Dave Labelle at Grady College

Dave Labelle at Grady College

On Thursday, March 28, the National Press Photographers Association’s Student Chapter at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication brought Dave LaBelle to campus. The room was packed, here’s some of what was said.

Storified by Mark E. Johnson· Fri, Mar 29 2013 07:52:38

Half hour to go & the crowds are gathering in the halls for DAVE LABELLE in the #UGAVJ Drewry Room, sponsored by @NPPA ‘s student chapter.Mark E. Johnson
ERMAGERD DERVE LABERLE!!!! #ugavj #tooexcitePatricínha
Anyone else see the resemblance? #ugavj <a href="http://t.co/vgAZPMNujt" class="">pic.twitter.com/vgAZPMNujt</a>Damien Salas
OMG DAVE LABELLE #ugavj #thankscody @cbschmelterHilary Maloney
Dave LaBelle talks to (and hams it up for) #ugavj <a href="http://t.co/X07wDma1tO" class="">pic.twitter.com/X07wDma1tO</a>Maura Friedman
I know that Dave knows how to connect with people based on the amount and length of time he’s making eye contact with everyone. #ugavjPatricínha
LaBelle talked about shooting the legendary basketball coach John Wooten, who opened up and told him about his wife’s passing.
"Nell was the only girl that I ever dated, that I ever kissed, that I ever loved." Trying not to cry. #ugavjPatricínha
Fav person Dave LaBelle has shot was Coach Whooten, who wrote a letter to his wife Nell every month for the 20 years after her death #ugavjMaura Friedman
"Don’t put your lips on anything you don’t plan on keeping" -Dave LaBelle #UGAVJDamien Salas
He spent a bit of time talking about his past and how that has affected his approach to storytelling.
Dave LaBelle’s favorite word? Compassion. #ugavjPatricínha
"I’ve been blessed to have a lot of bad things happen to me in my life." Me too, Dave. Me too. #ugavjPatricínha
LaBelle’s compassion comes from empathy, says he was "blessed by hardships" that have focused his motives #ugavjMaura Friedman
"No one in this room has been as poor as I have, yet I’m the richest one in the room." – Dave Labelle, visual journalist #ugavjSophie Frankham
"One you have your motives pure, it changes you. It changes how you interact with human beings." – LaBelle #ugavjJamie Gottlieb
He went on to talk about his approach to photo stories …
"Most ‘photo stories’ are merely a group of pictures that end up in the same place..good stories are about relationships" -LaBelle #ugavjMaura Friedman
Let your subjects speak. Honor them enough to let them speak..and through that, you’re going to tell people how you feel -LaBelle #ugavjMaura Friedman
Photo stories need characters, hurdles and resolutions. Photos give information the same as words on a page. #ugavjMaura Friedman
Little details enrich stories. It’s the same with picture stories. Find relevant, telling details, not just ones fill your slideshow #ugavjMaura Friedman
Main point: picture stories do not occur in one place. #UGAVJWil Petty
"Try to take photographs of what something feels like, not what it looks like." Dave Labelle #UGAVJWil Petty
"When you get done looking at a picture story, you should have some feeling." Dave Labelle #UGAVJWil Petty
"The ability to project and to see yourself in every person’s role" Dave Labelle on what makes great storytellers. #UGAVJWil Petty
You begin with curiosity. #DaveLaBelle #ugavjShanda Crowe
Not gonna lie, pretty close to crying over those pictures and story of the guy with the burns. #UGAVJWil Petty
“If you want to move people, make pictures that make us feel like what it is to be them.” -Dave LaBelle #ugavjShanda Crowe
"With every privilege comes responsibility." Dave LaBelle #UGAVJWil Petty
"The subjects heal by telling stories and I heal by telling stories." Dave LaBelle #UGAVJWil Petty
He helped us convert a few kids and reinforce the belief that this, visual storytelling, is incredibly important.
If you’re at all interested and journalism and you’re missing Dave Labelle in the Drewry Room right now then shame on you #ugavjLaura Thompson
the term "world changer" can seem pretty figurative. and then you meet someone like Dave LaBelle. #ugavjHilary Maloney
I met the most inspiring man today. My goals in life completely changed within 2 hrs. Thank You Dave LaBelle. #ugavj <a href="http://t.co/u0va7R7bLU" class="">pic.twitter.com/u0va7R7bLU</a>Lexi Deagen
You can get his books through his web site, The Great Picture Hunt, and you can learn more about him through a series of videos Francis Gardler did about him a few years ago.

Mark E. Johnson

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