Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Gathering photo captions: Practicing what I preach

   This is me, a working photojournalist gathering caption information on a photo I took during an Empowerment Zone meeting in North Toledo March 3 for the Toledo Blade. (Photo Credit goes to my friend Rhonda Sewell)
   As you can see, my cameras are dangling off of my shoulders as I use my trusty pen and notebook to take down this kid's name, since I photographed him during the event.
   My Wayne State Digital Photojournalism students just completed their caption writing block of instruction, which included clipping captions from newspapers and taking a quiz. Spending time on caption, or cutline, writing is necessary in a photojournalism course because it's the journalism part of photojournalism.
   Most of the time I write down names and other pertinent information in my reporter's notebook, but sometimes I record that information into my camera, especially when my hands are too full to write or the weather isn't friendly to notebook paper. Whatever the method, taking down the who, what, where and when are the active ingredients to a good caption.
   This post is just a visual reminder that you are learning about captions because they are a part of a photojournalist's job. It is also the part that is sometimes the most challenging: Taking the photo from afar is one thing, but going up to strangers and asking them for their name, age and hometown is another.
   Gathering captions can give shy scholastic photojournalists a panic attack.
   When you are out there shooting your final photo story in the next few weeks, remember that the later half of the word photojournalism is journalism, or the art of writing.

No comments: