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A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words:
Photographer Will McIntyre

Profile by Rebecca Joye Reeves

New day — new challenge

“No two days are alike. Last week I photographed AIDS researchers for Time magazine. For People magazine, I shot the fellow who made the props for the Tom Hanks movie "Cast Away." Yesterday, I did nothing but paperwork. That’s not what most people think of when they think of a career in photography, but it’s necessary to keep the business running.”

Will McIntyre, one of Western Carolina University’s most successful graduates, is now a successful photographer who worked himself through college on the money he made doing photography and playing in several bands. He and his wife, Deni, travel constantly as they work as free-lance photographers for all types of publications—from Time magazine and People magazine to their own books. Their beautiful and diverse work is visible on their web site www.macfoto.com.

While McIntyre was attending Western, he considered pursuing a Ph.D. in English but was directed towards photography by Dr. Terry Nienhuis. He attributes many things to his Western education; learning to recognize “verbal garbage,” to read critically (which is important to photographers and authors) and to appreciate and recognize well-written stories.

As a world traveler, he and his wife have learned the importance of communicating. When asked how important writing is in his career, he returned, “Well, how important is talking?” The couple must write everything from photo captions to entire books. They must also work around schedules and plan photo shoots.

Inspiring mentors

One of the greatest and most enduring things WCU gave McIntyre was the inspiration he gained from so many of the faculty members here at Western. Some of those who made a lasting impression were Phil Wade, “whose sense of humor kept me from taking myself too seriously,” the late George Herring, “a brilliant eccentric who integrated Eastern and Western thought,” and Jim Byer, “who made me a much better writer.”

These profiles were created by the Karen Greenstone's English 303 class (spring 2009)
and edited for the web by Mary Adams's English 303 class (summer 2009).

Students in Mary Adams's English 303 class (fall 2009) wrote additional profiles.