Category At Work

Personal Boundaries

The Deer Center for Journalism and Trauma interviewed nine female journalists about the issues they have faced in the field and how to deal with them. This should be required viewing for everyone who is a member of the media or who interacts with the media.

So, essentially, everyone on the planet.

(Thanks to alum and friend of the program Minla Shields for the link.)

McCullin in Kolkata


Yes, this is a PR piece from Canon Europe. Yes, it’s designed to get you interested in spending many, many dollars on Canon gear.

But it’s Don McCullin talking about the way he makes images while he makes images in Kolkata.

Look Versus Feel

The New York Times’ Todd Heisler writes about covering tragic events like the church shooting in Texas.

Because of this, it is important to make images that go beyond grief and crime scenes. Step back. Give a sense of place. Show not just what a scene looks like but, more important, what it feels like. 

That last part – about making images that show what stories feel like … that’s the goal!, that’s always the goal. My friend Billy Weeks puts it this way: “Photos of something vs. photos about something.”

You can spend your career making photographs of things and, if you’re technically competent and reasonably personable, you can have a decent career I suspect. I’ll admit my early years fell into that category – I was a good photographer, always made a usable image and was easy to work with. I look back on some of those stories from the start of my career and I’m not always sure anyone would feel anything. They’d know what happened, but they might not care deeply about it. Lots of record shots, a recording of what was before me.

That’s where my students start because it’s where we all start. Master the mechanics, figure out the aesthetics, put it into practice in the field. Figure out what the story is, figure out who the story matters to, find the character that helps us understand and then make an image that will make an emotional connection, make someone who wasn’t there, who doesn’t know, feel something.

That’s the real challenge in photojournalism. It isn’t about getting sharp photos, it isn’t about getting proper exposures. It isn’t about having the right lens or the newer sensor or the better job at the bigger publication. Every time we raise a camera to our eye, regardless of who is before it or who will look at it, it is our responsibility to make an image that lets a viewer know what that moment feels like.

That’s when the power of photojournalism becomes ours,

Ready for Anything

The Associated Press’ Lauren Easton talked with photojournalist Jacquelyn Martin about the photo of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the sheet of dollar bills not carrying his name.

We don’t orchestrate these things. As a photojournalist, I show up and photograph what happens in front of me. You really have to be ready for anything in Washington.

The History of Vivian Maier

Vivian Maier took the photographic community by storm several years ago, long after she had produced an astounding body of work.   Now, researcher Ann Marks has shared some of what she has learned with the Associated Press, shedding new light on Maude’s work

(Thanks to Susan Walsh for the lead.)

Woman At War


There were not a lot of women combat photographers in Vietnam (or most other conflicts), one of the best was Catherine Leroy and Elizabeth Herman has part of her story up at The New York Times’ Lens blog.

Many consider Ms. Leroy as the most daring of all photographers in Vietnam, and she most likely spent the most time in combat because she needed the money. Being broke meant traveling with soldiers, sharing rations and sleeping in the countryside.

Her’s is an amazing story, worth the time.

Why You Stick to Your Workflow

As soon as I can after a shoot, I download my cards and back up the images into at least two places. Why? I am paranoid.

When I travel, I download and email or upload the best images to an online service, just in case something goes wrong. I teach my students this same thing.

A New York City photographer may want to evaluate his backup system – keeping the original cards and the hard drive used to back them up together can cause you some severe problems.


Reuters Launches Grant Program for Students

Reuters has developed a grant program to help photojournalists and photojournalism students advance their skills and tell stories that need to be told. There will be up to eight grants, each up to $5,000. The results of the projects will be distributed via Reuters’ photo service, as well.

Start writing. Deadline to apply is December 10.

Pieces of Advice

Independent photojournalist Yunghi Kim, who has put a lot of effort into help educate others on good business and copyright practices, has assembled a nice collection of comments from ten women photojournalists.

I love this from Jane Evelyn Atwood:

I don’t like to be called a “female photographer”. We don’t refer to Salgado or Cartier-Bresson as “male photographers”. I feel that calling us “female photographers” perpetuates the idea that we are “lesser than”, in some way. It defines us by gender rather than by the quality of our pictures.

The term “female photographer” is sexist.

All of the women in this piece are worth studying.

A Little Larceny

I love this idea from J. Scott Applewhite:

Little stolen moments, some of my best pictures have a little larceny in them.

Scott Applewhite: Lifetime Achievement Award from The Associated Press on Vimeo.