AAPI Heritage Month: Michael Schennum

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Michael Schennum is a staff photographer at The Arizona Republic. Before that he interned at the Appleton Post-Crescent and the Palo Alto Daily News. He has also taught photojournalism at ASU.Michael graduated from UC Santa Cruz and took photojournalism classes with Ken Kobre at San Francisco State University. He is an active member of AAJA, and has sat on the board of the local Arizona chapter for seven years. He has done freelance assignments for many magazines and newspapers across the country. In 2005 he attended the Eddie Adams Workshop and won the Sports Illustrated Assignment award.

Michael Schennum

How long have you been in photojournalism?

8 years professionally.

How and why did you decide to become a photojournalist?

After I first took an Intro to Photography class and I was hooked. I spent a lot of time shortly after doing street photography around the Bay Area, and on vacations.

What do you love most about photography?

The ability to meet people of all walks of life.

How has being an AAPI helped/hurt your photojournalism career?

AAJA has been essential to my career. Through networking, I was able to land my current job.

What advice did you wish someone gave you when you were starting out?

Learn multimedia, and do what you want. Your future job can be anything you want it to be.


fireA floodlight illuminates a fire from a small plane crash in the Superstition Mountains in Apache Junction on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)


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 A run-down trailer park where many registered sex offenders have moved into in Miami on Wednesday, September 26, 2012. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)


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Motti Lavyan, of Brea, CA, takes a photo of the leaves at the West Fork of Oak Creek during peak fall foliage season in Sedona on Friday, October 22, 2010. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)



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Surfer Mike Brumet goes “over the falls” during the first heat of the 2004-2005 Mavericks Surf Contest in Half Moon Bay, CA. During the contest waves ranged from 25 to 45 feet tall. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)


A couple gets caught in a dust storm at the Burning Man festival in Nevada.

A couple gets caught in a dust storm at the Burning Man festival in Nevada. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)


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A joshua tree at Hidden Valley Campground on Thursday, March 22, 2012. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)


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Lil Miss Rodeo Queen Berlinda Ben (Cq), 9, of San Carlos Apache Reservation. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)



single5One of the students in the 3rd grade curiously looks into the camera during recess at the School for Children of Migrant Workers in Nanjing, China. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)


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Laronda Simmons grieves alongside family and friends at a street side memorial for her uncle Al V. Griffen, who was murdered the night before.  He is the 93rd murder this year, which Oakland City Officials believe will reach well over a hundred by the end of the year. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)


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In observance of Dia De Los Muertos Color Guard Staff Sergeant Ric Reynolds finishes folding the flag at a performance at Estrella Mountain Community College on Wednesday in Avondale. The flag fold is typically done for a funeral and the crosses are a symbolic representation of Arlington National Cemetery. (Michael Schennum | The Arizona Republic)