The best photojournalists ‘look at things from a fresh perspective’
You’ve heard the saying probably more than you realize: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
It’s true – especially in a news story.
When people remember a story for words, it’s often because the words are wrong. Take the infamous headline, “Dewey Defeats Truman” for example. Those words aren’t remembered because of a remarkable defeat being written down in history; they’re remembered for being inaccurate.
When pictures are remembered, it’s because of the impact they have on readers. When readers saw pictures from the Boston Marathon bombings, they were affected because the images said more than any story could have. When big things happen, the impact is shown by pictures.
Matt Miller, a photographer for the Omaha World-Herald, said that in photography, you have to “take the reader where they can’t go.” In 2007, Miller was covering Husker football at the Kansas Jayhawk’s Memorial Stadium. Because the Huskers were losing badly, Miller decided he wanted to look for something else to photograph instead of another Jayhawk touchdown. What he found ( the picture at left) was by far more interesting than what most photographers were capturing on the field. And it showed the essence of what had happened at the game.
“Don’t stand with everyone else,” Miller said. “Look at things from a fresh perspective.”
Miller said it’s especially important to abide by those rules when you’re in charge of a beat. Whether you cover Husker football or are a courts reporter, you should always put yourself in a position of the reader.