Justin Skeens
Justin Skeens
a photojournalist for hire.
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about me

I don't exactly have a great argument about how I was not born a creative - I believe my upbringing and surroundings influenced that artistic drive over the course of time. I was raised in an area void of a creative community; like many other schools, our art department suffered more and more every year. I felt the wealth of stories that surrounded my everyday life were begging to be told, imaginations run deep in my small town - so, why were they not told? The whole world is tippy toeing to look over the fence into Appalachia, they want to know these stories, these characters. My problem? I didn't have a camera. 

The nearest camera store clocked in about two hours away from my home; I was 19 years old when I finally purchased my own Canon camera. It didn't take years to walk two hours up the road, that wasn't exactly what I was implying, it simply took a while to earn the money to afford it. The camera was a necessity for my college classes, though the instructors never exactly taught me how to tell stories - or care about the subjects. I had to figure that out, and that is when I applied to work in broadcast news.

I spent around five years working with CBS affiliates, having my work broadcasted through CNN, FOX, and ESPN. Handling stories of high stress environments (protests, shootings), heartbreaking emotional distress, and severe weather - I needed a change of scenery after learning the structure of storytelling. I have been freelance for two years, focusing heavily on narrative pieces about people - good people doing good things. I had an opportunity to collaborate with another journalist on a series concerning the impact of a historic flood in a small Kentucky town, it won an Emmy Award. 

 I have learned that the stories about the people hold their weight. They are incredibly valuable and desperately needed to remind us of who we are. People are hungry for these stories, because there's one to tell behind every product, event, business, and person. 

After spending close to 10 years with a camera in my hands, I intend to keep capturing these stories to the best of my ability. 

 
 
 
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PORTFOLIO

 

WEAVING, FOR BEREA COLLEGE CRAFTS

 
 
 

Hand made goods produced entirely by the students of Berea College, stand the test of time and they are crafted to be utilized in every day use (though they can represent a piece of art as well, worthy of hanging on the wall for admiration).  This is part of a ten piece film series highlighting the craft masters & students of the craft labor departments. These are the people behind the product, striving to continue the tradition and quality of Berea College Crafts. Amy, the weaving manager, studied at the college - now oversees a tight community of student workers. Plan on a tour of the workshop? Anticipate being rattled by the sound of booms and bangs from working looms. 

Visit www.bereacrafts.com for their store & more information about the craft departments.


 

BROOMcraft, BEREA COLLEGE CRAFTS

Hand made goods produced entirely by the students of Berea College, stand the test of time and they are crafted to be utilized in every day use (though they can represent a piece of art as well, worthy of hanging on the wall for admiration).  This is part of a ten piece film series highlighting the craft masters and students of the craft labor departments. These are the people behind the product, striving to continue the tradition and quality of Berea College Crafts. For Chris, he is incredibly passionate about his craft, has been making brooms for years. He is a perfect fit in the broom making studio, teaching a form of craft that is ultimately a rarity in the world. 

Visit www.bereacrafts.com for their store & more information about the craft departments.

Special Projects, BEREA COLLEGE CRAFTS

Hand made goods produced entirely by the students of Berea College, stand the test of time and they are crafted to be utilized in every day use (though they can represent a piece of art as well, worthy of hanging on the wall for admiration).  This is part of a ten piece film series highlighting the craft masters and students of the craft labor departments. These are the people behind the product, striving to continue the tradition and quality of Berea College Crafts. 




Visit www.bereacrafts.com for their store & more information about the craft departments.

 

 

WOODCRAFT, BEREA COLLEGE CRAFTS

 
 

 
 

CERAMICS STUDIO, BEREA COLLEGE CRAFTS

Hand made goods produced entirely by the students of Berea College, stand the test of time and they are crafted to be utilized in every day use (though they can represent a piece of art as well, worthy of hanging on the wall for admiration).  This is part of a ten piece film series highlighting the craft masters & students of the craft labor departments. These are the people behind the product, striving to continue the tradition & quality of Berea College Crafts. 

 


Visit www.bereacrafts.com for their store & more information about the craft departments.

Woodcraft, BEREA COLLEGE CRAFTS

Hand made goods produced entirely by the students of Berea College, stand the test of time and they are crafted to be utilized in every day use (though they can represent a piece of art as well, worthy of hanging on the wall for admiration).  This is part of a ten piece film series highlighting the craft masters and students of the craft labor departments. These are the people behind the product, striving to continue the tradition and quality of Berea College Crafts. Don, who is now retired, supervised hundreds of students through the program. The lessons he taught, can be admired through the students' finished work.

Visit www.bereacrafts.com for their store & more information about the craft departments.

 

 

"WASHED AWAY" MINI-DOCUMENTARY, FOR CBS AFFILIATE

This series is the product of months of research with survivors, meteorologists and historians to investigate a poorly documented historic event - the flood of 1939. The fatal weather event impacted eleven counties, small communities in Kentucky were devastated from the flash flood. Some survivors opening up for the first time to share their account. This was documented with Eric Eckstrom, an award winning journalist who also shares a passion for stories in appalachia. 

WEEKEND SUMMARY, FOR THE MOONSHINERS BALL

I read an article not long ago about the top picks of music festivals in the country, I feel confident that the Moonshiners Ball will be finding a place on those lists sooner than later. Curated by the Blind Corn Liquor Pickers, this festival boasts three days of music artistry - bands from small town Appalachia and names you're already hearing on the radio. This is a highlight cut of the festival. One camera, a rain jacket, and muddy feet. Filmed at Homegrown Hideaways in Berea, Ky.

Learn more & follow along as the festival continues to grow at www.themoonshinersball.com

 

 
 
 
 
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CONTACT me

If you have a project you would like to propose or collaborate with, please fill out the form below. I am currently booking a range of video and photo focused projects throughout the year, please specify a time range that you're aiming to begin production. Count me in for documentary, in depth reporting, or adventure tourism. I am available for local and international assignments.

 
 
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