I recently completed a course from the Poynter’s NewsU website called The Language of the Image. For me, this was my favorite course thus far because it corresponds with one of my passions and hobbies: photography.
The reason why I am pursuing a degree in Journalism/PR is because I love photography and photojournalism. I’ve been blessed to travel the world many times and have visited ten countries from Jamaica to Chile to China. Each time, I’ve taken my camera and snapped tons of photographs to remember my time there and the people I have met. I love photographs because they have the ability to freeze a precious moment in time and instantly take you back to it whenever you look at it. My room at school and home are covered in photographs, mostly of the different countries I have traveled to, and people I have met.
I felt this class was especially important for those who are studying Journalism and how to take a photo, correctly. For me, most of the information was basic and stuff I already knew, but that is because I have been doing photography for over eight years now. The course especially drew attention to the fact that photographs are the main way of telling a story, and as a photographer, it’s important to tell the story to your audience in your photograph.
Here’s a favorite photo of mine from Israel in February 2011. This photograph was taken at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during a bar’mitzvah. I don’t remember if it was for the boy in the photograph, but I was struck by his love for the Torah, which he is kissing. There were several bar’mitzvah’s going on while I was there and it was a mixture of chaos and joy all at the same time. In this photograph you can see how the older man seem to be caught up in the chaos of the day, and yet the boy shows his love for the precious words of God. To me, it’s a beautiful representation of child-like faith, which we seem to loose as we age.
Photography is an important part of Journalism, and for most people, it’s simply a picture that has a way of breaking their hearts and moving them to action, or simply overlooking and turning the page to the next issue. Remember as you take your photographs that you are telling a story to someone else, so do your best to show it in that photo.