Sports Illustrated photographer to give lecture tonight

Casey Downey

Gary Bogdon said photojournalism is like getting paid to go on adventures.

“You get to walk in other people’s shoes,” Bogdon said. “I’ve met Pope John Paul (II) … every president since Jimmy Carter. But it’s not just celebrities. I like meeting a regular person with an interesting story or interesting life.”

The award-winning Sports Illustrated photojournalist will speak at WKU tonight at 8 p.m. in the Mass Media and Technology Hall auditorium about his experiences behind the camera.

Bogdon currently works as a contributing photographer for Sports Illustrated and ESPN, utilizing still and video media. He has received awards from organizations such as World Press Photo, Society of Newspaper Design and National Press Photographers Association.

Bogdon discovered his love of photojournalism while attending high school in the ‘70s. He pursued his passion through an internship with The Courier-Journal in Louisville.

“I had a couple of good mentors growing up at Courier,” Bodgon said. “It was the heartbeat of photojournalism at that time in the country.”

Since his days at The Courier-Journal, Bogdon has developed relationships with journalists from across the nation.

Bogdon first crossed paths with Tim Broekema, professor of photojournalism and new media, 25 years ago. Pulitzer Prize-winner Broekema has taught at WKU since 2001.

While they were setting up at the Kentucky Derby a few years back, Bodgon expressed interest in talking to WKU students.

“Gary invited himself, and I gladly accepted,” Broekema said.

This year, Bogdon will be the guest speaker for Broekema’s annual photo-journalism course at Keeneland Racecourse. The fall outing in Lexington is a remote-camera workshop, which teaches students how to set up gear at sporting events.

“We’ve had the director of remote cameras for Nikon and Canon (as guest speakers),” Broekema said. “People who have worked the remote cameras for NASA have come. Sometimes I don’t get a guest, but this year it’s Gary.”

Bogdon hopes he will inspire students when he visits WKU.

“Whatever it is you love to do, if you can find that early on, that’s the key,” he said. “Because if you have a passion for it, it will never seem like work.”