Imagine this- one photo speaking more words than your entire 1000-word feature story did. That is the power of a photo story; the ability to speak louder than words can. Photos are an unbiased lens into what is actually happening- a clear vision.
For this I will be using two of my own photo stories, one by myself and one I created with photo courtesies.
Free paper signs were handed out to the masses, blue and white slogan signs and also Women for Trump signs. Not many in attendance went without a sign in hand.
While giving another one of his infamous speeches, Trump moved his hands in his usual leader-like manner. Suddenly the crowd erupts into chants of,”President trump! President Trump! President Trump!”
Waiting to get into the rally was one thing, but the entertaining crowds were another. Many small jokes in agreement spread throughout the crowd as rhis father and his son displayed their “greatest possession of all time.”
The secret service was required to frisk every attendee, removing any liquids as well. These agents kept the premises secure, which helped keep the protests from escalating.
Supporters of Trump were very well spirited while waiting in line. As the sun set outside of the arena, supporters muse about how unfit Clinton is for presidency.
People of all ages, races, and genders wore varieties of the infamous trucker hat. Not once was someone caught having anything short of a good time while waiting to get into the arena.
It is confounding to witness such great support for a candidate deemed as a racist bigot, however the crowds Trump drew were nothing less of supportive.
To a news staff, the photographer’s general job description is “Take photos of a certain event.” However with as little as only a few images, a completely new take is developed on a story. Highlighting the most important issues and conveying truth through, sometimes, one single image.
The above story is from Donald Trump’s rally in Eau Claire, Wisc. Whereas some staff may write a story on the raging protests, my photojournalism story effectively shows that the positivity among the group outshining the negativity. It was actually a great, safe event with very little disruptive protesting.
Photo courtesy of Laurie Hansen. Howlett (#62) had a strong will to live. What was most important to him was the relationships he held with his students, participating in school events and living in the present. A former administrator at many local schools, Howlett got every involved in sports. Donna Howlett, Howlett’s wife says, “There are even kids who remember him from Benilde St. Margaret’s where he started the girls hockey program, or Centennial, where he was the varsity volleyball coach- he really revamped program when they were in a slump.”
Photo courtesy of Andrew Weigel. Howlett entered St. Therese hospice at St. Odilia in Shoreview on Nov. 21 and passed on Jan. 21. A celebration of Howlett’s life was held at 2 p.m. Jan. 16 at Eagle Brook Church in Lino Lakes, where his family, accompanied by The Stillwater Varsity Choir, Principal Rob Bach, Darby Whitehill and Peter Schield, gathered with the community. “Everybody was always welcome,” wife Donna Howlett says.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Weigel. Stage IV prostate cancer came with a certain future, however many faculty staff have taken notice to Howlett’s efforts to persevere, while he was still working at Stillwater. “Sometime people when they’re diagnosed will take a fast run to Vegas or start to play the lotto and do some crazy things. Not Mr. Howlett, he was already doing what his beliefs told him to do and he kept right on doing it,” math teacher Darby Whitehill says.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Weigel. Howlett, always hard at work wasn’t only a member of Stillwater’s community, but many more. From teaching at Benilde- St. Margarets all the way to Centennial High School, Howlett has been all over. “ A guy like that touched so many people and so many different communities- there is a lot of people affected by that who want to celebrate him and everything he did for people,” english teacher Peter Shield says.
Photo courtesy of Andrew Weigel. Howlett was infamously known for making the White Pony Center an inviting place for students just swinging by and even those in trouble, by his inviting demeanor. “Sometimes it drove me nuts. I told him [Howlett] that those naughty kids needed discipline, but he would say something like, ‘Shelly, he doesn’t have a dad,’ or something along those lines,” secretary Shelly Enhelder says.
Photo courtesy of Peter Schield. Aside from being highly social and inviting, former assistant principal Bill Howlett was a huge outdoorsman. He loved fishing and hunting, and one of his happiest places was out on the fishing boat. “He liked the outdoors, I like the outdoors. So it was natural for us to talk about things like hunting or fishing- and we did spend some time fishing together on the boat. Actually we did have a lot of fishing outings together, where we would talk about hunting and our kids,” math teacher Darby Whitehill says.
Take this photo story for example- featuring Bill Howlett, a former Assistant Principal of my school, who recently passed of prostate cancer. Now look again, the photos do not necessarily have a back story- they are all randomly themed and mashed together. This is where the dreaded idea of photo courtesies enters. It is highly likely that at some point in one’s journalism career they will enter a dead end with a sign reading “Your main subject is deceased” or “This event is halfway across the U.S.” How will they make a comprehensible photo story? Well the images must be courtesy of but also…
Captions. The power of the photo caption.
Usually when I confront my staff on the absence of their photo captions I get met with a groan and a “Why must I do this?” Frankly, their annoyance is not unreasonable, they know their story. But what they are missing is- will their audience get the photo story?
“Photographs may be thought of as a universal language, but interpretation is open and dependent on the viewer’s own cultural relativism. Without captions the photographer is missing an opportunity to lead the viewer on a storytelling journey. You may not be able to control the conclusion, but you can certainly set the scene.” -Alison Stieven-Taylor
Captions play a significant role in the communication of the true message behind a photo. Today the transition to an increasingly digital age gives photojournalists the opportunity to manipulate their photo stories to tell the intended story. By providing readers with detailed captions, we are able to truly tell them what they are looking at.
Photography is a true passion of mine, and having the opportunity to practice my photojournalism for a paper and make better my skills is nothing short of awesome. If you’re interested in my artwork and photography, check out the Photojournalism and Art tab on my homepage, or check out my Instagram.