Thursday, December 4, 2008

Photojournalism Tip #3: Approaching an assignment

After getting to know your camera the next step in photojournalism tackling your first assignment. Each type of newspaper or magazine has a different style for doling out assignments. At the newspaper where I work, we meet weekly to give out general assignments for the week and then touch base with our photographers throughout the week if things change or if other news items come up. We have an editor go with new photographers on their first assignment to make sure they understand the procedure of a shoot and to see if any questions arise. I recommend taking an easy assignment first. It's a great time to make sure you're comfortable with the camera. And, even if the assignment seems boring, it gives you all that more room to be creative: what angles can I use to best capture this lecture? What kind of lens would work best for crowd shots? How can I make this meeting interesting to my viewers and still tell the story?

Things to remember on your first photo assignment:
1) Move around! Move yourself to different locations and move your camera to different orientations. That is one of the most important aspects, you never know what size or orientation the editor is going to need.
2) Take Lots of Photos! This is extremely important as well, the more photographs you take the better chance you'll have some great shots. Even if your taking a simple assignment take lots of photos.
3) Understand your assignment. Before leaving on assignment make sure you understand what you need to get photographs of or what the story is about. Don't be afraid to ask if to get more information on site if things seem different.
4) Get names. Obviously this is not the case for large group shots, but if you take a picture of a small group, don't be afraid to approach them after the shot to get their names. Having a small notebook where people can write their own names down leads to fewer frustrated readers and happier editors -- both great things.
4) HAVE FUN!! Be Creative! Don't be afraid to get close to your subject.



Johan said...

What lenses do you use for photojournalism?

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