We had the good fortune of connecting with Jared Wenzelburger and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jared, how do you think about risk?
Risky situations are a big part of my every day job as a photojournalist. Crawling through barbed wire, marching through ash from a wildfire and driving through closed roads to flooded properties are just some of the instances I would consider “risky,” but with every risk there is reason. As a staff, our newspaper helped elderly members of the community and their families stay informed about rising waters in local rivers so they could leave before it was too late. We’ve kept our readers updated on air conditions and wildfire paths during hot summers and I’ve personally climbed mountain sides to get perspectives that help our readers understand situations as they are happening shooting live and still life footage.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I took beginner photography classes throughout middle and high school to learn the basics but took most of my photos on disposable kodaks and old cellphones until I got my hands on my first DSLR. Once I started using a real camera my photos became more unique and my own because I could capture details most phones never could. I honed my style and craft practicing often and never leaving the house without my camera. I took photos of everything I saw and locals started to notice.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you ever visit Washington state you have to see the Space Needle and the best view is from a helicopter. I’ve been on multiple flying tours over the emerald city and the photos to can capture are truly remarkable and completely unique to anything outside of this state. Closer to my home in Lewis County there are multiple hiking trails with amazing views of Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens and Mount Adams. Not to mention the various cuisines you can enjoy from Portland to Seattle and everywhere in between.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Centralia Chronicle is a newspaper in Southwest Washington state that serves the greater Lewis County area communities by covering topics and events across the Pacific Northwest. I was hired straight out of high school at my local paper as a freelance photojournalist after reaching out and showing continued interest and together staff members have helped me become the photojournalist I am today.

Website: thephotojay@gmail.com

Instagram: www.Instagram.com/thephotojay

Linkedin: thephotojay@gmail.com

Twitter: thephotojay

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/ThePhotoJay

Yelp: thephotojay@gmail.com

Youtube: thephotojay@gmail.com

Image Credits
Trudi Inslee Isabel Vander Stoep

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.