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Merit Member Jason McKibben


Web site: N/A
Current location/For how long: Sarasota, Florida, nearly 2 years
School/Degree received: University of Pennsylvania — B.A. in Communications. I also graduated from the Professional Photography program at the New England School of Photography, where I majored in photojournalism.

© Jason McKibben
All photos © Jason McKibben

Recent awards or distinctions: Third Place Illustration, NPPA Region 6 Monthly Clip Contest, June 2007
Recent Clients: Sarasota Herald Tribune

How long have you been working professionally?

2 years

What has been your favorite photographic assignment or project to date?

I photographed for a feature story on the Fakahatchee Strand Preserve swamp just north of the Everglades. The area was made famous by the book The Orchid Thief, which was the inspiration for the movie adaptation. It’s an amazing place with a huge variety of plant and animal life. Orchids, bromeliads, spiders, snakes and gators. The depth of the water varied from my knees to my waist and there was always something to climb over or duck under. With two cameras, an audio recorder and a walking stick — I was lucky to leave with my gear intact.

© Jason McKibben

What has been your most challenging photographic assignment or project to date?

Photographing in Ukrainian orphanages. I was accompanying Orphanbaby, an American non-profit working to train caregivers and orphanage staff to better care for special needs children. I was there to document their work as well as the present conditions of the orphanages. It was challenging in part because I had little time and very little freedom to roam. Mainly though it was just heartbreaking to see the kids in various stages of neglect.

© Jason McKibben

Please describe any special photographic projects or assignments in which you are currently engaged.

Newspapers are all about multimedia these days, trying to figure how to stay afloat in a digital world. Photojournalists’ job descriptions are changing too. To that end, I’m learning as much as possible about enhancing my storytelling with audio and video.

What is your greatest photographic aspiration?

To photograph on every continent.

© Jason McKibben

What is your primary source of news about the photography industry?

A variety of websites: I just recently subscribed to PDN but have yet to receive my first issue — looking forward to it, though! Otherwise, a variety of websites: www.lightstalkers.org, www.sportsshooter.com, http://photobusinessforum.blogspot.com

In your opinion, what is the most critical issue affecting photographers today?

The devaluing of imagery.

© Jason McKibben

Were you aware of the ASMP before receiving a Merit Membership?

Yes. I first learned about it in when I was assisting in Philadelphia.

Since receiving your Merit Membership, have you taken advantage of any of the resources, services or discounts that ASMP offers to members?

Yes, I’ve spent a lot of time reading the wealth of info on the ASMP website.

Do you participate in any of the existing ASMP specialty groups or listservs?

Not currently.

© Jason McKibben

Do you belong to other photographic associations or online groups?

I’m a member of the National Press Photographers Association, www.lightstalkers.org and www.sportsshooter.com.

What do you consider to be the most valuable aspect of your Merit Membership in the ASMP?

Guidance in the business of photography.