Yearbook editor attends AAJA camp in Boston


This summer, I was granted a week-long stay in Boston, Massachusetts, to learn more indepth about photojournalism through the Asian American Journalism Association’s program called JCamp.

There was always something to do during the time at Emerson College, whether it was photographing the streets of Boston, listening to speakers or even cramming some studying while eating breakfast. There was never a dull moment.

We were moving from early morning, as we started the day by reading The Boston Globe, which we then took a quiz on. Immediately after, we had have a visitor join us and tell us about their journalistic career.

Our visitors ranged from Paul Niwa, the intern journalism director of Emerson College to Josh Freedom du Lac, a news editor for The Washington Post.

When we, the 42 aspiring journalists, weren’t meeting all sorts of people who work in the journalism business, we separated into our breakout groups.

I, not surprisingly, chose the photography breakout group. There, I worked with Timothy Hingh, who was once a JCamper himself a few years back and is now a photo editor for The Wall Street Journal. I also worked with Kyndell Harkness, a photojournalist at The Minneapolis Star Tribune, who taught Hingh when he was a JCamper.

The 42 journalists that attended the 2014 JCamp. Perez is right of the middle, in a red shirt and glasses.
The 42 journalists that attended the 2014 JCamp. Perez is right of the middle, in a red shirt and glasses.

As a member of the photo breakout group, our main project for the week to create a photo story. One of the key lessons I learned at Emerson was that one photo can make or break an entire set of photos and what qualities go into a photo story.

Aside from working in our groups and listening to sessions, we also got the opportunity to take a tours of notable East Coast media outlets like The Boston Globe and Bloomberg News.

Another huge part of the program was networking. In every session, we met someone who could possibly give us an internship or job later on in life. This networking culminated in a reception where many journalists came out to speak to us. There we met journalists who lived in our area, exchanges email addresses and promised to keep in touch.

Though I was a bit overwhelmed when I met the rest of the JCampers as they all came from places all over including Hawaii, Kansas and even Costa Rica, my worries were put to rest rather quickly. Everyone was friendly and welcoming.

We bonded over the course of a week, whether it was over a game of “Truth or Dare” or simply hanging out in the Common Room.

A few of us even decided to become pen pals.

Although the early mornings, late nights and a 3-hour time difference did take quite a toll on my sleeping pattern, I’m entirely grateful to the AAJA for having such an amazing journalism program and giving me the opportunity to participate in it.

Ana Perez is the Editor-in-Chief of Prestige Yearbook