November 9, 2016
Thought Piece #5
A particular section of the reading this week grazed over character profiles, something I have been attempting to learn more about as well as practice. LaBelle touched on possible ways to find good feature photos and how interesting character profiles can be. He tells us that good feature pictures can be found wherever there are people and that “There is a bottomless reservoir of people around us.” I really like this quote and section of the reading because it reminds me that sometimes it is necessary to just simply engage with the public and that sometimes people are more interesting than they may appear. Don’t judge a book by its cover they say, I have always lived by that phrase as a person but I hadn’t given it much thought as a photographer (until now).
The examples within the text have made me realize that at times I have ignored possible features because the subjects don’t seem interesting enough. As someone who has always felt separated from the crowd I have found too much comfort in settling with the fly-on-the-wall approach. However, I am realizing that perhaps I have been approaching feature hunting all wrong. I am usually a quiet observer, waiting for someone or something aesthetically pleasing and/or intriguing to appear and turning a blind eye to anything that looks common or “normal”. After reading our text I see now that this methodology is quite flawed. There are times when simple things can lead to a more intricate story but there is no way to know for sure unless you engage and investigate. I plan to use this newly acquired knowledge as a tool for becoming a better photojournalist as well as a reminder to constantly push myself and no longer rely on my comfort zones and common practices.
I also enjoyed the section that discussed sequences. I have seldom seen photo sequences used besides for the function of instructing audiences on how to do something; as LaBelle mentions himself it is a rare form of story-telling these days. I think it is something I would like to see utilized more, though it may be a dated style I think it would be refreshing to see such things in modern publications. I would like to personally begin doing photo sequences as a way to test and strengthen my visual story-telling skills. The Great Picture Hunt 2 is definitely a great book to read when striving to improve yourself as a photojournalist and it has been a key element in my growth this semester. During a time when picking up my camera feels like more of a chore it has given me the inspiration to be a passionate photojournalist in todays disconnected social climate while providing me with the formulas and ideas to make my visual communication relevant and effective.