Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

This is the first page of my journal. I started this journal specifically to document my move across the country and my experiences in Los Angeles. Notes and letters from close friends are attached with tape and clips.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

Page from my journal with two duplicate fortune cookies I received before I left Tennessee.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

This image above is a composite of pages of my journal that includes my best friend that was created before I left Tennessee. Below is a screen shot from video I took while driving through New Mexico.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

One of my oldest friends wrote me a letter before I left Tennessee, I cut my favorite part of the letter out and used old photographs I took to create a collage on these pages.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

This image is a composite of pages of my journal created across Texas and the Grand Canyon. The bottom portion is a screen shot from video I took while driving through New Mexico. This page personally amplified the idea of moving west. (Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times)

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

Petrified National Forest, AZ - September 4, 2012: My Western Kentucky college friend Julia Walker Thomas drove from Tennessee to Los Angeles with me and is seen here in the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

These pages are the first entry I created upon arriving in Los Angeles. I used an old Polaroid camera that was given to me by a friend take the image of the chair. The colors in the photography characterized a Southern California vibe.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

Venice Beach, CA - September 13, 2012: This image was made the first time I went to the beach in California and the first time seeing the Pacific Ocean.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times

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Apparently, photojournalism died on Aug. 1, 2010

Bethany Mollenkof is a photojournalist at the Los Angeles Times visual department; she will be contributing occasional posts to Framework about her experiences and her life in Southern California.  This is her first time in the city of Los Angeles – ever.  

***

Apparently, photojournalism died on Aug. 1, 2010.

Less than a year later, cap and gown clad and diploma firmly in hand, I graduated with my BA in documentary photography. Obviously, I hadn’t received the memo.

The photojournalism and newspaper industries have been in unrest since the turn of the millennium. While the rise of the Internet was beginning to change the face of newspapers, I was starting middle school and learning how ride the school bus. Before I had ever picked up a camera, people were questioning whether or not photo jobs would continue to exist. Neil Burgess, the former head of Magnum Photo (one of the most recognizable agencies in documentary photography), was the one who sounded the death knell pronouncing our profession dead. This is depressing stuff for anyone to face, and a bit intimidating for a barely 23-year-old college graduate.

But contrary to the opinion of Mr. Burgess, I do not think photojournalism is dead.

Less than a month ago I packed up my car, hugged my family goodbye and drove from Tennessee to Los Angeles because I got the opportunity to pursue my passion for visual journalism. I am young and eager and I am not ready to give up on the art of storytelling through images. The industry has changed and will continue to change the way we work as photojournalists, but I do not see this as a negative. Among many things, the Web presents a platform for photographers to display their work in new more immediate ways. We can connect with a huge audience all around the globe, and that is an excellent opportunity for a much richer dialogue that can take place between creator and audience.

My desire over the next couple of months is to begin a conversation and continue ones that have already been started and hopefully track my personal progress through the visual stories I get to explore during my stint here.   My career has barely begun, and while I am at the L.A. Times I want to utilize this space to talk about the future, problem-solve and discover new ways interact around photography. Nothing is guaranteed and everything is new, and to present myself I thought I would share images from my journal. I find it difficult at times to document my own life, especially in transition, so these images represent my feelings and moments I felt compelled to keep as I am beginning to start a journey here in California.

Thanks for looking and contact me with any thoughts. I want to hear from you via Twitter @FancyBethany.

Caption: Los Angeles,  Sept. 27, 2012: This is the first page of my journal. I started this journal specifically to document my move across the country and my experiences in Los Angeles. Notes and letters from close friends are attached with tape and clips. (Bethany Mollenkof / Los Angeles Times)

1 Comment

  1. December 3, 2013, 1:13 pm

    I think she's a photojournalist, not a 'photojouralist.' The Times' copy editing died a long time before photojournalism, and is sorely missed by some of your dwindling readership.

    By: piernuda@gmail.com

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