Another day at the fair

They are days just like any other days, except they involve 50,000 people, livestock, music, carnival rides and food that is almost never good for you – it’s the opening weekend of the Georgia National Fair.

To capture the life of the event, Mark Johnson’s advanced photojournalism class at the University of Georgia’s Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication worked with eight professional visual storytellers to not just show what the fair looked like but to dive into what it means.

For 16 straight hours, students explored, interviewed, consoled, chatted up and documented the lives of fair-goers. They’d work for an hour or two and then head to a makeshift newsroom where the pros would go through their images, frame by frame, talking about light and movement and moment, helping them find the story of the day. When asked, those professionals – drawn from around the Southeast – would walk the fairgrounds and consult in real time.

This was the second year the class took on the fair and the workshop was supported with a grant from UGA’s Office of Service Learning and funds donated through the university’s Georgia Funder site. Students from Mercer University and Georgia Southern University also joined for part of the day.

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