Photojournalism:The Important Role of Pictures in the News
Jargon• Photo Editor – The person in charge of the photography staff and acts as a liaison between the other branches of the paper that produce news.• Staff Photographers – The “shooters”; the ones who actually take photographs for stories – They also provide information regarding the photo and upload photos to the paper.• Photo Assignments – Basically instructions to the photographer; where they need to go, when, and why.
Key Points to Remember• The photographer should think about the story to determine what is expected/needed from the photos.• Be sure to get names of all people photographed and any additional information (score, location, date, scene, etc.) as you take the pictures. This will make caption writing so much easier!
Good Photographers…• Are prepared. They bring everything they need with them to each location.• Get there early to plan shots and get the lay of the room.• Travel with a notebook to take down names of individuals photographed, and any pertinent information.• Keep track of the Five W’s and H; this will help you or the reporter write the story.
Choosing a Photo• Once you’ve taken photos of the event or subject, you must choose the ones you want to appear in the story. This is usually a collaborative effort—ask as many others as you want (generally the photo editor should have last say).
What makes a good photo?• Pictures that have active people in them, tell the story well and give meaning to the story. – Remember: some photos should be cropped to get rid of unused space or unimportant information.
Do you remember?• Think back to our lesson on the elements of photography. What are some of the “rules of composition” we discussed?
Story Type: The Photo Essay• A series of photos that show the progression of a story in chronological order. It can be composed of one photographer’s pictures or several. It tells the story in images, rather than words.
Photo Essay Tips• Find a topic you care about• Whether you choose to document the first month of a freshmen’s year, the process of a school drama production, or even a soccer game, make your topic something in which you find interest.
• Do your research• If you cover a drama production, talk with the students involved, both actors and crew; investigate the general interest of the student body in seeing the show; investigate the script and reasons for doing this show. Talk to the director.
• Find the “real story”• After youresearch, determine the angle you want to take your story. Is the drama production an effort to bring the student body together? Is it featuring a freshmen star?
• Create and use emotions• Every dynamic story is built on a set of core values and emotions that touch the heart of its audience. Draw out the emotions within the story and utilize them in your shots. Do not manipulate your audience’s emotions—use emotion as a connecting point.
• Plan your shots• Think about the type of shots that will work best to tell your story. Try creating a story board first, think of each shot like a sentence in a one-paragraph story. Start with 10 shots, each emphasizing a different concept or emotion that can be woven together to create the story.
• Remember: story telling takes practice• You don’t have to be an incredible writer to pull off a powerful photo essay. Know how to take good pictures, be creative and have a lot of heart. Focus on telling the story with your pictures and you’ll do well.
Example• See a great example here:• Mean Streets• www.photoessasy.com
Permission is the Key!• Don’t take photos that show private information (a teacher’s home, for example). Get permission.• You may not advertise a product without the person’s permission. – You can’t use an athletes image to promote a product without their permission.
Legal Issues• Young children – Do not photograph children under the age of 18 without parent consent.• Photographing Students – All ILS students get a release. Make sure they have given permission to be photographed. If not, you may not use an image of them.
Accurate Representation• Be sure the photos you choose accurately represent the people in them. Don’t use the school valedictorian’s picture in an article about cheating…unless you can prove they have been cheating.
Online Images• Generally, artists, writers, and films all have publicity photos that can be used in publications. Go to that band/artist/movie’s website and use a photo from there—with credit, of course.
Google Images• Using the “Advanced Search” setting located under the wheel…• Go to “usage rights” (at thebottom) and select “free to useor share.”
Borrowed Photos• Be sure to ask the person who took the photo directly and give them credit for having done so.• Obtain permission to use the picture, and credit it as such.
DIY• Take your own photos as much as you can! You’ll never get better if you don’t practice!• Shoot a lot of photos so you have many to choose from. Chances are higher, then, of getting a quality photo.