Photojournalism students spend their first day at the races

photo by De’Andrea Cobb

Before the annual Carolina Cup steeplechase horse race in Camden, SC, there is Biscuits and Breezing. At this event, trainers run heats to test their horses and show them off to the public. Those who attend are the diehard fans of the horse community. It’s a mashup of a social event and time trial. The attendees rank the horses, observe how each jockey is coming along, and talk Camden gossip over shrimp cocktail.

For the students of JOUR 452 Photojournalism class at the University of South Carolina, it was a chance to see the track and photograph a horse race for the first time. They arrive on location by 8 am, document the event, and then are invited to the stables to see behind the scenes.

All of this is mere preparation for the main event. Students take part in the Talmadge Moore LaGrand Photojournalism Workshop on April 1 – 3, 2022, which centers around the Carolina Cup. A team of professional photographers will coach them as they photograph the preparation, the attendees and the race itself. Access to the Cup is provided through a partnership with Carolina Cup Racing Association, who will use many of the students’ photos in the future.

Class images from the day. Keep scrolling for photos of students on location.

Students on location

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Photo Workshop preview

I’m excited about the upcoming annual Talmadge Moore LeGrand
Photojournalism Workshop. Last year’s event brought in coaches Eric Seals and Renée Ittner McManus.

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Carolina student Cole Lowery gets feedback about his workshop photos from coach Lisa Krantz, staff photographer at the San Antonio Express News. Photo by Denise McGill

This year there is a bit of a twist. The Democratic Presidential Primaries in South Carolina take place on Saturday Feb. 29. Students in the Long Form Photo Story class are documenting the race. Their coverage culminates in a weekend workshop Feb. 28 – March 1, during the most intensive period of the elections.

Students are assigned to teams with coaches who are professional photojournalists. Their coaches look over their images, go out into the neighborhoods, whatever is necessary to build storytelling skills. Class works out of a basecamp on campus where we download images, eat meals and review projects. There will be “photo reviews” where the whole group gathers to critique the images of the day.

On Sunday after the elections, students and coaches work together to edit photos in earnest. Each student will turn in a photo gallery with extended captions to be published as a special report on the Journalism School’s website.


King Day at the Dome in Columbia, SC. Photo by Carolina student Rachel Smith

Students are already photographing the candidates and volunteers across the state. The workshop hours are a bit different from standard times so that students can photograph political events on Friday and Saturday evenings. Coaches will help edit in four blocks: 2/28 Friday 5 – 9 pm, 2/29 Saturday 10 am – 3 pm, 2 pm – 8 pm, and 3/1 Sunday 10 am – 3 pm. I hope coaches can attend the whole event, but they are also welcome to join us for part of the weekend if their schedule is limited.

It’s almost time for the fun to begin!




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