IMG_2795Kori Friesen

After a disappointing photo shoot, Friesen, taught herself photography through trail and error.

History teacher steps up to strengthen photojournalism program

Kori Friesen began her time at FC last year. She filled the gap left behind in the history department and taught every available history class. Now she accepts the role as photojournalism advisor and hopes to lead the class into a greater understanding in the art of photography.

Her time spent on photography started unexpectedly. After her son, Micah Friesen, was born she found more time to take up the hobby and begin practicing it daily.

“I was a teacher and we decided I would stay home once my first child was born,” Friesen said. “That was literally the first year digital cameras were coming out {2004} and I was not convinced digital would stick around. When he was born I used my very nice film camera.”

Her first try with JCPenny Portraits did not meet her standards. The one pose she paid for turned out to her disliking and she left with the idea of doing her own photography for her son.

“After my first photo session at JCPennys, I left feeling disappointed and broke at the time and investment I made,” Friesen said. “I decided to do my own photos of my growing baby boy.”

After a disappointing photo shoot, Friesen, taught herself photography through trail and error.

“Through trial and error I spent months teaching myself,” Friesen said, “photographing anyone who would let me. After about 6-9 months, I had built a good enough portfolio to make my first website.”

Friesen’s step up to this role did not come easy. She did not realize the amount of advising she would take in The Feather, but was excited to make the concept of all the media classes {yearbook, video productions and The Feather} one.

“I’ll be honest,” Friesen said, “I took a look at the photo quality from the last few years representing the school and, from a photographer’s perspective, there was, in my mind, room for improvement. My hope was to teach kids how to use a camera so good they could literally leave school and have a side job if they needed to. I wanted their resume to be a a valuable resource for any future employer.”

I’ll be honest. I took a look at the photo quality from the last few years representing the school and, from a photographer’s perspective, there was, in my mind, room for improvement. My hope was to teach kids how to use a camera so good they could literally leave school and have a side job if they needed to. I wanted their resume to be a a valuable resource for any future employer. –Kori Friesen

Journalism adviser, Greg Stobbe, believes Friesen is the one thing that has been missing from the journalism team. He says she brings a strong understanding to the table and fills the empty spot that and helps the team achieve a higher standard.

“Without Kori I was ready to walk away because I brought the kids as far as I could by myself without having someone else to talk to,” Stobbe said. “She really is the missing link to help move The Feather to another standard of excellence that I probably couldn’t do by myself. She brings a whole new expertise to what we need. She brings the passion for photos and, besides that, she brings an understanding of design that I don’t have time for. I’m dealing with reporters, deadlines and community people. I have less and less time to spend with video productions or photos and it’s really imperative for The Feather to advance.”

The media team takes care of all the pictures needed for the school. Their pictures not only contribute to the daily posting on The Feather but will also be used in the yearbook, The Shield, and FC’s new website.

“I didn’t realize how big that was because if we’re photographing and trying to capture the life and times of Fresno Christian,” Friesen said, “then that means we pretty much have to be shooting almost every event. So that was a different transition. I wanna take The Feather to the next level beyond anywhere we’ve been. Stobbe and I make a good team. I balance his ‘crazy.’ It’s a blast!”

The world of The Feather was at first, a new concept for her, but now she has grown used to the crazy world that is The Feather.

“In my head it’s always, ‘What’s coming next? What’s happening?’ and there’s a constant stream of people needing my keys and needing to get into the lab and deadlines,” Friesen said. “So I try and make sure when I’m doing history I’m doing history. I love history but I definitely feel like I’m straddling two worlds, which is a little bit tricky at times.”

Sophomore Jarrod Markarian, shares his favorite things about being in the class.

“It’s a lot of work,” Markarian said. “I love it; it’s fun. This year’s photos have more of a higher standard because Mrs. [/fusion_builder_column]

[Kori] Friesen is a professional so she brings a higher standard to the photojournalism world.”

Carlee Whipple, ’18, enjoys the whole student body showing up in pictures.

“I think that they’re actually including all of the high school instead of just more of one class,” Whipple said. “This year’s photos are better than last year’s in my opinion.”

After owning Captured Moments Photography for 10 years, Friesen shares her goals for her business for the next 10 years.

“The next 10 years, who knows where I’ll take it next,” Friesen said. “I love the idea of traveling the world capturing the stories of non profits and mission work. Using my gifts to bring glory and honor to the Lord is most important and I will go wherever he leads.”

This writer can be reached via Twitter: @nhudecek16¬†or through email at [email protected].

For more features, read the Nov. 4 article, Featured App: Quora.