David Stephenson is a freelance photojournalist, a Lecturer at the University of Kentucky’s School of Journalism and Media, the School of Integrated Strategic Communications and the Photojournalism Adviser for the University of Kentucky’s student newspaper, the Kentucky Kernel. After hopscotching to jobs across the country for five years after graduating, David returned to his native Lexington and joined the staff of the Herald-Leader in 1997. He then left to join the Kernel in 2009. He is a four-time recipient of the Kentucky News Photographers Association’s Photographer of the Year Award and has been named Sports Photographer of the Year three times. He won the National Press Photographers Association Region 4 Photographer of the Year twice.
Stephenson, a 1992 WKU graduate, published a four-year project, “A New Dawn?”, following a young mother addicted to pain pills through a local Drug Court Program. His multimedia piece for this series was awarded the Best Multimedia Project in the 65th POYi competition. A story about a Garrard County tobacco cutting competition was awarded First Place Multimedia News Story by POYi in 2010.
In 2005, David created heraldleaderphoto.com, a place for staff photographers to publish multimedia and slideshows. The site won a Media Eclipse Award for 2007 Kentucky Derby Coverage online. He also created a site specifically for one of his favorite series of stories on oddly name towns in Kentucky, Project Dateline. David led the staff’s charge into multimedia and has produced videos and multimedia projects which have won awards in the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar, POYi, NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism, and The Southern Short Course.
In addition to teaching multimedia full-time at UK and advising at the Kentucky Kernel, David has entered the freelance market as a photographer and multimedia journalist serving Lexington, Kentucky, and just about anywhere else. He specializes in news, editorial, equine and sports photography. David is also currently earning a Master’s Degree in Digital Storytelling at Asbury University with an expected completion in 2017. His teaching specialties include visual storytelling for journalisms and ISC, photography, audio, video, CMS, social media, Photoshop, HTML, and VR (virtual reality).