Documenting migrant farm workers in the Nebraska Panhandle

Meet the Photographers

Bruce Thorson spent 25 years in newspaper photojournalism as a photographer, photo editor, mostly in Oregon, and director of photography at the St. Paul (Minn) Pioneer Press. An award-winning photographer, Thorson has received recognition from the Associated Press, The Best of the West competition and the National Press Photographers Association. His photographs have also appeared in Sports Illustrated, People Magazine, USA Today, Oregon Business, Nebraska Life and various other publications.


Thorson teaches photojournalism at UNL – basic digital photojournalism, advanced digital photojournalism and in-depth photojournalism projects, taking students on domestic and international documentary projects. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and a master’s degree in visual communications from Ohio University.


Outside of his teaching duties, Thorson continues to stay active as a photographer working as a contract sports photographer for a picture agency supplying his sports photographs to editorial outlets around the world.



 Patrick Breen is a senior news-editorial major at UNL. Breen grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and attended Omaha Central High School where he was Nebraska State Journalist of the Year and runner-up 2008 for National High School Journalist of the Year 2008.

Breen first interned at the Cedar County News in northeast Nebraska before starting at UNL in 2008. There he gained a strong interest in community and social journalism.

In 2009, he was awarded Nebraska News Photographer Association’s College Photographer of the Year along with other awards including First in picture story, sports action photo and sports feature photo.

Breen then traveled abroad, first to Kazakhstan to do documentary work on various topics from poverty to the after-effects of nuclear radiation. Then to Bolivia to do documentary work on the indigenous population.

In his junior year, Breen was Photo Chief of the Daily Nebraskan, a student-run paper. He headed up a staff of 12 photographers that won various awards across the nation. In his senior year, he will be Director of Multimedia, creating a new multimedia department with an emphasis in long-form visual story-telling. With a staff of six, they will produce daily videos, weekly video recaps for sports and audio picture stories for the newspaper.

This summer, Breen will be traveling with this project before heading off to the Arizona Republic to work as a photo intern. His website can be found at

Danielle Beebe is a May 2011 graduate from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.  She also studied photography in the UNL Hixson-Lied Fine and Performing Arts College.  Beebe’s home town is York, Neb.

Beebe has done freelance photography work for publications like Big Red Report and the Lincoln Journal Star.  She also worked for the college newspaper, The Daily Nebraskan.

In 2010, Beebe started a photo documentary project on a lesbian couple in Lincoln, Neb., addressing the issues they face regarding the legality of same-sex marriage, same-sex parenting and religion.  The story can be found on UNL’s photojournalism website under “Domestic Essays.”

Following the migrant worker documentary project, Beebe will work as a photo intern at the Omaha World-Herald.

Anna Reed is a junior news-editorial major at UNL.  She grew up in Omaha, Neb., and has been studying photography since high school.

Since February 2010 Reed has worked as a senior photographer for the Daily Nebraskan.

In 2010, Reed won the University of Nebraska Publications Board Grand Prize Award, First Place for News Photography, First Place for Sports Photography and Third Place for Feature Photography.  Reed studied developing media in Costa Rica in the summer of 2010.

After this project, Reed will intern for the Cedar County News in Hartington, Neb.

Her photography blog can be found at

Liz Garcia is a May 2011 graduate from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications.   Although she majored in advertising, she studied photojournalism in Thorson’s beginning and advanced digitial photography classes.  Garcia has worked as a photographer for the Lincoln Saltdogs Baseball Team, and for the student-run publication, The Daily Nebraskan.

Like Beebe, Garcia also started a long-term project in Fall of 2010.  She worked along three other photographers to document Muslim Life in Lincoln, Nebraska, which can be found here, under “Domestic Essays.”

Alex Matzke is a 2008 graduate of Santa Fe University of Art and Design in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She received her BA in Digital Media and Art Therapy, graduating with honors.

A Nebraska native, her journey with photography began in 4-H as the club reporter. These days she works primarily as a wedding photographer in Lincoln, Nebraska, and freelances for a number of publications. If you’ve picked up a paperback copy of A Sandhills Ballad recently, you’ll see her most recent published work on its cover. Alex was also honored this year by being listed in 30 under 30 among a group of talented young female photographers.

Alex is thrilled to begin graduate work with such a poignant topic.

Her website is and her personal blog for the project can be found here.

Bethany Trueblood is a senior news-editorial major at UNL. Her hometown is Omaha, Neb. Writing has always been her forte, but she is learning the importance and impact of adapting visuals to her writing.

Bethany took Bruce Thorson’s beginning photojournalism class at UNL last fall and developed a stronger interest in photojournalism. This trip is her debut in-depth photo story project. She hopes to continue doing in-depth photo stories.

In July Bethany will travel to New Delhi with a group of UNL journalism students to participate in a digital media project that focuses on social issues in India. The team will partner with journalism students in New Delhi to teach them journalistic story telling using digital media. Bethany plans to use her photojournalism skills to document some of the issues in India.


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