SOJC photojournalism class captures Election Day emotions

Story by Margaret Connors

Tuesday, Nov. 8, was a big day for the nation and for the world. It was also the first time that SOJC students from Professor of Practice Torsten Kjellstrand’s J-365 Intro to Photojournalism class had the opportunity to cover an event as significant as the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Kjellstrand came up with the idea of having his photography students hit the streets to capture the happenings of the day on (digital) film. “I didn’t think we could run a journalism class and not cover what I hoped to be the biggest news event of the term,” he said. “It’s a responsibility but also an incredible opportunity. There is no way to artificially replicate a big national event covered locally. I wouldn’t know how to make that up.”

Kjellstrand’s students travelled to carefully chosen locations around Eugene, Oregon, to document the vast diversity of people living in the town and the variety of ways they reacted to the results of the election on Election Night.

By now, we all know the outcome of the election. But the students’ live photographic coverage gives a unique look into the waves of thoughts and emotions that swept through one Oregonian city during this incredibly significant election.

When asked to reflect on the night and its success, Kjellstrand said his favorite part was “the quality of the photographs and the energy of the students.” He said he won’t soon forget the surprising news and how gracefully his students captured the outcome.

The students selected over 100 of their favorite photographs from the night and published them on a special Facebook page to share them with the world. Follow this one-of-a-kind election reportage through the eyes of SOJC students by clicking through the slideshow above.

Margaret Connors is a senior studying advertising with a concentration in photojournalism. She plans to graduate from the SOJC this spring. This is her first year interning for the SOJC Communication Office. Previously, she was an intern for The Big Issue SA, which sent her around South Africa to find stories and learn about the journalism industry. Margaret is eager to create ethical, authentic and passionate work to share with the world. You can follow her on Instagram @marge.elizabeth and view her work at