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North Georgia Technical students share portfolios
North Georgia Technical College photography students display their artwork in the Visual Technology Building on the school’s Clarkesville campus. Students are, from left: front row, Colleen Gearty, Alexandria Velazquez, Lindsay Marie Galliher, Victoria Boyce, Katie Dowis, Maria Gonzalez and Georgia Zumwalt; back row, Charles Morrow, Megan Shead, Kevin Kellas, Blakeley Sheriff and Shalisha Martin.

Anyone who has wandered through the lobby of the Visual Technology Building on the Clarkesville campus of North Georgia Technical College may view an array of images captured by students in the photography program. But once a year the studio doors are thrown open for a public viewing with visitors getting up close and personal with the budding photographers.

“Every year, this show is completely different from the years before,” NGTC photography instructor Jeff Gulle said. “Each student here has an amazing and inspiring personal story to go along with their incredible talent displayed during our portfolio show.”

Charles Morrow of Gainesville found a love for portraiture which is evident in his images. Along with brides, seniors and individuals, Morrow had several wildlife photos taken during the class field trip to the Atlanta Zoo.

The son of Jim and Pam Morrow, Morrow will graduate in December.

Kevin Kellas of Dahlonega believes photography saved his life.

After a military career, he went into law enforcement until five years ago when a traffic accident changed everything.

“I couldn’t go back to what I had always loved doing, but photography was my off-duty passion,” he said.

Taking advantage of a veteran’s assistance program, Kellas enrolled in the program and has persevered.

Lindsay Marie Galliher of Mount Airy focused her love of art and fashion into  in fashion photography. Her talent has started paying off as she recently won a free apartment for a year in return for posting photos in a blog about a mixed development in Alpharetta. She attributes her success in the program to instructors Jim Loring and Jeff Gulle.

Lindsay Marie, the daughter of Jackie Galliher, graduated recently.

Alexandria Velazquez of Cornelia started attending North Georgia Technical College during Entrepreneur Summer Camps while in high school. After completing her core college classes, she selected the photography program to grow her skills and artistic talents.

Using a variety of digital techniques, she creates fine art and digital paintings. In particular, her work capturing children in portraits is showing great promise for her future career.

Maria Gonzalez of Clarkesville is originally from Spain.  She and her family came to the United States about 10 years ago as missionaries and her family has a passion for photography.

Gonzalez has won awards for architectural photos. Upon graduation, she  has an opportunity to work at the Vatican as its official photographer.

Blakeley Sheriff of Dawsonville has translated her family’s longtime association with the racing industry into a motor sports photography career.  Graduating in August, her summer will include a full load of classes and a full-time job at Anderson Motor Speedway in Anderson, S.C.

With her sights set on photographing NASCAR one day, this daughter of Tammy and Clinton Sheriff is off to the races.

Victoria Boyce of Toccoa said she has grown professionally and personally through the photography program. Though she originally enrolled in the health care courses, she realized her hobby was her calling.  Some of her favorite experiences were during field trips to the Atlanta Zoo and Atlanta Railway Museum. Victoria is the daughter of Victor and Conswalla Boyce.

Katie Dowis of Dahlonega has been interested in photography since childhood. Now it has bloomed into a career path and will grow from an internship with Jessica Pendley in Murrayville to the eventual goal of opening her own studio.

Georgia Zumwalt of Jefferson is an advocate of technical education and the opportunities it affords.  She explains, as a professional film photographer several years ago, she put down the camera when the digital era hit.

But she finally faced her fears and embraced the technology. Now, her clientele is growing by leaps and bounds.  Some of her professional commitments include being a partner in an acting headshot venture called the Goat Farm Studio in Atlanta, creating the images for the Erin London catalog, and getting a new studio in Sautee ready to open this fall. 

Colleen Gearty of Hoschton has a love of portrait photography. She uses unconventional shooting angles, posing and cropping while maintaining high technical standards.  Her commercial photography also has added interest because she first develops a creative concept before making an image with careful attention to the use of studio lighting and props.  Her images are never boring and always bring a different perspective on the world and to those she photographs.

Shalisha Martin of Hartwell and Megan Shead of Appling were also part of the exhibit.

For more information about the North Georgia Technical College, visit the website at

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