Meet the Staff: Madison Roles

IMG_0876Who am I? I'm Madison Roles and I'm an aspiring documentary photographer. I am a junior at the University of Minnesota Duluth and am working towards a journalism major and a photography minor. In the past, I have worked with UMD’s weekly publication, The Statesman, to run a story and numerous photographs for the sports section. Other than that, my journalism experience is limited to what I have worked on in my courses at UMD. After I graduate, I hope to continue studying photography in grad school, preferably out of state, and experience more of the world we live in. What interests me? I have held a strong interest in the dynamics between words and photographs ever since I got my first glimpse of a Pulitzer Prize winning image; specifically, Nick Ut's shot of a terrified Vietnamese girl in the midst of a napalm battlefield during the Vietnam War. I remember this being the first time I ever felt compelled to read a story based off my reaction to a photograph.

My family travels internationally on an annual basis, so I have had the incredible opportunity to build my portfolio in locations such as South Africa, Zimbabwe and Italy. I would consider my strengths to be wildlife and landscape photography, but I’m trying to focus more on street photography and how I can get a story across better through the use of images. I'm also trying to keep up with posting to my photography blog in my spare time.

Why I chose Duluth? Duluth was not unfamiliar to me as a child, but it never occurred to me that I would one day call this place my home. I had no idea what I was in for when I made the decision to attend UMD, but I have come to learn that there is not a better place for me. I consider myself an adventurous personality, so the outdoors aspect is my favorite part of this gorgeous city. However, I would have to say the culture and diversity might be the most interesting aspect from a journalistic standpoint.

Reach me at or my twitter account @shutter_photog.

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