Part man? Part frog? You decide.
Freelance photographer Jason Millstein's image of a swimmer launching into his backstroke during a high school competition in Fort Pierce, Fla., captures the strength, speed and determination of today's young athletes. Taken in 2000, while Millstein was a staffer for the Palm Beach Post, the photo won him a National Press Photographers Association Monthly News Clip Contest award in the Sports category.
But sports photography is hardly his only specialty. Millstein's website (illumephotography.com) demonstrates his versatility as a shooter, covering such disparate topics as portraits, nature and landscapes, editorial photography, and weddings, along with various magazine photo essays.
Since earning his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arizona in 1995, Millstein has traveled the country working for commercial clients and several newspapers, covering such events as Colorado's Columbine High School shooting and the 2000 presidential election.
He also attended graduate school at the University of Missouri, which helped him land photography internships at several newspapers and magazines. His work has appeared in such publications as Rolling Stone, Time, Smithsonian, Natural Health and Country Music magazines, and on the Internet at MSNBC.com and MTV.com. Also, one of his photos was recently selected for the 2002 Northwest Exhibition of Environmental Photography in Seattle.
Despite the watery subject matter of this particular assignment, Millstein says he feels more drawn to the opposite end of the spectrum. Born and raised in Scottsdale, Ariz., he has always felt a connection to desert imagery. "I think the desert is very similar to the ocean in some ways," he says. "Everything looks barren, but hidden beneath the surface is all this amazing life."
Today, Millstein's wanderings have led him back to his hometown of Scottsdale, where he has worked as a freelance photographer for about a year and a half, focusing mainly on magazines. He works with fellow photojournalist Tim LaBarge under the name Illume Photography, which also has an office in Portland, Ore.
"I think I'm in kind of a weird category," he adds. "I'm trained in photojournalism, but I lean more toward lifestyle shooting."