Like a good photo, Jamie Holt’s time at W&M is worth a thousand words

by Nathan Warters

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May 11, 2022

Some of the best photography can capture a singular moment while telling a much deeper story at the same time.

These are the images that really speak to Jamie Holt ’22, a senior at William & Mary, a self-made photojournalist and major in French and Francophone studies.

“You can look at a photo and know it’s a great photo, but when you hear the photographer talk about taking it and what led to taking it, I think it’s something so special,” he said. said Holt, an aspiring professional photographer.

If present-day Holt was the photographic representation of an older person approaching the Beginning, it is important to consider all of the circumstances that came together to make her the student, photographer, and complete young adult that she was. ‘She is.

“I really felt like I didn’t find my personality until I got to college,” Holt said. “I’m excited to graduate because I feel like I’ve grown as a person since I’ve been here because it’s such a welcoming community.”

Holt came to William & Mary from little Rustburg, Virginia eager to experience new things and excited to meet a new and diverse group of her peers.

Her university years certainly did not disappoint her. She says W&M’s biggest impact on her by far is the people she’s met and the relationships she plans to pursue in the years to come.

And through those connections, she was introduced to a variety of new things, from foods to diverse fashion choices and so much more.

“I thought I knew who I was before I went to college. I thought that was my personality; that’s who I was. And then I came here and almost completely transformed,” said Holt said.

“Obviously there are still parts of me that are the same. I still love softball. I still love sports. I still love good southern food. I had never eaten sushi before I came to college, and now I love sushi because a friend of mine made me go for it one night. There have been personality changes, but I think I’ve also grown as a more holistic human being. The William & Mary athletics was the source of many of Holt's favorite photos.  Holt said one of his favorite moments to capture was celebrating after a volleyball team point.  (Photo by Jamie Holt)

The coolest place

Holt says she couldn’t imagine spending the past four years at any other college. Although at one point she does not recall applying.

” I can not lie. I was put on a waitlist by my first choice school and forgot I applied here,” Holt said.

She started considering attending another school when she received an email that she was accepted to William & Mary.

She attended Admissions Day and “I just loved it,” Holt said. A self-proclaimed history buff, Holt marveled at historic brick buildings and imagined the country’s founding fathers walking down the same paths.

“We are the Alma Mater of the Nation. It’s the coolest place if you’re a history buff,” Holt said.

It was at DFAS that Holt discovered William & Mary’s self-designed majors. Unable to find a school in the state that offered a photojournalism program, Holt found the next best thing with a self-designed photojournalism major at W&M.

Holt has taken photography classes with lecturer Eliot Dudik in the art and art history department, fake news and media literacy classes with film and media studies, and photography classes. non-fiction writing in the English department, among other courses, to meet credit requirements.

“Jamie was an excellent student in all four levels of photography classes she took with me, five if you count independent study,” Dudik said. “I could always count on her to be the top student in the class and she worked hard every day until the job was done.”

Additionally, Holt received on-the-job training through her participation in the Charles Center’s Sharp Seminar collaboration with the Pulitzer Center and through the hundreds of assignments she took as a photo editor at the student newspaper The Flat. Hat and as an intern with W&M Athletics, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and Human Resources.

Additionally, she is a photographer for the theatre, speech and dance department and photo editor for ASTRAL, the annual fashion show for ROCKET Magazine, the student-run fashion magazine.

Holt has photographed virtually everything at W&M. One of her Delta Gamma sorority sisters was a member of the gymnastics team and invited Holt to photograph practices and meetups. A dorm mate invited Holt to photograph a dance recital.

Athletics remain Holt’s favorite thing to shoot. She grew up playing competitive softball at the school and club level and considered going to college to play before photography dominated her focus. His very first yearbook team assignment in high school was a Friday Night Football game, and his first assignment with The Flat Hat was William & Mary’s 2018 home win over Colgate.

She then photographed all home games.

Holt’s most memorable photos from his time at William & Mary are those that show emotion, especially at sporting events. There’s one of a volleyball player screaming in triumph after a long back and forth between the teams. There is another football player holding his arm and index finger high while running into the end zone for a touchdown.

“Jamie has grown tremendously in the sophistication of her photography over her four years at William & Mary, and she deserves to be recognized for that,” Dudik said. “I know few students who work as hard and as consistently as she does. And she’s reached the point where she’s comfortable working on projects on her own, apart from any class assignments.

“She has independently created a well-received project on student perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, as well as a stellar body of work on the streets of Paris while studying abroad.” Holt photographed many campus events during his time at William & Mary, including dance performances.  (Photo by Jamie Holt)

Have a camera, will travel

Holt owes her freshman roommate, Avery Lackner ’22, for involving her in her sorority, Delta Gamma, and The Flat Hat.

“She’s my best friend. I’ve been really lucky in that department,” Holt said.

“She was the one who got me into my sorority. She was the one who made me join The Flat Hat with her, because that was all she really wanted to do. I still thank her every day for that.

Holt joined her freshman year of sorority and served as fundraising director in her sophomore year. She has also served as Vice President: Panhellenic and Recruitment Advisor for Panhellenic William & Mary Council.

She joined The Flat Hat staff as a freshman and has been a photo editor for the past three years.

When asked if she had any advice for the next class of freshmen, Holt replied, “Get out of your comfort zone. Join groups or do things you never thought of. Try it. You are only four years old here.

Holt studied abroad in Paris last summer. The trips were tough due to COVID, but “I’m still glad I went for the unique experience it was,” she said.

Holt studied French and took many photographs, including of Parisians on the street.

Studying abroad has helped her out of a creative rut caused by months of isolation due to the pandemic lockdown.

“Going overseas, I just took my camera with me every day and took these really long walks,” Holt said. “It was my first time doing real street photography, but I discovered that I love photographing strangers and other people.

“I took thousands of photos while I was there. I think that’s probably the job I’m most proud of that isn’t sports related. I submitted to a few galleries, I entered a few galleries with. I hope I will create a zine or a book at some point.

Holt is still waiting for the next stage of his life to appear. She applied for jobs in newspapers, magazines and major sports leagues. She is open to photographing culture, fashion, the arts and food, as she did as an intern last summer for Cleveland Magazine.

“I have almost too many paths that I could follow and be happy in one of them,” said Holt, who started her own photography business at W&M. “But it’s just which one am I going to end up in?” Anything that lets me hold a camera and be a little creative, I think I’ll be okay with.

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