Sunday, April 29, 2012

You have the tools, so get out there and tell photo stories!

      Dear PHO245 students:
      The end is here.
      You've spent 4 months learning the basics of a photojournalism career. I'm confident you will walk out of the classroom tomorrow thinking photojournalism is harder than you first imagined. There is more to photojournalism than just capturing a moment.
      I threw a lot of stuff at you in 16 weeks. You learned about the definition of news, law and ethics, caption writing, social media and editing audio. And, of course, you took pictures. You learned how to shoot feature, portrait, sports and photo stories. We also looked at the work of a lot of NPPA and ONPA award-winning photojournalists online.
     In a nutshell, you learned that photojournalism is about capturing a moment and sharing it with the community. It takes being aware of the environment you're in. It takes being able to deal with all kinds of people. It takes being patient and knowing when to push the shutter button. It takes getting over your panic attacks. It takes understanding that photojournalists have a First Amendment right to be most places because you have an obligation to document life around you.
     I hope some of the training in this class will help you in whatever career you pursue. You might not end up being a photojournalist, but you will always be an educated citizen communicator - with a camera.
     Don't underestimate the power of the citizen journalist.

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