Who me: Work for free? It could be “marketing” investment, says photographer

By Adam Kirchoff and Jasmine Cordova

Want to get your photos noticed, get your work published in a magazine or news site, or produce a film on a subject you’re passionate about but don’t have funding for?

Media professionals at a recent Fullerton College Media Studies department panel highlighted the importance of making some sacrifices early on to “market” yourself, collaborating with colleagues and others to gain valuable feedback and meeting people and building relationships with them in order to succeed in the industry.

OC Register reporter Brian Whitehead spoke on the Fullerton College Media Studies’ career panel earlier this month

The panelists included Orange County Register reporter Brian Whitehead, a Cal State Fullerton graduate; KCET documentary producer Kelly Parker; and freelance photographer Linda Briney. Some of the roughly two dozen students attending reported feeling informed and inspired after hearing from top media professionals Sunday.

Whitehead, who writes general news and human interest stories about the Fullerton, said he usually works 8- to 10-hour days, completing about three to four stories per week. Whitehead, who started his career as a writer for the Daily Titan and covered sports, said it’s crucial to be able to generate your own stories as a reporter, whether that’s by interviewing sources and everyday people or by finding new angles on stories people are talking about.

The event was hosted by the Fullerton College Media Studies department, which provides training and professional development opportunities for students pursuing degrees and certificates in journalism, photography, cinema, radio and television.

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