Photojournalist, educator, author
Dave LaBelle, Photojournalism Coach
David LaBelle, an internationally known photographer, teacher, author and speaker, grew up on a frog farm in Oak View, California, exploring the creeks and hills with two sisters and two brothers and numerous dogs.
He began his photojournalism career as a weekend sports-shooter and lab man at the Ventura County Star-Free Press in California while still in high school.
During his 40-year career, David has worked for a mix of 20 different newspapers and magazines. He has also worked at four universities across the United States.
David has won hundreds of national photography awards. At age 19, he was the youngest ever to win the National Press Photographers Association’s Region 10 Photographer of the Year. But the two awards he cares most about are Special Recognition as Runner-up to W. Eugene Smith in the 1974 Nikon World Understanding award and The International Understanding Through Photography Award in 2002 given by The Photographic Society of America Inc. The award’s judges said, “LaBelle’s background and accomplishments in photography have contributed to greater understanding among people everywhere.”
David has been a college professor for 20 years. In 1991, he was recognized as NPPA’s Teacher of the Year for outstanding contribution to education. Before teaching at Kent State, he taught at Weber University, Western Kentucky University and the University of Kentucky (where he was an adviser for the award-winning University of Kentucky newspaper). Seven of his former students have been on Pulitzer Prize-winning photo teams.
David has written four books. In 1989, LaBelle published the first edition of “The Great Picture Hunt,” a visual how-to book about finding feature pictures. This popular book is has been used by newspapers and colleges across the country and Canada since its first printing in 1989. In 1995, David wrote the second edition of “The Great Picture Hunt.” LaBelle is also the author of the book “Lessons in Death and Life,” which was published in 1992 and deals with the ethics of photographing grief. In 2009, David wrote “I Don’t Want to Know All That Technical Stuff, I Just Want to Shoot Pictures,” which is a book about basic photography skills designed for beginners. He also writes monthly columns for Ruralite magazine.
David has become a popular seminar speaker for conferences. In a lively presentation, he will offer not just one, but ten sure-fire tips to help the audience shoot better, more interesting newspaper and yearbook photos. A few places David has spoken include: The Pittsburgh Conference, The Atlanta Seminar on Photojournalism, The Southern Short Course, NPPA’s Flying Short Course, and the Society of Professional Journalists’ National Convention.
Today, David is the Director of Photojournalism at Kent State University and also teaches photojournalism classes. He lives in the city of Kent with his wife Erin and their two sons, Tucker and Henry.
Senior Visual Media Consultant for Indiana University Health, Indianapolis
Matt Detrich, Photojournalism and Multimedia coach
Matt Detrich’s career started with a Nikon FG in hand and a darkroom (with fixer!) in the basement of his childhood home. From age 12, he began his journey in photojournalism, while honing his craft and his passion for telling stories.
Director of Photography and Photojournalist, Cincinnati Enquirer
Cara Owsley, Photojournalism and Multimedia Coach
Cara Owsley, a Louisville native and graduate of Western Kentucky University, has been the Director of Photography and Photojournalist at the Cincinnati Enquirer since 2005.
“I unintentionally became a journalist – it started with a fascination of cameras. I still have my first camera, a Polaroid One-Step. My high school photography teacher recommended that I should attend Western Kentucky University for photography. I knew nothing about photojournalism when I enrolled in the program, but the journalism classes and my internships made me fall in love with journalism.
I believe I have one of the best jobs in world. Photojournalists get to encounter people from all walks of life, and I love telling their stories visually. I also enjoy working with our talented staff of photographers and helping make their visuals come to life for our website and our print edition.”
William DeShazer, Portrait Coach
William DeShazer is a commercial and editorial photographer based in Nashville, TN. He’s held staff photography positions at the Chicago Tribune, The Commercial Appeal, The Napels Daily News, and The Concord Monitor. He’s now a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and CNN. His commercial clients range from documentary work with St, Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to manufacturing companies like Hunter Fan Company and LP Building Solutions. He specializes in portraiture, brand narrative storytelling and product photography.
Evelio Contreras, Multimedia Coach
Evelio Contreras is a video producer for CNN Digital’s Original Video team. He is based in New York. Previously, he worked as a video journalist at The Washington Post, Las Vegas Sun and The Roanoke Times.
His work has been recognized by The National Press Photographers Association, Society of News Design and the Capital Emmys. He has coached students and taught multimedia workshops including NPPA’s Multimedia Immersion and News Video Television Workshop.
He grew up in Eagle Pass, a small border town on the Texas and Mexico border. It was there working at El Gram, a bilingual newspaper, where he learned about his interests in telling stories about ordinary people doing extraordinary things. He likes meeting new people and finding new ways to tell their stories.