When did you graduate?
I graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa in the fall 2021. In January 2022, I joined the Dallas Morning News as a staff visual journalist.
What does this recognition mean to you?
This is the perfect recognition that anyone could hope for to finish their career as a student. Especially transitioning to a full-time staff job, this will help me elevate my work. I don’t think we as photojournalists look for external gratifications. However, at the end of the day we feel appreciated when someone likes our craft. So, I feel appreciated at this moment.
I want to work for the students who are just starting out. I don’t want them to face the issues that I faced. In a way, I want to smoothen their way. So this recognition is a way to showcase myself and put my name out there so people know I am here for them.
Where have you done an internship(s)?
Throughout my senior year, I did two six-month internships. First half, I was a photo/video intern at the Associated Press in Chicago. Second half, I was the photojournalism intern at the Deseret News, the local newspaper in Salt Lake City, Utah.
How has the NPPA helped you as a student?
It has been a great platform to showcase my work and get to know people. NPPA guided me big time when COVID first started. There were live sessions where people were discussing the safety protocols that showed what to do and what not to do. While working as a freelancer, the NPPA ID was a great asset. Even if it doesn’t provide access, it is somewhat an identity. I remember wearing that during the January 6 insurrection for safety purposes. The NPPF scholarship helped me a lot in supporting my college tuition and continuing my education.
Briefly, any advice for students just getting started?
First spend some time, enjoy and decide if you actually want to become a photojournalist, given that the industry is shrinking. If you are adamant about it then keep your head down and be persistent. My key is to remain humble and get my name out there. It doesn’t matter who you know, it matters who knows you. I know it can be hard to introduce yourself to people and break the ice, but do it for the sake of yourself.
There will be days where you won’t be able to make a single good image or might not get the internship you aimed for. So don’t get disheartened if you are struggling. There is always a right time and right place for everything.
Scroll to see photographs by Shafkat Samin Anowar.