Take a Good Photograph!

Yes, yes–a picture is worth 1,000 words. And journalists, even those who stick mainly to print, must know how to take one.  What’s a good photo? Try these tips:photographer1

1. Take good pictures. Here’s a website with 5 good tips to help improve your camera work.

2. Understand the rule of thirds.


2. Make sure you photos tell a story. The best photographs tell a story, and a photo essay has to be about SOMETHING, not just a random series of pictures. Click below on some slide shows/photo essays that some of my students have done to help guide you. Each tells a story.

  • This student’s photo essay looked at the aftermath of Sandy in Harlem. Click here to see it.
  • This one shows a block party on Marion Avenue in the Bronx.
  • I did this photo essay about a church in Harlem that grows vegetables–and distributes them on Monday in a soup kitchen. And this one about bicycle theft shows all the ways that people lock up their bikes on a block in Manhattan to keep them safe.

3. Vary the composition of your photos. Let’s say you’re doing a photo essay about a family. Don’t have all full body shots. One could be a close up, another just hands, another a shot of a person in a room etc. Make it interesting.

4. In the best photo essays, something is happening. So it’s better to shoot action than posing.

5. Make sure the photos are large, so that they will look good on the site.

Good luck; see you Thursday.


Do You Need More Training?

logo_s280 Most of us do. CUNY Graduate School of Journalism offers an easy and pretty inexpensive way to learn and refine photography, video editing, branding, data visualization, WordPress, social media, website design and other skills journalists MUST HAVE in the fast-changing media landscape.

Beginning in March, CUNY’s J Camp is offering a new slate of day-long classes and workshops for $60 each. For more information click here.

Upcoming Workshops