Michael Blackshire, undergraduate at Western Kentucky University, won the Jimi Lott Scholarship.


I was apart of a team project that won first place in the Hearst MultiMedia Team in the Spring of 2018. A photo of mine received an Award of Excellence in the CPOY features section in 2018, and the same team Hearst project was awarded bronze in CPOY. I interned for The Center for Gifted Studies, which is one of the best college prep programs in the United States for high school students, which gave me the ability to take pictures on a regular basis in ways that still requires photojournalism knowledge with mostly candid photos, video, and traveling with the program to Washington DC and Alabama. 

Career Goals

My goals are to have a successful photojournalism internship for the summer of 2019 and 2020 and a fellowship following graduation. I want to tell stories in communities that are not spoken about in the mainstream media. I want to be an international photojournalist taking photos overseas after I finish my studies at Western Kentucky. I am interested in documenting countries dealing with conflicts but I am also interested in small, quiet stories of communities that could be taken in any country.  A Dentist in Pakistan, a Farmer in Mexico, a Soccer player in Somalia. I love how photojournalism can introduce you to people that are from different perspectives, backgrounds, states, and countries than your own, but the communities will eventually have a lasting impact on you. Telling stories internationally for publications in the United States and abroad has been a dream of mine since I joined the photojournalism program at Western Kentucky University. I want the stories I tell through photojournalism to be impactful and give the voice to the voiceless. 

Of Horses and Man

Reggie Gough, now 59, is a Marine Veteran, who spends his days riding horses around Franklin, KY. He is a brick worker during the day for a Mennonite family company but spends most of his days’ horseback riding. He once had land with horses and a house he helped build but lost his property when the owner sold the land. He often taught and gave horseback riding lessons but mainly focuses on going through life as a drifter. As his day’s pass, he lives life with the myth of the Horseman in Franklin, Ky shadowing his every move. Reggie Gough will be known as the man with the horse, and will one day become folklore in his city.

Broken Branches

A visual and written piece that documents the rising homicide rates mainly in the Southend and Westend of Louisville and how gun violence affects families in a city that is not nationally covered. The project started in September of 2017 and ended in April 2018. The project represents a voice to people who were never given a voice in a small city with a big homicide rate. The families of these victims stories are moving and will always be remembered.

Mack and Expertise

James Mack, 66, of Baton Rouge LA often can be seen in East Baton Rouge riding his bike or with his horse. At 66 he still enjoys life to the fullest and does not plan on slowing down.


A selection of images of people I have encountered over the past year in my photojournalism path.