Assignment 5 – Feature photos

The skills we want to develop for this assignment are learning how to find and photograph enterprise feature photos. Can you find the unusual or unique in your community? Can you tell everyday stories with a visual twist? Can you begin to incorporate TLC into your storytelling photographs?

DUE: Tuesday, March 28, at 5:30 p.m.!

The Assignment 

Generate an “enterprise” feature photograph. In fact, generate TWO.


TWO feature photos are required for credit. 

  1. On Campus. It can be student life. Faculty or staff can be the subject. Maybe an event on campus. It’s up to you.
  2. Off Campus. You need to get outside your comfort level and explore life away from school. Maybe your mechanic is feature-worthy. Or your favorite barista. Go where people gather. Read the newspaper or a website to find out what’s going on around town. Gotta work? Take your camera. Have to go home for the weekend? Take your camera.

As always, full AP Style captions are required with each picture.


Be creative! Use Timing, Light, and Composition (TLC)

  1. Can you show us something unique about our community with storytelling moments? Can you convey a timeless or universal message with a photograph?
  2. Can you use light to draw attention to your image with dramatic shadows or contrast? Can you use the characteristics of light to help tell your story?
  3. Can you go beyond the Shooter’s Mantra and create a memorable image or present a unique perspective or point-of-view with creative composition?

Show us a “slice of life.” Make us laugh. Make us cry. Amaze us. Enlighten us. Entertain us. Confront us with something we should care about.

People should be the focus of your pictures. No pics of animals or scenics without people in them! Not for this assignment, at least.

Take your camera with you everywhere you go! You should be doing this anyway. It’s a must for photojournalists. You never know when life will present an unforgettable moment to you – news or feature. Be prepared, and you might be rewarded.

Be careful about photographing animals and children. Avoid trite and cliché photographs. This WILL affect your grade. Capturing moments and using the Shooter’s Mantra will weigh heavily into your grade. Most of all, STAND IN FRONT OF MORE INTERESTING STUFF! If you’re not interested, your audience won’t be, either.

PLEASE NOTE: Features are ALWAYS candid. No posing. No coaching. No staging. You may interact with your subjects to get their information or to get permission to photograph them. However, you should strive to have as little influence on your subject as possible. Feature pictures should be honest and REAL.

Your two feature photos are due on the website no later than Tuesday, March 28, at 5:30 p.m.


The following will be evaluated when grading this assignment:

25%: Captions – AP Style!!! Re-read the post/handout if you must. Don’t leave out the necessary information. Context is extremely important with feature photographs. Can you make your photograph resonate with your audience? Why should they consider your photograph to be newsworthy or a lesson in humanity? Is there any relevant background information or a quote you can include?

25%: Technical quality – exposure and sharpness count. Picture that are blurry and/or too light or dark are not publishable.

25%: Graphic appeal – Use the Shooter’s Mantra.  You must demonstrate control of what’s going on inside the images you present. Don’t make me search for what’s most important. In addition:

  • Use of light – Can you use light help to set an appropriate atmosphere or tone for your photo? Can you add graphic appeal by using shadows and contrast?
  • Creative composition – can you go beyond the Shooter’s Mantra and and create a memorable image or present a unique perspective or point-of-view?

25%: Content – 

  • Moments – Again, expressions, gestures, body language, actions all help tell the story. Without moments, your pictures are just snapshots. Remember, light and composition can help create a moment, too.
  • Originality – Beyond moments, the originality of your content will be a factor. Can you show us something most don’t get to see? Or can you present something common in a unique or moving way?


Read the handout on Feature Photography! The presentation was to help you get started and to see examples. Make sure you read the handout for additional information and inspiration.

Sometimes it’s hard to define just what a feature photo is. Try starting here:

“Single photographs, candid and unposed, that reflect the human experience, celebrate life, or chronicle a cultural trend.” 

Like I said, it’s a starting point. It’s okay to use your imagination, though. Think about what you are trying to say with your photos WHILE you are shooting. Not afterwards. Are you documenting something or someone you think others might find interesting? Are you trying to symbolize something that has universal appeal? You need to think about these things while you are shooting. Don’t shoot dull photographs and then try to make them interesting with your caption.

Review the handout about Interesting Photographs! This can give you some ideas about how to find something or someone interesting to photograph. You should be carrying your camera with you everywhere you go, but simply cruising may or may not produce an interesting picture. Find out what’s going on in your community. Don’t simply shoot two scenarios and call it quits, either. Try shooting anything and everything. Practice makes perfect. Then pick the best two pics that meet the criteria for the assignment.

Remember these attributes, especially, of a good feature photographer:

  • Be curious
  • Be prepared
  • Be patient

Have fun! This is a chance to visually explore the world around you. Experiment. Take chances. Be original! Forget “good.” Make your photos interesting!


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