A picture is worth more than a thousand words

MIPA students embrace photojournalism with options to take classes like Beyond the Basics and Shoot Like a Pro. Aspects of photography persist in all forms of journalism whether it be broadcast, print or internet media.

Pictures and words come as a package deal; they convey stories in a way that has been around since humans could paint on cave walls.

A distinct difference appears between the act of reading and seeing; seeing and feeling but, the stellar combination between them all is what creates journalism. Take away an element and the story no longer “feels” right. Photos serve the incredible purpose of telling the story with one simple still image. Photojournalism, combining the two, tells a story only through photos while following the rules of journalism.

Photojournalists stay behind the camera rather than center stage as an anchor or with their photo attached to a story with their name right beside it. Photo credits disappear into the back drop so it may not catch the eye of the viewer. Photojournalists aren’t well known although their work is seen daily by most. As true as this is, their work is no less important.

A photojournalists most prized possession. | Photo by Mackenzie Sprecher

A photojournalists most prized possession. | Photo by Mackenzie Sprecher

“I think photojournalism is important because it can definitely express emotions genuinely just like a smile or a laugh or even sorrow or sadness can be seen genuinely in the facial expressions and I think photojournalism can help describe that between two people – more people…bigger events or individuals.” Jennifer Ash a publication photographer from Howell High School said.

Visual stimulation of any kind is taken for granted by the naked eye. Often times we do not think about the memory and deep seeded beauty that lies within photography.

“I just think pictures are more memorable than whatever you read. You can remember what you see in a picture versus just reading a story.” Lauren Tom from Grosse Point South said.

Pictures imprint themselves into our memory because images carry their own baggage; their own emotional effect that last and make us feel alongside them.

Photojournalism, while lumped into the much broader umbrella of general journalism, conveys more than words ever will.

“Photojournalism is crucial to document the historical moments; the moments in time and capturing that…the visual story.” Julie Price, who instructs the Beyond the Basics class, said.

Anyone can pick up a pen and write about any topic, but photographers are there, experiencing history first hand. And they are generous enough to share those experiences with us. It’s a feat that few are able to enjoy.

“We paint pictures with our words, but there is a power of photos…” Price said. “We think back to the photos that have had an impact on us through our lives, whether it be a snapshot of a newborn baby or grandparents all the way to the historical.”

Alongside the passion encompassing photo journalistic work, they must follow ethical rules all the same. Journalismethics.info provides a small complied list of common ethical issues photojournalists face.

Digital manipulation, or rather photo shopping, rears it’s head as it misleads the public and has the ability to morph the truth. There is also the matter of overly graphic content. A point comes where too much is just enough to push an audience to discomfort.

World news harbors tendencies to contain graphic and unsettling topics, but visualizing them makes them that much more real and simultaneously that much more terrifying.

The importance of understand a delicate balance of content in order to avoid controversy.

Journalists often time remain under appreciated for the work they do, but it’s the faces behind the cameras that are mostly unsung. Photography stands as a longstanding love for many photojournalists and it’s importance in the world of telling history as it happens will never fade away – only advance further.

4 Responses to “A picture is worth more than a thousand words” »

asdfghjkl; says:
Jul 29, 2015

It was hard to follow and could have been organized better. Otherwise good with amazing word choice and quote refrences.

Wesley Joubert says:
Jul 29, 2015

While I agree that photojournalism is extremely important and ties a story together, I wouldn’t say it’s more important than the words that explain. Technically anyone can pick up a camera and take a photo, just as well as anyone can pick up a pen and write a story. It’s based completely off the skill of whoever’s behind the object. I wouldn’t say a photo is more important than the story, and vice versa. Both should go hand in hand and flow seamlessly through the article.

Hadley says:
Aug 02, 2016

I really liked this article. I do agree that photos can be more important than words because it shows what it is like which describes more than what words can. Photos can put you in the moment more than words can.

Lia Bergin says:
Jul 31, 2018

Hi, I’m Lia Bergin from the Opinion Coverage class. I enjoyed your article and I want to highlight how this article flowed beautifully. I love when someone writes narratives with descriptive language, such as your third paragraph when you compared the ‘seeing’ and ‘feeling’ aspects of journalism or your comment of the ‘deep-seeded beauty’ in photography. Additionally, the quotes you used were powerful in supporting your position and you embedded them nicely as supportive evidence. I felt that the fourth paragraph (directly above your photo) would have been a more powerful lead, as it ‘draws the reader in’ more than the informative lead. That information is useful, yet placing it later in the article wouldn’t do any harm. Additionally, I want to mention that, at times, I felt that you demeaned the writing aspect of journalism and I would have to disagree with this. Photography can, at times, be more powerful in certain topics than writing something ever could, yet this does not mean ‘anyone can pick up and pen and paper’ and write an inspiring piece. It takes just as much to be a writer as it does to be a photographer. The reason journalism is so powerful is because they are used together.

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