Picture Story proposals …

Just some follow up on picture story proposals. Still haven’t heard from some of you. We’ve got to get rolling, and I need to see something concrete here on the website by Wednesday. I know you all are working on your Light assignment, as well. Make sure you make deadline for that. In light of that (ha ha), I need to see picture story proposals posted here on the website by Wednesday (March 6). You will have until midnight to get something up. If I see anything posted after midnight, it will be considered late.

Once your story proposal is posted, start watching out for comments by me. I will either give you the go-ahead to begin work on your story, or I will make some suggestions and ask you to re-write your proposal base on those suggestions.

Some of you have posted your initial ideas on the website. Good! Just make sure you read the comments I made and follow my suggestions for your final proposal.

Again, you can email me your initial ideas, but you need to post your final proposal on the website.

A few more words about story ideas:

  • Make sure you re-read the assignment so you are clear about what kinds of subjects or topics will work and what information is necessary in your proposal.
  • Please no more story ideas about one-time events! You need to select something you can continue to work on the rest of the semester.
  • Be careful about selecting something that you participate in.
  1. I know I said to try and pick a subject that you are interested in. I think that’s important so you will be encouraged to stay with your subject and spend time with it. However …
  2. The role of a photojournalist is primarily to be a WITNESS, not a participant in events he or she is covering. I think it’s important to develop a relationship with subjects, but there still needs to be a certain amount of professional distance. You are not producing a photo album for your friends. You need to maintain your independence and create a visual narrative that a wide audience can understand.
  3. Additionally, you cannot concentrate on making photographs and developing your visual narrative while you are physically participating in an activity. You need to invest time to tell the stories of your subjects. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you have to put the camera down in order to participate. That not only creates a potential conflict-of-interest, but it is physically impossible to try and do both.
  • Try to pick a subject that’s outside your ordinary experience, if you can. You need to make an investment in your subject or topic. Don’t pick something just because you would be doing it anyway and it’s easy bring your camera along with you. Your subjects deserve your undivided attention when you’re with them. Make time to work on your story and do nothing else during that time.
  • While hashing out your story ideas, try to describe at least 5 DIFFERENT situations or circumstances you can make photographs of. If you can’t think of at least 5, you probably need to further develop your story idea or pick a different subject or topic.
  • When imagining those circumstances, don’t just think in terms of what people are doing. A group of pictures portraying expressionless people doing a variety of activities will not advance your narrative. Remember that you need to capture storytelling moments and show interaction within those circumstances. That will help you decide WHEN you need to spend time with your subjects.

Anyway, consider these things and get your ideas to me as soon as you can!


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