Joshua Bruni ’22 (above) has his sights on becoming a wildlife filmmaker. The photos accompanying this story showcase some of the various images he’s captured.
by Joshua Bruni ’22 • email@example.com
Growing up, I was drawn to watching National Geographic, Animal Planet, and The Discovery Channel. The nature and wildlife films inspired me to seek new adventures and shaped me into the explorer I am today.
Photography to me is the means of capturing a subject and expressing how I imagine it being portrayed to its full potential. Hiking through the wilderness and waiting hours to get the photos I envision is a passion of mine. To see a beautiful mountain view or a black bear scavenging the ground is something truly special. There is nothing like the feeling of being engaged and having a close connection to a subject through the eye of the camera. Nature has always been a key source of my happiness and joy.
I earned a bachelor’s degree in marine science with a minor in photography at Coastal Carolina University. During my freshman orientation, I introduced myself to Scott Dean ’06, a CCU photographer, and showed him my portfolio in pursuit of a photography position. I was fortunate to become a student photographer for the University and enjoyed photographing sports, architecture, receptions, graduations, concerts, and other events. I was recommended by Judy Johns ’05, CCU director of photography, to take shark dissection photos, which were published in CCU professor Dan Abel’s Shark Biology and Conservation: Essentials for Educators, Students, and Enthusiasts (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2020). I have gained an incredible amount of knowledge about photography from the best bosses in the world, Judy and Scott. They were both there for me whenever I had a question or needed them. They also constantly supported and helped me pursue my passion in life.
There is nothing like the feeling of being engaged and having a close connection to a subject through the eye of the camera." - Josh Bruni
Photography to me is the means of capturing a subject and expressing how I imagine it being portrayed to its full potential. - Josh Bruni
Over the past four years, I have worked with such a great photography team (Judy, Scott, Lara Zuk ’21, Didi Zacks ’22, and Riley Hobbs ’20) that all made the University seem more like home. Not only did I learn how to be a professional photographer, but I was given the opportunity to meet extraordinary people, including an associate production manager at National Geographic. I also gained knowledge and experience performing many research and lab projects while studying marine science. The resources and opportunities CCU has are truly outstanding.
In February 2021, I was introduced to the Master of Fine Arts in Science and Natural History Filmmaking program (SNHF) at Montana State University (MSU) through a Coastal Carolina University photography professor. The program’s invaluable experience opportunities and profound training instantly caught my attention. For the next seven months, I worked on creating a short wildlife film to submit as part of my application and also to grasp an understanding of what it takes to be a wildlife filmmaker. While completing the film, my passion and drive continued as I took unique footage. I learned that wildlife filmmaking requires a lot of planning, research, and understanding – and it can take months to get a few seconds of footage.
In March 2022, I was one of seven students from around the world accepted into MSU’s SNHF program. I am truly grateful for this opportunity. Previous graduate students in the program have had their work showcased on National Geographic and The Discovery Channel. I am super excited about the journey in Bozeman, Mont., which is next to Yellowstone National Park.
My hope is to travel the world as a wildlife filmmaker.