stay grounded as a photographer.” He goes on to say, “Faith (stay faithful to your dreams), focus (precision focus) and flight (spread your wings).”

As people were leaving the auditorium, he shook hands and took pictures with audience members, while saying to them, “I love you and remember everybody is somebody.”

John H. White greeted his Truman audience personally and up close. Photo credit: Nia Norris

John H. White greeted his Truman audience personally and up close. Photo credit: Nia Norris

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