Iris PhotoCollective is showcasing the work of student journalists who are looking to engage in the visual language of photojournalism. The New Vision blog is an outlet for student photographers to get instruction and guidance from seasoned professionals.
Lauren Pond is a student photojournalist based in Chicago, where she is a senior at Northwestern University. She is pursuing dual degrees in journalism and art and a minor in French.
Lauren specializes in documentary, news, and feature photography and has done several photography projects in East Africa and India. She has worked for The Miami Herald and The Press-Enterprise, as well as student publications. She fluent in both English and French.
Lauren was born in Riverside, Calif., and became interested in print journalism during her high school years. She began her photojournalism career during her first year of college. Her experience as a reporter continues to influence her photography. She sees each photo as a story and an opportunity to make her words into images.
On June 13, 2007, Lauren Pond boarded a plane bound for Uganda, a small, relatively peaceful country nestled in the volatile region of East Africa. Accompanying her were her camera bag and five students.
For the next two months, Lauren did documentary photo work with these students, who were part of a Chicago group called ProjectFOCUS. Her work took her to the district of Lyantonde in southwestern Uganda, where she completed photo stories about a vulnerable family and vocational training centers.
She studied abroad in Senegal in West Africa the following fall and, while she was there, completed a photography project about Koranic students called talibés who are required to beg as part of their education.
The summer and fall provided many challenges. Lauren left Africa with several photo stories and the lessons that her projects taught her. But in Africa she left a piece of herself and a promise to return one day and continue where she left off.
In the next several weeks, Iris will be showcasing the thoughts, words, and images of Lauren Pond regarding her journey to Africa.
Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University
Web site: www.thephotopond.com