Photojournalism: Tips and Tricks

In our last class we had guest speaker, award- winning and Omaha World Herald photographer Chris Machian, who spoke to the class on his tips and tricks on how to improve your technique as a photojournalist. However, I was unable to make it to this speech so I did a little bit of research on photojournalism and the tips and tricks Machian shared with my classmates so that I can share them with you.

According to Wikipedia, “Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism that employs images in order to tell a news story. It is now usually understood to refer only to still images, but in some cases the term also refers to video used in broadcast journalism. Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography by complying with a rigid ethical framework which demands that the work is both honest and impartial whilst telling the story in strictly journalistic terms. Photojournalists create pictures that contribute to the news media.”

Now, what job is more challenging, important, and rewarding than that of a photojournalist? No only so they have to cover a story, but they must be there as it happens and capture the “shot”, the one photo that captures the time, emotion, and puts the reader in their shoes. To capture the right shots to tell the story here are some tips.

  •  #1: Take all types of shots.

You never know which one could be the cover shot, so take many different angles. The first is a tight shot, or a close-up to show detail. The next is a medium shot, or average, typical, viewpoint from your own perspective.The last type of photo is a wide shot, or a zoomed out overview of showing the majority or entirety of the subject. This also called an “establishing shot”.

  • #2: You can never shoot too much.

Sometimes even professionals can shoot a dozens of photos before they get the “one”. To get the one that captures everything perfectly it is important to shoot, shoot, shoot. You can never have too many photos, it is way more preferable than not having enough.

  • #3: Stay true to the photo.

Never Photoshop your images and always include an accurate caption. Altering a photo can cause a photojournalist to quickly lose their credibility, and captions are also extremely important.  In an accurate caption you must include: Who is in the picture, What is happening, Where is it happening and When it is happening meaning the day, the month and the year.

Overall, Photojournalism is a very important way to document history. Photojournalists must strive to capture that one good photo that can tell their story with just a glance.


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