Photojournalist takes students on visual journey

Heading to work in the morning, most people are likely to grab their keys, wallet, phone and briefcase.

But what about a waterproof camera, satellite phone, mylar blanket, solar-powered battery and bullet-proof vest?

This survival equipment is on the daily checklist of freelance photo-journalist Alekz Londos, whose career has taken him around the world, far beyond the walls of any typical nine-to-five office job.

On Tuesday, June 10, Londos took time out of his schedule to stop in at OCCC and speak to a News Writing class filled with aspiring journalism, advertising and public relations majors.

Londos, 33, sat multiple backpacks filled with his gear on the floor and began the lecture by telling the class why he was in Oklahoma — he was on a storm-chasing mission.

He spoke with great passion and animation, sharing exciting stories of the ride-alongs he had taken part in with different storm chasers. He displayed captivating images and short clips of lightning storms he had covered.

Then, Londos spoke about what he loves best — working as a freelance journalist.

“I prefer working freelance because I can cover stories which I feel will be helpful to the most people,” he said. “… I also don’t like waking up early, or shaving.”

Londos said he is willing to go to enormous lengths to get the best images, video and stories possible, making him no stranger to dangerous situations.

He said he has covered 30 to 40 forest fires since 2003, and has sent countless pictures and video clips to news stations across the nation, prompting a reporter on CNN’s Headline News to describe him as a “renegade photographer,” after he came dangerously close to a fire.

“With so many people trying to get the same story I think, ‘what can I do to be better than the next guy?’”

Not only is Londos willing to play with fire to get the best story possible, he said he is willing to drop himself into the middle of any situation regardless of the level of danger.

Whether it’s driving 2,500 miles in his Ford Bronco from his home in Santa Cruz, California, into the eye of a storm in New Orleans to cover and provide relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina, or withdrawing from his college classes at Cabrillo College to fly to the Philippines and provide disaster relief in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan, it is clear Londos is willing to go above and beyond in order to get the best possible stories.

After speaking nearly an hour and a half, Londos drew his lecture to a close, leaving the captivated students with one last piece of advice.

“Tripods make a difference so always carry one. People will take you seriously and give you a better story.”

To learn more about Londos, visit his website at www.Advanced

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