Cody Brice Schmelter is an award-winning photojournalist based in the Southeast. The Savannah, Ga., native attended The University of Georgia where he graduated from the renowned Grady College of Journalism in May 2013.
During his time at Grady, Schmelter focused his studies on photojournalism, completing the University of Georgia Visual Journalism program. While in UGAVJ, he participated in weekend workshops covering the Petit Le Mans race and community journalism. He also served as president for the UGA student chapter of the National Press Photographers Association. Schmelter got his first taste of the newsroom while working for the independent student newspaper, The Red & Black, as both a staff photographer and the photo editor. During his time with The Red & Black, Schmelter extensively covered UGA’s athletics, including the 2012 SEC Championship football game. He also participated in the Poynter Institute and Cox Institute of Newspaper Management Studies’ inaugural Media Leadership Certificate Program. After completing the program in March 2013, he contributed to the book “Managing News @ The Digital Edge,” which was published a few months later.
After graduation, Schmelter immediately began an extended internship at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He was treated and worked as a full member of the photo staff. In addition to his daily work in the Chattanooga area, Schmelter travelled eastern Tennessee on assignment and contributed to the weekly photo column "Moment." During the winter of 2014, Schmelter gained national attention for his coverage of the southern snowstorms. His work was highlighted by The Boston Globe’s The Big Picture blog and was included in the Washington Post’s and USA Today’s ‘News Photos of the Week.’
In March 2014, Schmelter began his first full time job as a photojournalist back in his home state. He was hired as one of three staff photographers rotated between the Cherokee Tribune and the Marietta Daily Journal. After serving 10 months as the main photographer for the Tribune, he was promoted to the Marietta Daily Journal’s photo desk to begin 2015. Despite not working in Georgia for the first two months of the year, Schmelter finished third overall in the Georgia Press Association’s monthly clip contest for 2014 (taking home 10 first places, seven second places and seven third places along the way).