Sitting in my high school library in 1970 my thoughts were of photojournalism as I blankly stared out the window nearly facing direct sunlight. I was facing a depressive mood disorder I struggled with for quite some time. I recalled during these moments speaking with the school’s photojournalist named Al and asked during one point how does one achieve this? I also asked if there were openings on the school journal and newspaper whereby Al stated that there were no vacancies. I opted out of further conversation due to the depression.

My thoughts led me back to photography, writing, and traveling, as these were primary interests on this day. Vietnam was highly contrasted along with the Kent State massacre. I liked neither occurrences. The war was an inevitable insight into where I could potentially go as we were a career military family. I was and had been preparing my way to follow in dad’s footsteps through a tenure with the Civil Air Patrol; something I really enjoyed. I soaked in everything I was taught and rose through the ranks rather quickly. This was something I truly excelled at, but the photojournalism was a potential. I did however volunteer in 1971 about ten months after the time spent in the library.

Volunteering for the USMC was a difficult choice, but I always hoped I could photojournalism while active duty. The trouble was my depression would not allow a clear focus regarding my vision as a photojournalist and I really did not wish to be in dangerous geographies of the global community. And still, I volunteered.

Oddly enough, the dream of photojournalism came to be a potential upon witnessing the indigenous photographic journalism through another artist. He goes by the name, and his work is amazing! After hitting 65 last October I finally put it together, again. I can do this. My vision is through a Fine Art venue regarding telling a story about whatever intrigues me that would fill the capacity as artist/photojournalist.

I have spoken with another renown photojournalist and emailed her work of mine (insignificant as it may have seemed), Erin Trieb as she spearheaded the Homecoming Project back in 2013. But I was stalled by a spinal surgery that pretty much left me unable to perform well enough with my camera. Erin was a kind and caring lady I like to speak of as friend. She invited me to speak at the initial Homecoming Project’s Story Corps in Austin, Texas, but the surgery said no. I hated to tell her no. I entered two photographs of the Mission Espada’s stone walls aspiring to tell my story from my USMC days. It was sad for me not able to express my story to other US service members and veterans. That was my only chance I had to become a diminutive entity within a magnanimous photojournalistic accomplishment born of the genius of Erin Trieb. You may learn more of Erin’s awards and successes, and trials I am certain as a combat photojournalist, at

As a US Marine during Vietnam I took many photographs with my camera encouraged by my USMC buddy PFC Alexander to try and photograph for the Marine Corps. We had been with Receiving Barracks for Infantry Combat Training for about three weeks and I had pretty much free time till we were picked up by a Company where our ICT training would begin. In the interim, I photographed dozens and dozens of Marines as we engaged through ICT. But a serious injury occurred upon my body that once again kept me from my objective. Presently, there remain no obstacles. I remain fascinated by the Fine Arts arena through a photojournalistic lens. As I think of continuing this endeavor, I cannot help but wonder what subject matter or genre I will pursue.

A special note of interest:

Personally, the aforementioned superb photojournalists I have made mention of are heroes of mine. I wish for everyone to know I am nowhere close to a comparative analysis of Joey Lawrence and Erin Trieb’s work. I have to travel the same road they have but my passion is not a combat related field. I am presently discovering more interests to photojournalism and more will come my way. My interests are varied. I will discover my own personal niche one day. I simply have discovered this site keeps me going well enough to where I can (unofficially), learn more of what interests me. I shall keep my camera light and a journal with me all the time. Poetry is still an option.

Should any of my visitors have any ideas, please let me know.

John & Paavo Oso Arts Project

2 thoughts on “Photojournalism: Not Just Another Passion

  1. Keep pursuing this endeavor! You certainly have the heart, talent and dedication. Thank you for sharing your photojournalistic journey so far.


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