Alum Justin Mott’s Journey from Block Island to Vietnam

August 19, 2014

BLOCK ISLAND TIMES -- At 21, Justin says “with only $200 in my pocket,” he landed in San Francisco. Living with his brother, he took a job bartending and then attended San Francisco State University, originally majoring in journalism. He says a photography professor “who really pushed us, woke me to photojournalism.” Justin discovered the camera “was all about going out ... getting out there ... getting out to have a [direct] look at the homeless, at heroin addicts,” at how people were living. He quickly became engaged in the personal stories he was uncovering. He said, “Bartending [also] forced me to talk with people of all ages.” In taking up photojournalism, Mott realized he had to “get people to open up.”