Posts Tagged ‘photojournalism’

Thanks All

27 November 2008

Dear J-

The rain has been remarkably considerate this week, staying out of the way of our commute and never coming as a downpour during our times on foot outside.  What amount of human contact with our families can be judged sufficient?  I love seeing everyone — and have looked forward to Thanksgiving for weeks now — but always end up feeling vaguely half-hearted in my effort to come out from hiding behind the viewfinder.

The compound word photojournalism implies storytelling through pictures; plus, of course, there’s the oft-repeated cliche that a picture is worth a thousand words.  My one class in creative writing, I ran into a huge block until the professor calmly told me to write what I know — thus the play, which enjoyed a one-class run, Haircuts of America (I’ll have to transcribe it at some point, if only for the entertainment factor).  Thus the photojournalist’s conflict:  tell the story that you know, but don’t insert yourself into the story at the same time.  There is a lot of truth to being unobtrusive as possible, but it’s impossible to ignore the camera being shoved into your life.

How, then, do you engage and observe simultaneously?  When do you learn to put the camera down, when do you appreciate how much you’re drenching the situation with pictures?  Where do you draw the line between detachment and influence?