Photojournalist alum urges grads to focus PDF Print E-mail
Written by JORDAN CRAVENS Sentinel Staff Writer   
Monday, 17 December 2012 10:50
Steve Hanson, entrepreneur and former photojournalist, takes a photo of graduates with his iPhone before addressing graduates during a commencement ceremony at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green Ohio on December 15, 2012. (Photo: Enoch Wu/Sentinel-Tribune)
For much of his life, Bowling Green State University alumnus Steve Hanson has been taking pictures.
But his photos go beyond the stills he has snapped aboard Air Force One and for United Press International, the Associated Press, Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. There are also the mental snapshots he has taken along the way.
Hanson used his list of important tips for good "photography" as the theme for his address to BGSU graduates during Saturday's commencement ceremony at the Stroh Center. PHOTO BLOG
"Find your own angle," Hanson told the graduates.
"Look through your own lens. Find something that captures your interest and focus on it," he said.
Secondly, he said, expect conditions to change and understand you may need to tweak your focus.
"Put your focus not on where the subject is now, but where it will be in the near future."
As a 1975 graduate, Hanson received his journalism degree with no job prospects. But his lack later translated to a successful career as a photojournalist, public relations practitioner, film producer and entrepreneur.  In 1991, Hanson founded his own company, now called Hanson Inc., a Toledo digital agency specializing in strategic interactive communications.
As a "photographer," Hanson told the graduates, be prepared to take a lot of shots.
"Don't go through life with a telephoto lens," he said. "Once you are out in the world, it can become easy to be fixated on something.
"Life is the scenic route. Stop. See it. Savor it. Soak it up and take mental pictures."
Another tip for good photography is to put people in the best light, he said.
"None of us are good at everything."
His next tip was to use negatives to develop.
"I didn't come up with this one, a friend of mine found it on Pinterest and sent it to me," Hanson joked.
"Do you guys even know what negatives are," Hanson asked, which drew laughs from the crowd.
Lastly, Hanson told the graduates, keep your "album" up-to-date.
"Who you were yesterday is only a part of who you are today," he said.
"Every so often, take a self-portrait to see yourself as you are, not as you were."
And, he told them, "Never say never on a single impression or single picture."
After all, he said, the camera captures only a limited view.
"Always remember your picture may not be the whole picture ... Be ready to see the world through someone else's lens."
Hanson spoke during the Saturday morning commencement ceremony for the colleges of Arts and Sciences and Education and Human Development.
The Friday evening commencement ceremony awarded degrees to students receiving master's or doctoral degrees as well as for undergraduates from the colleges of Business Administration, Health and Human Services, Musical Arts, Technology and BGSU Firelands.
Doug Cahill, a 1982 alumnus and president and CEO of the Oreck Corp., an industry leader in vacuum cleaners and related products, served as Friday's commencement speaker.
During its Fall commencements, BGSU granted 972 diplomas, including 770 bachelor's degrees, 178 master's degrees and 24 doctoral degrees.
"You have embraced the BGSU values and we hope that you let them frame your world view for years to come," BGSU president Dr. Mary Ellen Mazey told the graduates.
"While today's ceremony signifies a new chapter in your lives, it is my hope you will continue to learn and feel an attachment to Bowling Green State University," Mazey said.
Last Updated on Monday, 17 December 2012 11:03

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