Bellingham Visual Journalism Conference

Students walk past the brick-clad Communications Faculty at Western. Forest trees rise high above the building.

Event Details




WWU Communications Facility
Room 115


Includes lunch, light snacks/beverages
$35 General
$15 WWU Students

Brought to you by:

Department of Journalism, WWU Alumni Association


After a hiatus of more than a decade, the Bellingham Visual Journalism Conference is back, rebranded as Bellingham Visual.

The earlier conference ran from 2006 to 2011, and featured notable guest speakers, panel discussions and a portfolio review. Bellingham Visual will follow that tradition.

We have a lineup of incredible photographers and editors in the field of visual journalism who will share their words of wisdom and thought-provoking imagery.  

The conference is for both professionals and students. This is an opportunity to connect in-person with our visual storyteller colleagues to share ideas and support one another as we continue to navigate the ever-changing media landscape. Students will have an opportunity to get their work in front of wide range of professional photographers and editors.

This year’s event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, 2023, and will be held in the Communications Facility, located on the south end of Western Washington University’s campus. The cost for entry is $35. We are also offering a $15 student rate. Registration to this event will include lunch, as well as other light snacks and beverages. 

More information about Bellingham Visual is available online.

Sponsor a WWU Student

We invite you to sponsor one or more WWU students to attend the conference. The cost is $15 per student sponsored, with a portion of the sponsorship helping to offset the costs of the conference.


In this black and white portrait, Gabrielle Lurie has long curly hair, white skin, and a warm smile.

Gabrielle Lurie

Staff Photographer, San Francisco Chronicle

Gabrielle Lurie is a staff photographer at the San Francisco Chronicle. Originally from Washington D.C Gabrielle previously worked as a freelancer in the Bay Area where she photographed for clients like the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts where she studied fine art photography and art history. Gabrielle focuses on longer term stories on topics ranging from homelessness and wildfires to immigration and wealth disparity. Recently, she began organizing the Bay Area Women Photograph group where photographers in the Bay Area gather for events, to share ideas and collaborate on work. Her images have been recognized by The Pulitzer Prizes, Pictures of the Year International, National Press Photographers Association, The 30: New and Emerging Photographers to Watch, American Photography, the Emmy Awards and more. She is also the first to win Local Photographer of the Year in the POYi competition for the third year in a row. 

Sana Ullah smiles warmly. She is wearing a green head scarf and a necklace of large beads.

Sana Ullah

Senior Program Officer, National Geographic

Sana Ullah (she/her) is a Senior Program Officer at the National Geographic Society (NGS) in Washington, D.C. where she works closely with the Storytelling Grants Program and helps manage projects by NGS Explorers. She often hosts internal and external grant writing workshops, provides 1:1 support and mentorship to emerging storytellers, and sits on the jury for various photo competitions. She was also the Point of Contact for the COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Journalists. Along with her colleagues at NGS, she has helped 300+ journalists from around the world get funded to tell stories of their local communities. This Request for Proposals ended in August of 2021.

Aside from NGS, Sana is a trained multimedia journalist with over a decade experience in creating and producing visual content. She has worked for Discovery, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). Her visual work has a heavy focus on women, People of Color, and/or Muslims. She is mostly known for her project, Places You'll Pray: a community engagement photo series of Muslims praying in locations outside of a mosque or designated prayer area(s).

Daniel Kim is seated with his arms resting on his knees. He has dark brown hair and wears a turtleneck and zip up vest.

Daniel Kim

Staff Photographer, Seattle Times

Daniel Kim is a lifelong Pacific Northwest resident, staff photographer and drone pilot at The Seattle Times. Kim is also the Northwest Regional Chair for the National Press Photographers Association.

Before his time in Seattle, Kim covered Northern California as a photographer at The Sacramento Bee focusing on breaking news and wildfire photography. Kim is passionate about covering the region and committed to telling community stories.

Erica Schultz has long blonde hair, white skin, bright eyes and a warm smile. She wears a red and black checkered shirt.

Erika Schultz

Staff Photographer, Seattle Times

Erika Schultz works as a staff photographer at The Seattle Times where she produces images, videos and immersive online storytelling projects. Supported by the International Women’s Media Foundation and Pulitzer Foundation, she helped lead a series of stories exploring asylum, deportation and women's human rights in Mexico. Her storytelling has been recognized in Pictures of the Year International, the Casey Medals, National Edward R. Murrow Awards and she was part of The Seattle Times’ 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning team for Breaking News Reporting. Erika has taught visual storytelling at The University of Washington's School of Communication, Photographic Center Northwest and Mountain Workshops. In her free time, she enjoys running, gravel biking, snowboarding and learning Spanish.

Ingrid Barrentine looks out of an airplane window. She has white skin and is wearing sunglasses, wired ear buds, and a black shirt.

Ingrid Barrentine

Visual Marketing Manager, Alaska Airlines

Ingrid Barrentine is the Visual Marketing Manager at Alaska Airlines. As a former journalist, Ingrid's forte has been to humanize the Alaska brand via stories about employees and guests that tug at the heartstrings. Most recently, Ingrid has stepped into the role of chief Tiktok creator and is unashamedly shooting (and editing) vertical video on her iPhone. Ingrid has embraced the mindset that the best camera is the one in your pocket.

Josh Trujillo has white skin, short curly brown hair, and a serious expression. He wears a blue button up shirt.

Josh Trujillo

Senior Visual Storyteller, Starbucks Coffee

After working for 17 years as a newspaper and magazine photojournalist, Joshua Trujillo came to Starbucks Coffee Company where he is now a senior visual storyteller. At the coffee company, he continues to capture those fleeting, authentic interactions and moments that stand out amid visual noise. His goal is always to document the ordinary in unique ways and to look for little moments that add up to a larger story. His photographs from Afghanistan in 2001, captured just weeks after 9/11 are part of a permanent collection at the University of Arizona, his alma mater. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, and when not working he can be found with his family exploring the Pacific Northwest in his 30-year-old VW camper van. Josh is on the board of directors for the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle and on the board of Investigate West, an investigative journalism newsroom in the Northwest.


In this black and white portrait Jordan Stead smiles broadly and slightly tilts his head. He has white skin, short hair, short facial hair, and wears a T-shirt.

Jordan Stead

Director of Photography, Shopify

Jordan Stead is a 2011 Western Washington visual journalism graduate, currently working as Shopify’s Director of Photography. In the past 12 years, Jordan was lucky enough to work as a photographer at journalistic outlets such as The Seattle Times and, co-found a commercial production company, serve as the in-house visual storyteller at Amazon and AWS, as well as have the honor of being an educator, mentor, and friend to many of those who share similar passions. Jordan lives in Bellingham, WA, with his wife Ariel and dog son Indy. Aside from (recreationally) organizing the world into one rectangle at a time, he enjoys cold showers, hot vacations, and temperate attitudes. 

Accommodations and Other Details

Contact the WWU Alumni Association for this event. Feel free to call (360) 650-3353 or email if you have any questions or comments.

Advance notice for disability accommodations and special needs is greatly appreciated. Please indicate your special needs on the registration form.

Weekend parking is free in the C lots at the south end of campus. Western provides comprehensive parking details—including lot locations, applicable fees, and campus map.