Stories need multimedia: photo stories

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.

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.

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.

 

 

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