Making the Shot

Photographer George Etheredge ’16 goes to The New York Times & beyond

George Etheredge '16During his time at UNC Asheville, George Etheredge earned a B.A. in photography, a spot in the prestigious Eddie Adams Photography Workshop, a place in a national photography exhibition and much more. Now his photos have found their way from a portrait series in the Asheville Citizen-Times to the front page of The New York Times—at least four times.

Rachel McPhee portrays Mary Shanley, one of the earliest female first-grade detectives in the New York Police Department, in “Dead Shot Mary,” a one-woman show that opened recently. During his time as a student, Etheredge had photojournalism essays and photograph series published in several online and print publications. His photo essay, “Urban Gardens in Asheville,” was published in Modern Farmer and Asheville Citizen-Times, and was the culmination of a long-term photographic project with Pisgah View Community Peace Garden in Asheville. Two prints from the series were selected for inclusion in Looking at Appalachia, a national traveling exhibition curated by documentary photographer Roger May. 

After graduation, Etheredge began freelancing for The New York Times, and then headed up to New York City for a highly competitive internship position with the newspaper. His work with the Times included spending a day photographing the average Sunday of Bill Nye the Science Guy, traveling to Kentucky to take photos of mountaintop removal coal mining to accompany a story by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and taking press-preview shots of the brand new Museum of Ice Cream in New York. Since then his photos have also landed in the International New York Times and Fortune Magazine, and he’s now exclusively freelancing for the Times

Artist Cheng Ran in one of the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s studio spaces, in New York, Sept. 12, 2016. It’s not just talent or technical ability that makes Etheredge a successful photographer. It’s the ability to look at the world differently. 

“The broad and varying perspectives that I found while attending UNC Asheville gave me the ability to sift through the world with more intention and compassion,” Etheredge said. “As a liberal arts institution, UNC Asheville opened me up to a diverse world of knowledge, thus challenging my own perceptions about the world, making me realize that very few things in life have simple answers.”