We were talking in class the other day about visual reporting. For me, one of the key elements that you can distill that work down to is the need to be unique.
I wish I’d seen this, from Poynter, before that discussion.
“I feel sorry for local news photographers,” begins the About text on a blog dedicated to newspaper photos.
That’s understandable, given the heavy workload of the photographers lucky enough to have survived rounds of layoffs.
The site says newspaper photographers are “hugely skilled and poorly paid.” Again, no argument there.
But then there’s this: “[they’re] sent out to photograph miserable people pointing at dog turds. Here, we celebrate their work.”
So begins the U.K.-based Angry people in local newspapers blog, one of a handful of websites that collect cliched shots from overworked photographers lacking job security.
Similar sites in the genre include a U.K.-based Tumblr (now defunct – Kenny) dedicated to Daily Mail photos of people “looking sad while holding, or standing close to, the thing that has made them feel sad.” And, in the U.S., there’s the more recent Tumblr from American journalist Jeremy Barr, “Local People With Their Arms Crossed.”
Remember, your photo is telling a story.
Make sure it isn’t telling this one:
“We are seeing so much unoriginal photographic coverage because we have so many beginners now making images and getting those images posted without an editor’s vetting eye,” (Kenny Irby, a senior faculty member for visual journalism and director of community relations at Poynter) said. “Too few of the beginners discern the value of active, authentic, arresting photographic coverage, which is the result of a time-investment relationship that provides access.”