NVCC student Jason Honyotski nabbed his first professional cover recently with a stunning image of Professor Juleyka Lantigua-Williams for the Women’s section of the Waterbury Republican-American.
Jason, a self-taught senior photographer for the College’s student newspaper, The Tamarack, is a 22 year-old Computer Information Systems Technology major who is just one class away from graduation.
“That was the first time I got paid for doing portrait work for anyone,” Jason acknowledged in an email interview. “We went around to a few spots on campus with decent natural light - mainly the hallway between Ekstrom Hall and Tech hall. But then we went to the second floor of Tech Hall - that's where the photo you're talking about was taken. There was soft natural sunlight coming in through the windows, and the colorful background was some type of art on the wall. It was definitely the best shot out of the five I gave her. This was also my first time really experimenting with retouching. I spent a few hours on that shot in post.”
After graduating from Cheshire High School in 2009, Jason started taking classes at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) before cross-enrolling at NVCC. At CCSU, he joined the Ultimate Frisbee team and eventually transitioned into a role as the team’s unofficial photographer.
“I started out just taking videos on my iPhone while on the sideline,” he recalled.
Eventually, Jason compiled enough high-quality shots to petition a spot on the 20-member staff of Ultiphotos, a national company that has served as official event photographer for some of Ultimate Frisbee’s highest profile games.
“It's awesome to get paid to photograph my favorite sport,” he muses. “Photography is definitely my dream job I would say, if I can actually make it… I would love to get the opportunity to shoot the largest sporting events in the world such as the Super Bowl - World Series - Olympics - World Cup...”
Jason’s favorite experience at NVCC has been “hands down” his work with The Tamarack, where he has built a variety of interesting features for his portfolio including Humans of NVCC, a photo essay inspired by photographer Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York.
"Jason is a natural talent,” describes Professor Lantigua-Williams, faculty advisor to The Tamarack. “I was privileged to work with him on The Tamarack, to witness his creative process and meticulous execution. He is an artist who respects the importance of dedication to craft in any worthwhile creative pursuit."
This fall, Jason looks forward to coaching along some of the newer Tamarack photographers as he finishes up his degree and continues to hone his photographic art.
"If I put in enough effort, I may have a shot at going full-time someday," says Jason of his future. "At some point in the near future, hopefully I can start shooting some other sports - maybe join CCSU's newspaper and shoot their various teams."
For more information on Jason or The Tamarack, email email@example.com.