Dr. Shane Epping

Assistant Professor

Shane is the first-ever Bobby Model Photojournalism Professor, named in honor of the late Bobby Model, a former National Geographic photographer from Cody and a UW graduate. Shane Epping joined the Communication and Journalism Department in 2021 as an instructor in fulfillment of the Model Professorship in Photojournalism. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, a master’s degree in American culture studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri, where he is also currently holds a Ph.D.in journalism with a focus on visual communication. His research explores the intersection of photography and health care and examines how photojournalism serves as a conduit for social justice and meaning-making for people both behind and in front of the camera. Most recently, Epping was part of a team of researchers who analyzed how those living with HIV documented their lives with a camera.

shane headshot


Epping’s interest in photography began when he received a camera as a high school graduation gift. Since then, he has made pictures using both film and digital production on an addictive level. Epping recognizes the unique ability of a camera to preserve life happenings in an environment in which many of our experiences are fleeting. He is an advocate for taking the time to document our surroundings, no matter the significance, from seemingly trivial to profound. It is not unusual for an apparently mundane image to become increasingly meaningful as the clock ticks and contexts change. In this spirit, Epping knows that a picture in and of itself is sometimes most impactful to a single individual for whom context is completely relative. Photographs trigger our memories and remind us of what we have experienced: the good, the bad, the ugly. They also show us what others have experienced — offering a window into other cultures and diverse perspectives on the world where we all reside. From time to time, an image stops us in our tracks and demands us to consider what has happened. Whether it makes us happy, sad, or angry, the effect is an emotional one. Photos are stories. And stories matter. Why? Because everybody has one.

Before arriving at the University of Wyoming, Epping combined his interests in photography and education by working as a professional photographer and video producer for an institution of higher education for more than a decade. Navigating the world of marketing and institutional messaging, Epping rooted his visual storytelling in photojournalism, where telling truths with a camera served as the foundation for communication. He is an advocate for representing all walks of life, with particular attention paid to those on the fringes who may be marginalized in varying forms. His freelance photos have been selected for publication by the Wall Street Journal, ESPN/ABC, CBS Sports, the Associated Press, Fox Sports, the Huffington Post, NFL.com, NBC Nightly News, the Washington Post, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star, and Runner’s World.

Epping teaches photojournalism courses, including introductory photography and entrepreneurship as it relates to professions focused on creativity. He has experience teaching multimedia journalism inclusive of still photography, video, audio production, and website design. He also is a Federal Aviation Administration-certified remote drone pilot and has been sought as a drone journalism instructor. Linking theory to practice, Epping has taught three separate skills-based courses and believes in learning by doing.

In his personal life, Epping annoys his loved ones by routinely making pictures of them. He enjoys running and has completed several races, including finishing dead last in a 39.3 miler. Epping loves listening to music in any format but is particularly fond of his vinyl record collection of more than 1,300 albums.



Pheiffer, A., Gallo, L., & Epping, S. (Eds.). (2008). Arrow Rock: Where the past is the future. University of Missouri, School of Journalism, Photojournalism.

Refereed Journal Articles

Teti, M., Myroniuk, T., Epping, S., Lewis, K., & Liebenberg, L. (In Press). A Photovoice exploration of the lived experience of intersectional stigma among people living with HIV. Archives of Sexual Behavior.

Teti, M., Epping, S., Myroniuk, T. W., & Evans-Agnew, R. (2021). HIV stigma and its metaphors: Photos, symbols, and solutions. Journal of HIV/AIDS & Social Services, 20(1), 97-114.

Johnson, B. G., & Epping, S. C. (2020). Forum Delegation: The Birth and Transposition of a New Approach to Public Forum Doctrine. Hastings Comm. & Ent. LJ, 42, 77. Available at: https://repository.uchastings.edu/hastings_comm_ent_law_journal/vol42/iss1/5

Book Chapters

Epping, S. (2016). Faye’s Ashes. In M.K. Blakely & A. Dahling (Eds), Words Matter: Writing to Make a Difference (pp. 255-265). University of Missouri Press.


Papers/Posters Presented

Epping, S. (2021). We Will Hug Again: COVID-19 and Its Impact on How We Live. Poster presentation at the (virtual) International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) annual conference, Visualizing Social Changes: Seen and Unseen.

Epping, S. (2021). Visual Analysis of Living with Cancer as Seen Through a Lens of Poststructuralism. Paper accepted for presentation at the Visual Communication (VISCOM) annual conference. Cannon Beach, OR

Epping, S. (2020). Photography in the Grieving Process After a Perinatal Loss and its Effects on African American Parents. Paper presented at the (virtual) International Communication Association (ICA) pre-conference, Visual Representation & Marginality: Opening New Conversations. Gold Coast, Australia.

Bent, E., & Epping, S. (2020). Visualizing Citizenry-in-the-Making: Representations of youth protest in Reuters news photography. Top three student paper accepted for presentation at the (virtual) Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) annual conference, VISCOM Division. San Francisco, CA.

Teti, M., Lewis, K., Reese, M., & Epping, S. (2020). A photovoice exploration of personal and community resilience and HIV medication adherence among black MSM living in Missouri. Paper accepted for presentation at the American Public Health Association (APHA) annual conference, HIV/AIDS Program Area. San Francisco, CA.

Johnson, B., Epping, S. (2019). Forum Delegation: The Birth and Transposition of a New Approach to Public Forum Doctrine. Paper presented at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) annual conference, Law & Policy Division. Toronto, Canada.


2016    “Words Matter: Writing to Make a Difference” Conference, University of Missouri. Panels: Life Stories and Career Paths of Successful Writers, Freelance Writing: When Can You Quit the Day Job?, Can Writing Be Taught, or Do Writers Have to be ‘Born?’, and Multi-Media Storytelling.


2021 Panel Reviewer: 2022 AEJMC Visual Communication Panel Proposal Evaluation.

2021 Paper Reviewer: 2021 AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, Visual Communication Division.

2021 Paper Reviewer: 2021 AEJMC Virtual Annual Conference, Graduate Student Interest Group (GSIG).

2021 Paper Reviewer: 2021 AEJMC Midwinter Conference, Minorities and Communication Division (MACD).

2021 Paper Reviewer: 2021 AEJMC Midwinter Conference, Graduate Student Interest Group (GSIG).

Master’s Project/Thesis Committee Member

  • Wuls, K. (2017). Resources for Tackling Post-traumatic Stress Disorder in Local Newsrooms. Unpublished master’s thesis, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.
  • Quin, J. (2013). Missouri National Guard Crisis Response in the Age of Instant Communication. Unpublished master’s project, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri.

2018 - Judge, Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Competition sponsored by the Society of American Travel Writer’s (SATW).

2015 - Mystical Seven Honorary Society inductee, University of Missouri


2020 - William Gregory Fellowship, O.O. McIntyre Scholarship
2019 - William Gregory Fellowship, Mary Frances Landen Fellowship, Edward Fischer Scholarship
2018 - William Gregory Fellowship, Robert M. Jackson Memorial Scholarship, Donald S. Mozley Scholarship


2020 - Columbia Art League:

  • Honorable Mention, ‘The Figure’ exhibit

2019 - Columbia Art League:

  • 1st Place, ‘Gluttony’ exhibit
  • Honorable Mention, ‘Icon’ exhibit

2017 - University Photographers’ Association of America:

  • 2nd Place , Personal Vision
  • 5th Place, Sports Action
  • 3rd Place, Campus Environment

2015 - One Read Art Exhibit:

  • 1st Place, 'The View from Here' exhibit

2015 - Columbia Art League:

  • 2nd Place, ‘Everything is a Remix’ exhibit
  • Honorable Mention, ‘Let Them Eat’ exhibit


Chair, Professional Freedom and Responsibility Sub-Division, Visual Communication Division

  • Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC)

Member, National Press Photographers Association (NPPA)

Member, International Communication Association (ICA)

Member, International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA)

Member, Nikon Professional Services (NPS)

Member, University Photographers Association of America (UPAA)


2016 - Missouri Audio Project and Transom Workshop, Columbia, MO
2013 - MediaStorm Methodology Workshop, Brooklyn, NY
2008 - The Kalish Workshop, Muncie, IN
2007 - Narrative Journalism Conference – Nieman Foundation, Boston, MA
2005 - Missouri Photo Workshop (multiple years)

2012 - Present:  Volunteer photographer at local hospitals for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep (NILMDTS)


COJO 2400: Introduction to Photography
COJO 4230/5230: Topics: Creativity/Entrepreneurship
COJO 4400: Photojournalism

Contact Us

COJO Department

Ross Hall Rm.#223

Dept. #3904

1000 E. University Ave.

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-3122

Email: cojoofc@uwyo.edu

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