Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photojournalism and Speaking Out

I am realizing something about The Law of Attraction. I know that it is critical to *feel* your intentions. Not just think or wish, but actually FEEL them. The new thing I am learning is that, at least for me, it helps me to speak them, out loud, to someone. Not like “I want…” or “I wish…” but “I AM GOING TO…”

Today, for the second time I have had a photo published on the front page of our newspaper. This week, for the second time, I said a variation of “I am going to have a photo on the front page” ALOUD. Two front page pictures and two verbal statements that it would be so. Hmm… I see a connection!

Today’s photo excites me for two other reasons, it is artistic AND a story was published along with it.

When I say it is artistic, what I mean is that my photographic forte has been artistic first and portraiture second, only recently adding journalistic to the mix. Journalistic photography tends to be different (to me), in that is usually is more raw and rough. The paper has published a few photos that I feel were portraiture or artistic, but usually, when I look through the folder I keep of photos published, my artistic eye thinks “blah!” Today’s photo documents a story, and tells a story, but I also like the balance and color and lines I see in it. Here, let me show you what I mean…

Boring front page photo:

Artistic front page photo:

See how the curving line of snow and ice pulls you through the photo? How it’s rough and bumpy and bright, while the concrete asphalt is smooth and dark. Looking at the concrete asphalt, it’s shiny on one side (where the ice was just broken loose) and dry on the other, except a set of tire tracks. As your eye follows the curve, you notice the trucks at the end, lifting the ice and preparing to carry it away. And what’s this on the side? People, little people walking along and working with the ice, even throwing it by the shovel-full. It’s a picture that is dynamic and tells a story. One more thing… the sky. I love the blue sky on top of it all, which to my mind is in contrast to the snow and ice so prevalent in most of the image. So; yeah, that’s what I mean about it being artistic. These are the things I see when I look at this photo of mine.

As far as there being a story. Every other photo which has been published has had a caption under it, but nothing more. Last summer, when I first spoke with the publisher of the paper about submitting photos, she indicated that if I sent in a photo that moved them, they might expand on it by sending out a reporter to do a story. Today’s photo HAS A STORY! On the front page! The story is about the winter weather clean-up that the city does every year, often in January. It’s a first for the story, AND it made it to the front page too! Whoo-hoo!!!

What’s interesting to me about submitting these photojournalistic photos is not only the challenge of finding and taking a compelling image, but also the randomness of it. I recently compared it to gambling, for while I might take a truly interesting and great photograph, if there’s another story that’s more interesting, my photo may never make it to print. There’s a bit of mystery in waiting to see if and when my photos will appear. This photo was actually taken and submitted five days ago; it just now became significant enough (and complete enough with the story) to find the space on a printed page.

Another thing of note is that I’m thrilled EVERY time I see one of my photos in the paper (like this one of frost from last Sunday)...

I get happy and excited every time a photo is published.

Here's another one from last Sunday that was also taken on a morning of beautiful frost...

Though I’ve only woken the family jumping and screaming with the first front page photo, they all make me happy and smiley for the rest of the day.

What do you do that brings you joy every time you accomplish it? Is there something you’ve been dreaming of and have yet to try? I challenge you to go out and start doing it, but first, make certain to speak aloud to others “I am ____” and then go forward, knowing you will succeed!


Mona Madry said...

I love your photos! And I'm moving that you are doing what moves you.

Anonymous said...

Finding such satisfaction in your daily existance is great. I challange you to write a story around one of your picture to send in while you are on your inturnship. I know you can not break the confidance of the Legislature, but I am sure you can sort something out. Maybe the day in a life of an Inturn, How JFreedom starts, ect