FYI- The Open Society Foundation is aka the biggest philanthropic organization ever made.

[1]David Callahan, founder and editor of Inside Philanthropy, claims that The Open Society Foundations is the biggest philanthropic organization in the history of philanthropic organizations.

This is a really good thing to have as fact because the OSF was put in place to help build open and tolerant societies where people of all types could participate in their government, provided the government was being transparent in their policies.

The OSF is a ethical society that has been building  initiatives all throughout the world now in open and free media, education, human rights and health. The OSF works to provide a voice for the people in marginalized communities.

[2]The OSF was started by George Soros, who started as a hedge fund manager and then saved up enough money to be able to fund the OSF. “Open society is based on the recognition that our understanding of the world is inherently imperfect,” Soros said. “What is imperfect can be improved.”

Soros started his first outside of the United States foundation in Hungary in the early 80’s. He was perfectly sneaky in his ways of providing a voice for the people in that he provided several public spaces such as libraries, universities and other civil society groups photocopiers, so they could distribute their own news and event facts. This is how he helped the marginalized of others in authoritarian societies.

In 1991, Soros found the Central European University as a space to provide democracy for societies. The OSF spent at least half of its funds on education programs for young children to college aged persons.


This photo here is an example of the work that the OSF publishes:

Young children in Ukraine are being treated equally in their schools and success rates are going up in terms of education and health.


20170413-garanich-ukraine-kiev-classroom-3000Photo by:  © Gleb Garanich/Newscom









In-Class Deadline Feature

Today’s assignment went pretty well I think. We were assigned as a class to go out and capture a photo or two as a feature of a story on campus events or people handling the sunny weather.

I immediately buddied up with a few people to start my walk with. One by one we went out separate ways are started capturing our own photos.

I found my person sitting half under the shadow of a large tree and half bathing in the sunshine while sitting and texting. She wore really cool pants and I noticed that my classmates failed to pick up on her as a subject, so I decided to choose her as mine.

I walked up to her, said hello and waited for her to remove her earbuds. She was very friendly as I introduced myself and the topic. I asked for her full name and email so I could send her the photo after.

I proceeded to walk up to the Old Main lawn on campus with my classmate so she wouldn’t be alone when she talked to her subjects. I made a friend out of the experience.

I sent my subject the photo and she thanked me for it. This was the first photo in class where I do not remember hearing any potential advice for it, so I felt like I did a good job in presentation that didn’t leave anything desired to do differently. I made sure to crop it in a conscientious manner, turned up the contrast a slight bit, and made the colors pop out more as well as adjusting the levels.

Anyways, here is the photo I have been describing! feature-kenerson
Ashley Romana sits in partial shade as she waits for her next class to begin on Western Washington University’s campus in Bellingham, Washington on Tuesday, May 23, 2017. Romana is one of the many students on campus out between classes to enjoy the sunny weather.
Photo by Ashley Kenerson

My camera settings were: Lens- Canon EFS 15-55mm.
ISO- 200
Exposure: 1/320

My first directed lesson on photoshop and the illustration thereafter.



Millionaire Tim Gurner is very concerned by millennial who are “buying avocado 🥑 toast”  and spending their money going out to brunch every day instead of saving to buy a house.

This illustration was fun to create in Photoshop because it felt like I was telling the story in my own creative way and I had fun learning and expressing myself through this project. I used the lasso tool, eraser tool, experimented with layers and sending the back or forward, playing with the available effects, transforming  and arranging the image. It took patience to paint around each serparate image to make the image look smooth. I would love to do this type of work a lot more in my future now that I have a good running start in the art of Photoshop.



The NPPA is Your Best Friend as a Visual Journalist, Besides Your Camera.



The National Press Photographers Association is a professional networking society that is concerned with high ethical standards in taking photographs of real people in real situations.

If you are someone who wants to be a part of something more than just yourself in the photography world, you could consider becoming a productive, connected member of the NPPA.

You can join either as a student ($65 a year), professional ($110 a year), or a retired professional ($65 a year).

Some of the benefits that you can get as a member are: the access to the NPPA’s Photo ID Card at a price of 20 dollars, access to the NPPA’s self employment business calculator, access to online educational resources, the NPPA’s Code of Ethics to go by, access to the NPPA’s job and internship networking, access to participating the NPPA’s contests, legal and business teams, discounts on equipment, insurance, workshops and seminars held by the NPPA, a yearly subscription to the News Photographer mag, mentoring program and making yourself more available in the world of Visual Journalism.

Joining the NPPA gives you access to a whole world network of people passionate about photo journalism that you would not have access to otherwise. If you would like to contribute to the furthering of education, donate to the National Press Photographers Foundation, a non profit organization dedicated to the furtherment of education and scholarships to hard working and passionate individuals in the upcoming and already existing field:

A little bit about a big neighborhood!

Happy Valley is the biggest neighborhood in Bellingham, Washington in terms of population.

This fact makes it particularly interesting that the neighborhood voices are calling for more housing to be included in the neighborhood so that more families, students and homeless can have a place in Happy Valley.

The way that the Happy Valley Neighborhood Association Housing Committee is implementing more housing in the area is through accessory dwelling units, (“an extra living unit on your property, complete with kitchen, bathroom and sleeping facilities. Subject to local regulations, ADUs may be located either inside, attached to, or detached from the primary home on your property. Another common term for ADU is ‘Mother in Law’ apartment.”-

The benefit of adding to the perceived density in the neighborhood is a greater diversity in the community, living in an established neighborhood, easier access to services, transportations, parks and neighborhood schools.

The city of Ferndale, Washington, a nearby 20 minute drive to Bellingham, addresses the benefits of adding more housing options on other people’s land. These benefits include: Financial benefit to the homeowner such as supplemental income, offsetting mortgage payment, adds value to property and tax base of the city. ADU opportunities


The city of Bellingham’s Planning Commission has an available map of the approved ADU situation in Bellingham as of 2015 on their website in PDF form: map-adu-neighborhood (1)

The proposed pilot program implemented this year of 2017 allows for a total of 20 detached accessory dwelling units to be established within the boundary lines of Happy Valley.

After this program is implemented, the City of Bellingham will evaluate the results and will determine if the project will be extended, changed or terminated.

Residents of the main home and the attached or detached ADU will share utilities, electrical, plumbing and heating.

No more than three persons can reside in a single ADU and the maximum number of allowed bedrooms will be two.

To stay involved with the Happy Valley community housing efforts, email HVNA board member Wendy Scherrer at:




This week’s assignment: Honest Emotion!

My experience in capturing real human emotion and relationships was overall pretty fun for me. It started out with me over-thinking the assignment and putting myself into a panic attack worrying what strangers would think about me photographing them.

To prepare, I cleaned my camera sensor, inner mirror, and lenses. The quality came out much better. Raw was the only mode I used this time and I made sure to capture the subjects without them knowing until after the fact.

Next time I photograph I will practice taking photos in general during the week so that I am “photographically exercised and limber” so that I can photo-shoot effectively and ease everyone’s nerves.

I respond depending on how my subject responds. It was so fortunate to capture energetic subjects who were friendly and curious about my project. I ended up meeting some cool people that I would not have otherwise!

This week’s assignment: People in motion




This week’s assignment honestly scared me to the core. I was busy over the weekend with other projects such as work and having our engagement photo shoot done. Then on Monday I got sick and very lacking of energy due to the keto-flu. It is a lifestyle choice change but because of it I feel dizzy and fatigued most of the time. For the first three weekdays I had way too little to eat and work every morning before classes so it was very difficult to focus on assignments.

When I finally was able to get out and do the photo shoot for this People in Motion assignment, I brought my fiance with me because I was so anxious in thinking about walking around and photographing strangers. I had a bad experience getting held up on my first assignment for portrait photos in the local arboretum and was too nervous to be alone around strangers again in the evening hours. It helped me out a lot to have an assistant holding my bag for me, listening to my problems and offering suggestions.

For this assignment I actually remembered what was said in class on how to capture people in motion with a proper shutter speed. What I didn’t realize was that in the process, some tiny substances got into my camera sensor and now I have to buy a tech blower, probably at best buy or something so I can actually shoot some photos to practice over this weekend. I know my anxiety is silly though because once I am out of my comfort zone and actually taking the photos, I feel much better, like I am on some sort of adventure, ever eager to see how much better I can do.

My goal for this week is to buy the blower tomorrow and get started on next week’s assignment! I am also hoping that I adjust to this diet soon so that I have plenty of energy to work all day. This week I will adjust my photos in Photoshop to see how good I can make them look and also upload my photos early in the lab so I don’t have to worry about a thing on the due date. ^_^

Environmental Portraits

This week’s photojournalism class assignment was to take two environmental portraits, one photo per person. I went above the requirement and took six photos. Because of that, I was able to reconnect with some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, revisit places I used to frequent but still love, and practice my photography more! Even though I knew these people, I still experienced some nervousness in taking their photos because I really wanted to take quality shots that I could give back to them later. This time around, my biggest struggle was with utilizing the white balance settings correctly. I am hoping for more practice time inside of class because outside of class there is less guidance and I am so busy with full time school, work and planning our wedding. From the assignment, I learned how to light up the subjects face with the available light, a problem that I would have used to just Photoshop away or use flash mode. I realized that I needed to be thinking more critically about how I take photos and set the setting/location of the photo. Throughout this assignment, I really enjoyed being about to really consider the subject, what was important to them, what was important to convey about them, and how they felt about having their portrait taken. I was able make them feel comfortable, enthusiastic about my assignment, and also learn from several of them about photography! I am more fired up than ever to take more and more photos! The addiction to visually documenting life is too real.

Icebreaker Photos

This week’s assignment in my photojournalism class was to photograph six complete strangers, collect their contact info, and ask them the question “What is one thing you couldn’t live without and why?”

The start of this assignment was mentally and emotionally painful for me because I was super nervous and the first person that I asked was pretty cold and turned me down. That experience actually made me cry and I was discouraged from the profession for the day. The next day I knew I had to photograph at least half of the requirement, so I chose to stick to downtown Bellingham because I felt like the people would be more used to interacting with strangers there and would possibly be more friendly than the person the previous day.; As it turned out, they were! Below are the six required photos, plus an extra one, because the guy really wanted to chat for an hour and a half.

Overall I had a lot of fun with this assignment and editing the photos afterwards. The people I met were mostly wonderful, friendly and memorable. I am now looking forward to my future photography assignments.

This assignment taught me how to scout out for willing subjects, how to approach them and introduce the assignment and how to handle rejection and overly chatty people.

Next week’s assignment is to photograph six people for environmental portraits! Wish me luck. 🙂



Nicholas Roberg, 25, smiles in front of fish tanks inside Clark Feed & Seed in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. “I couldn’t live without my animals. They are so welcoming when I come home every day.” (Photo by Ashley Kenerson)


Sarah Fisken, 21, smiles behind the counter at Clark Feed & Seed in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. “I couldn’t live without my dogs, the always make me smile.” (Photo by Ashley Kenerson)


Janet Ballard, 48, smiles while holding her dog Sissy at the Bellingham Station in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. “I couldn’t live without Sissy. She has been with me since I first held her.” (Photo by Ashley Kenerson)


Scott Marx, 28, plays his faithful acoustic on the sidewalk of Railroad Avenue in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. “I couldn’t live without my guitar because music makes the world go round.” (Photo by Ashley Kenerson)


Prabhjot Singh, 18, smiles behind the counter of Subway on Old Fairhaven Pkwy in Bellingham, Wash., on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. “I couldn’t live without Snapchat because it’s my life. I spend most of my free time on my posts.” (Photo by Ashley Kenerson)


Kellen O’Neill, 21, smiles at the top of the watch tower in the arboretum of Bellingham, Wash., on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. “I couldn’t live without friendship because human contact is the point of living in my opinion.” (Photo by Ashley Kenerson)


Austin Haas doing the Ricky Bobby in the Sehome Arboretum of Bellingham, Wash., on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. “I couldn’t live without baseball because baseball is the best goddamn thing left on this planet.” (Photo by Ashley Kenerson)

James Nachtwey

“For me, the strength of photography lies in its ability to evoke humanity. If war is an attempt to negate humanity, then photography can be perceived as the opposite of war.”- James Nachtwey, War Photographer 2001


I dedicate my first blog post to bit of research on famous war photographer, James Nachtwey.  This blog is originally the idea of my Photojournalism professor at Western Washington University, Joe Gosen. We as a class were assigned an essay on which we were supposed to research and write about a famous photographer. I randomly selected James Nachtwey from the list. I had never heard of him before but I ran out of time to decide, so he is the one I chose. Honestly, I am so happy that I chose him because his work, ethics and work ethics are all one and the same.

James Nachtwey was born in Massachusetts and he became a photojournalist from the influences that his studies at Dartmouth College in art history and political science provided. Photographs from the American Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War were what inspired him most to become a photographer. Nachtwey finished his studies at the college in 1970, worked with the Merchant Marines, then proceeded to teach himself photography while apprenticing with a news film editor and a truck driver.

Nachtwey went into his profession in 1976 when we took a job as a newspaper photographer in New Mexico. Four years later, Nachtwey moved to New York to work a s a freelance magazine photographer. His first overseas assignment was covering the IRA hunger strike in Northern Ireland a year later.

Ever since that assignment, Nachtwey has dedicated his life and work to war, conflict and critical social issue photography. He has covered social conflicts and health issues in more than 30 countries. Nachtwey typically uses a wide-angel 17-35mm lens for his photos. He is known for getting up close to his subjects and photographing during times of social conflict.

Nachtwey has been working with Time Magazine as a contract photographer since 1984. He worked with the Black Star from 1980-1985 and was a member of Magnum for 15 years.  In 2001, he along with six other leading photojournalist, founded the photo agency “VII”. Nachtwey also has solo exhibits in New York, Paris, Rome, San Diego, Lisbon, Madrid, Los Angeles, Boston, Amsterdam, Prague, Sweden and others.

Nachtwey has received many awards and honors, such as the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Grant in Humanistic Photography, the Bayeaux Award for War Correspondents (twice), the Common Wealth Award, Martin Luther King Award, Henry Luce Award, Magazine Photographer of the Year (seven times), the Leica Award (twice), the Alfred Eisenstaedt Award (three times), Robert Capa Gold Medal (five times), the World Press Photo Award (twice) and the Dr. Jean Mayer Global Citizenship Award.

Nachtwey is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and he also has an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Arts.


As you can tell, James Nachtwey is a pretty accomplished gentleman, fueled by his experience as an eyewitness, he believes that what he has seen should not be forgotten and also must never be repeated.  Take a look for yourself to see what he meant by that.


James Nachtwey-New York, 2011- Collapse of south tower of World Trade Center

James Nachtwey-New York, 2011- Collapse of south tower of World Trade Center


James Nachtwey- Romania, 1990- An orphanage for incurables

James Nachtwey- Romania, 1990- An orphanage for “incurables”.
This orphanage is a place where children were abandoned for being handicapped or “incurable.”


James Nachtwey- East Germany, 1990-Pollution from a coke factory

James Nachtwey- East Germany, 1990-Pollution from a coke factory
Industrial pollution.



James Nachtwey- Chechnya, 1996-Chechen rebel fighting along the front line against the Russian army.jpg

James Nachtwey- Chechnya, 1996-Chechen rebel fighting along the front line against the Russian army
War zones although dark and dangerous, are one of Nachtwey’s preferred places to shoot so that those of us who can see can be affected and want to take action.


I hope you have enjoyed about learning about Nachtwey as much as I have!

If you would like to check out more of his work, here is his website:

If you are interested in war photography and documentaries, Nachtwey, considered to be the best war photographer of our time, is featured in War Photographer 2001: