Today’s #MediaMonday features the Arizona Press Club’s Photographer of the Year, Nick Oza of the Arizona Republic. Nick covers community and national issues such as immigration, gang violence, mental health, and refugees. His 20+ years behind the lens have filled his passport, taking him to places like Iraq, India, Benin, Mexico, Guatemala and all over North America.
I came to the U.S. to study commercial photography and film, but some of my professors told me to pursue journalism since I explore to see more in-depth issues of life. That was the best advice which landed my career.I am driven by curiosity, compassion and a sincere desire to tell the stories of the people I photograph.
I’ve been fortunate to have had my multi-media work recognized with a Rocky Mountain Emmy Award in 2012 and my documentary photos honored by Pictures of the Year International and NPPA’s Best of Photojournalism. I was also part of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team covering Hurricane Katrina for the Biloxi Sun Herald and part of Pulitzer Prize for The Wall Project with the Arizona Republic. I have been Arizona Photographer of the Year five times and Georgia Press Photographer of the Year four years in a row.
My work is featured in New York Times Lens Blog, CNN, PBS, PIX - A Photography Quarterly, Time Lightbox, Image Deconstructed.
I have also exhibited my work on Immigration at Mexican Museum of Fine Arts, University of Chicago and in the Phoenix area.
We have amazing team of journalist at The Arizona Republic. Photojournalism is a documentation of life. The issues we deal with in everyday life affect us profoundly. I absorb this feeling and want to focus on becoming a better human first, then on spreading the knowledge. My quest in life is to explore this world and to understand the differences between reality and how we function. Muktananda (a philosopher) said, "You have to understand yourself, and it will come to you." That's how I see myself as a journalist. I want to document people, life, and social structure.
I work incredibly long hours but because of my passion, I don't consider it as work, because I am learning new things every day. If I have time, I’d like to go on a meditation retreat and enjoy the Arizona desert -- which is my dream and will fulfill it someday. Also, I love to teach to inspire the young generation for journalism.
Please check out my website https://www.nickoza.com/index.